And it is surely different ! 😐
The main difference is pretty clear for me : the time. Back in Indonesia, we used to have our fasting for approximately 13 hours, starting from 4.00AM in the morning until 6.00PM at night. Though it’s quite tough, but I found it is manageable, especially if you already passed the first week. Meanwhile, because it’s now summer in Lausanne, we have longer days with sunrise at around 4.30AM and sunset at 9.30PM. In the morning I have to stop eating sometime before sunrise (we call it “Imsak” time), which falls at around 3-3.30AM. So in total, I am fasting for 18.5 hours every day during Ramadhan here.
It’s totally challenging to have a very long fasting time during the day; on the 1st and 2nd day I almost fell asleep in the meetings at the office! 😦 Some of my Indonesia colleagues were considering to follow the timing in Indonesia because of the struggle. I personally want to follow the timing here until Ramadhan ends, but let’s see what will happen next week.
Another thing that makes it so different is the fact that there are not many people doing the fasting here. Coming from a country in which 90% of the citizens are moslems and surrounded with strong Islamic culture, I found it was a bit difficult to start my Ramadhan here alone. In Indonesia, because there are a lot of people around you (your friends, your family, your working colleagues, etc.) are also fasting, you would not feel too bad during the day because you will think that you are not alone and lot of people actually feel the same. Here, I barely find someone fasting particularly in the office. Don’t get me wrong, my working colleagues are so nice and friendly, they do not have a heart to eat next to me. But still, knowing that you are doing it alone without a chance to share your experience with people who also do it, makes it harder for me to do it, at least in the beginning.
It’s the 5th day of fasting and I am still trying to get used to it. At least I felt less sleepy yesterday at day in the office; hopefully will last until the very end of Ramadhan!
For everyone who also celebrating Ramadhan, Ramadhan Kareem! Happy Ramadhan! 🙂