Oh Canada! The true North strong and free! This year Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary. We are truly blessed to live in a country where we are free to be true to ourselves, our cultures, and our faiths. We do not have to choose between being a Muslim and being a Canadian because neither one cancels out the other. Ramadan in Canada is special, it has a different feel. There are many reasons we may love Ramadan in Canada, but here are 10 reasons I love it!
1. The moderate weather! I know we have longer days, but at least our weather is not unbearable.
2. Diversity! It is incredible that we are surrounded by brothers and sisters from all corners of the globe. We are able to enjoy the traditions of everyone!
3. The opportunity to educate! As we live among Muslims and Non-Muslims, we have the blessed opportunity to use a time like Ramadan to share our faith and traditions with those around us.
4. Community! Many Muslims are far away from their families, so there is a heightened sense of community during Ramadan. Families and friends coming together for Iftar, taraweeh and finally Eid.
5. “Project Ramadan”! Started in 2009, the Muslim Welfare Centre and Project Ramadan joined together to help provide a months’ worth of food to families in need . Since it’s inception, they’ve distributed over 10,000 food baskets during the holy month. It’s amazing initiatives like these that make me proud to celebrate Ramadan in Canada.
6. Understanding and acceptance! Canadians are amazing for being so understanding and respectful of one another’s religious and cultural practices. It is so great to see Non-Muslim co-workers making a point not to have celebrations such as lunch parties until after Ramadan. This shows an incredible amount of respect.
7. “Ramadan Mubarak” written in many public places! Walking into somewhere like a grocery store, you know Ramadan is here. Not only is there Ramadan decorations and displays but also, they conveniently put the “must –have” food items in one place. That means you can grab your chick peas, rice, dates, etc all in one spot!
8. Canadian culture encourages “diversity”! You may have seen in the news lately, that Canada Post now has a “Eid” postage stamp! This is a wonderful thing that shows that Canada is a multicultural country and is not a melting pot by any means. All Canadians are encouraged to be who they are, practice what they believe in and know that it doesn’t make them any less Canadian.
9. Canadian norms! In some countries it may be frowned upon to suggest doing a potluck for an Iftar. Many cultures do not lend themselves to easy and uncomplicated gatherings. I know that in Arab culture, Iftars are big and complex with many dishes and the host basically does all the work! How exhausting when you are fasting. Luckily with our Canadian cultural norms, the value of the company we are surrounded is far more important than how fancy a meal is.
10. Community goes beyond just Muslims! Many non-Muslims are curious to experience Ramadan and will willingly fast alongside their Muslims community members. Many will attend Iftars and lectures with a genuine desire to learn and understand. It is about understanding one another.
The diversity in Canada and the homegrown culture of acceptance and mutual respect makes Ramadan in Canada very special. What do you love most about Ramadan in Canada? Wishing you a blessed Ramadan wherever you may be.
Written by: MuslimMoms.ca