Wednesday, October 05, 2005

First Nights of Ramadan

The situation has been devolving now for the past five days. Driving has become more erratic. There is more congestion. The other day, I walked the hour it takes home because there were no taxis available at the "heure de pointe" (rush hour). Tunis has become insane.

And now, and for the coming lunar month, most people won't be eating at all from sunrise to sunset. I'm sure that's going to improve their judgement. Ramadan is upon these hapless Canadians...

And what of it? I could complain thereby of another gulf between tradition and practice - Out in the western world, we have a similar chasm around Christmas. Here, during the month of fasting and spirituality, people many buy more food than normal and stuff themselves to excess at night. But that's not entirely fair, no more than complaining about corporate Christmas. Good and right and beautiful persist despite modern permutations.

It is still a period of togetherness and family. It is still a period of spirituality and social awareness. And the culture that comes alive at night looks to be incredible.

But if this sounds a little back and forth or wishy washy, well, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the whole ordeal. I've never been flung into anything that is so completely outside of my sphere of reference and so completely pervasive. I think I'm going to have to give it some honest time to sink in. I'll try to get back to you a little later this week.


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