How’s puasa like here?
It starts at approximately 2.30AM and ends at 7.10PM. I sahur past midnight, wake up and then go to school. After class, I go back home, masak, buka, terawikh (they have daily terawikh and buka at Camii Mosque in Shibuya, I heard, but it’s too far away from where I am for me to go). Fasting here doesn’t feel much different from another day actually. What’s interesting though, is the reaction that I get from people when I told them I’m fasting.
The Malaysians get it, but I’m a minority here — most people don’t really know what Ramadhan is about. Or how long it lasts. Well, with the exception of my faculty advisors as they all seem to get it.
When I decline invitations to events and tell them I couldn’t join because I’m observing the fast, they would go, “Seriously? You’re fasting?” and the next day they would ask me if I want to join them for lunch and when I tell them the same thing and they would go “You’re still fasting???” Imagine their reactions when I told them this is done for 1 whole month!
This one time, S handed me a glass of water over a discussion. I declined.
“You can’t even drink?!”
Then H went, “How do you talk throughout the day?! Don’t you feel dry?”
Post the afternoon class, we were on a break. It was 3PM-ish and it was super cloudy. B asked:
“It’s cloudy now, so you can eat right?”
“No, I have to wait till the sun sets.”
He looked confused.
“The muslim friends I have back in Mongolia say that it’s okay to eat when it’s cloudy because god can’t see.”
I told him there’s no such thing and shared the concept with him and a few others — that it’s not just not eating. I can’t insert anything into my rongga badan i.e. mouth, nose, ears, etc. from sunrise to sunset.
“Can’t even pick the nose, you know.”
“Damn!” they said.
After class ended, M asked:
“Are you still fasting?”
He’s lived in Dubai for work for a couple of years and lived within the Muslim community. He said he had no idea how they did it. He shook his head:
“It’s so tough, I respect you.”
Some of them even went to the mosque to observe people praying and find it fascinating.
HAHAHAHAHA. It’s so amusing that it’s such a big deal to them 😆