Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Disi - Rum: Family Time

When travelling through Jordan during Ramadan, one notices a silence in the streets.   The world moves at a slower pace as people store their energy reserves for the long day of fasting.  Seen from a religious perspective, Ramadan is a time to reflect upon one's relationship with God.  From a social perspective, it is a time to enjoy one's relationship to family.  Restaurants are closed, offices have reduced hours and the heat of the day urges all to seek refuge in air-conditioning and under fans.  Passing through the homes of two business partners over the past day, I have observed marathon card games, watched episodes of serial soap operas produced especially for the Ramadan season and reclined on mattresses gossiping about business, news, life in the village and mutual friends.  While this easy pace of life exists outside of the month of Ramadan, the shared fast brings people closer together and more time than usual is devoted to the simple act of being with each other.  As sunset and the time for the breaking of the fast draws nearer, a drowsy haze envelopes all, the mind slows down and the emotions speed up - both laughter and fervent discussion of irrelevant topics characterize the final few hours of the fast, with the last few minutes devoted to the hasty preparation of food which allows all participating in the fast to return to a temporary sense of normalcy before the rapidly approaching sunrise.

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