My 1st and 25th Ramadan.
Many years ago now, I experienced my first ever Ramadan. A tomboy climbing trees with spiky hair and multi pierced ears I was a very typical Norwegian girl, I think.
We met through that universal and much loved game of football. No one cared what colour or gender you were as long as you could hold your game on the pitch.
Meeting these boys and girls from countries I had never heard of was fascinating. Bonds were made and then Ramadan came.
My parents were not very strict, but I was used to regular meals and bedtimes. Even as an eighteen year old. That sweet freedom of young adulthood was still ahead of me. With my first Ramadan I found it.
It was an exciting time and I remember it as if it was yesterday. We slept during the day, stayed awake at night, watched movies and shows on TV, had friends over. Have you ever made and eaten pizza at 3 A.M.? You should try it. Nothing feels exactly the same. Those days of friendship, love and laughter will stay with me forever.
That celebration of every day was something very new to me. Being used to a wonderful day of Christmas with great food, festivities and family Ramadan felt like Christmas every day. That is how I thought about it as a young girl and in some ways still do. I wanted to be a part of it.
Many questions arrived on this new path I had chosen. A very small one, but yet oddly important to me was; How do I decorate for my new holidays? This turned out to be very difficult to answer. More than 25 years later, I have come up with an answer.
How is it possible that so many years have passed? Three children have been born, raised and grown up. Ramadans and Eids shared with our family, loved ones and friends.
My 25th Ramadan will be just as full of fun and love as the previous ones. Every year that has passed has brought something new and kept something old.
When you embark on a road you have never walked before, we Norwegians tend to set rules. OK, they are mostly for mountain walks, but becoming a Muslim can somewhat be compared to that.
The first rule is as follows: “Plan your trip and tell people which road you are on.”
Should be easy enough you think. Learning about Islam; Yes. Decorating; No
We are a practical folk up here in the North and like to be prepared. So I searched everywhere for Eid and Ramadan decorations. There was nothing.
My options, I decided, was to either buy Christmas ornaments on sale in January or make my own. I decided for many years to do both.
The second rule comes handy then: “Adapt your trip according to your abilities and your conditions.”
Good advice indeed.