Produced by Zeynep
MA Political Psychology
I must confess that I was a little bit worried before Ramadan started this year. Although it was not going to my first Ramadan away from home, I am used to spend Ramadan in Turkey. Therefore, at the beginning of the Ramadan I went to Turkey for two weeks. It was a such a wonderful coincidence that Easter period and Ramadan was in the same month this year!
Spending Ramadan with friends:
If you are not familiar with Ramadan, it is a special and holy month for Muslims. Many Muslims fast during the day and they only eat and drink when the sun sets until the sun rise -yes, we don’t drink even water! -. Although fasting is the most prevalent aspect of it, Ramadan is actually abstaining from material world as much possible, and it is a chance of spiritual journey for Muslims. Donating money, being kind to everyone and collective night prayers in mosques are very important in this month. Therefore, the idea of spending this month all alone is a bit scary. However, my experience of Ramadan not in Turkey was the opposite of being alone!
When I came back, I had not even a single iftar -breaking fast- alone. One of the best iftar was at Bournemouth Islamic Centre & Central Mosque. It was such a wonderful moment to break fast in a long table with tens of Muslim women! One of the other mosques who invited me was Bournemouth Education and Cultural Association, run by a Turkish community. In both events, I met with different amazing people then I became friends. Therefore, it was a chance for me to socialize while enjoying amazing food prepared by volunteers! There was also an iftar organized by the Islamic Society at Bournemouth University at. Faith and Reflection Centre for the student in Bournemouth University. We also organized some breaking fast dinner together as small groups of friends.
We made a picnic iftar at the Lower Gardens, at beach and in the student halls. And after the iftar,s we went to the mosque to do the night prayers that we enjoyed very much too. Because I believe Ramadan is all about sharing and the positivity of collectiveness, sharing this moments with friends was very valuable.
Celebrating Eid in Bournemouth:
All good things must come to an end. When the end of Ramadan came, we said goodbye with a celebration: Eid! We celebrated our Eid with a very crowded prayer in Meyrick Park at morning and then having traditional Indian food and deserts. We enjoyed the park and then had lunch with a small group of friends. I felt like it was one of my favourite eid in my life because I was with hundreds of people from all around the world, and we were like sisters and brothers.