Ramazan Challenge Vol. 3
It’s that time of the year again: The holy month of Ramadan (Ramazan in Turkish) has started as of today. For thirty days, Muslims all around the world will be fasting from dawn to dusk.
I was first introduced to these practices throughout my 1.5 year experience in Turkey. Apart from being a religious tradition, Ramazan is pretty much a cultural event as well. I was told that the fasting is mainly about self-reflection, self-control and understanding the misery of the less fortunate ones amongst us. In Turkey, even those who are not particularly religious may join the fasting in their very own way, for example by avoiding alcohol or cigarettes during Ramazan. No one is obliged to fast. It’s a personal decision. Children, elderly people, the ill and pregnant women are excepted anyway.
Those of you who have been following my aNadventures for a while may know that with the occasion of Ramazan, I annually set myself a challenge: Abstaining from any form of sweets such as chocolate, ice cream, cookies and cake for the duration of this month. I first undertook this challenge two years ago, when I was living in Turkey, in order to participate and feel closer to the culture I was experiencing. Last year, when I was already back in Germany, I continued the tradition.
Some people may ask why I’m doing this since there’s no actual need for it. I just like the idea of setting myself a challenge and accomplishing it. Abstaining from sweet stuff is a hard one for me but I know that I can reach just about anything if I set my mind to it.
Last night I had my last portion of chocolate and ice cream as a temporary farewell. The end of the Ramazan is followed by a three-day celebration called Ramazan Bayramı. This festival of breaking the fast (also known as Sugar Feast) has the families gathered around lots of delicious food and sweets. This year’s Ramazan Bayramı will be on July 17th, 18th and 19th and I will be celebrating it with a new kind of Oreo ice cream I have seen in stores.
How about YOU? What are your personal challenges and how do you motivate yourself to accomplish them?