I’m Not Fasting and It’s Awkward
A month or so ago, my colleagues started asking when Ramadan was. The conversation made me think about how I would respond when, being a girl, I wouldn’t be able to fast everyday in Ramadan. I’m not the kind of person who’d happily say why not, but at the same time I’d want to avoid lying. I took to Twitter to ask my followers how they would deal with such a situation. but I think only about 10 of my followers actually read my tweets and none of them helped me out.
The first day of Ramadan was my last day at my work place, but I still felt I had to bring about awareness of this issue to my former colleagues. So, I sent them the following email:
Hope you’re all good.
In the interest of EDI* and to save both you and the other person from any awkwardness, I’d just like to point out a few reasons why a Muslim may not be fasting.
1) Women cannot fast when they’re on their periods.
2) Too ill
3) Travelling (long journey)
I wrote this message mainly because of point one. When I’m not fasting, I haven’t figured out whether it’s best to say I’m not or if it’s best to pretend I am. Some people may be interested and want to know more and then I’d have to explain why I wasn’t fasting. And I’d rather self-combust haha.
Anyway, I know there’s a few Muslim girls volunteering and I thought I’d send this for their benefit. If you want to ask them a question about fasting maybe rephrase it like “how’s Ramadan going?” or “how’s fasting going?” instead of “are you fasting *today*?” That’d be a lot less awkward for those who, like me, wouldn’t want to explain anything if they weren’t fasting on that particular day.
*EDI stands for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
I kept the email informal because I thought it’d be less awkward that way (I’ve omitted the end of the email which showed how informal it really was). Also, I’m not going to see them in a while so I didn’t need to worry about being embarrassed the next time I saw them.
But when I told my friends about it they couldn’t stop laughing. They said it sounded very awkward, which made it extremely funny. I had already sent the email by then and I began to think I made a mistake. I mean, I know it’s an uncomfortable topic to broach, but I didn’t think it was so bad, getting that reaction made me question my decision for a bit.
However, I came to the conclusion that it seems worse because they are outsiders reading this email, without knowing my colleagues and knowing how they’d react to it. I don’t think…and I hope…they wouldn’t have found it that bad!
If I had continued working I may have had to use a different method to make this point. I can imagine someone eventually saying something along the lines of, “Isn’t it hard fasting for a whole month?”, and I could’ve responded with “well, being a girl I don’t actually fast for the whole month”. Or maybe I would’ve just avoided the topic as best as possible.
I’m glad I don’t have to go through that dilemma for the moment!
If you would’ve tackled this any differently, leave a comment below to share your ideas 🙂
By: @Yellow_Lellow (MW Contributor)