Thursday, October 1

New Moon

Eid Mubarak!

Well, it’s over! The new moon is out and Ramadan has ended. Hopefully a fresh start for me as well.

As mentioned, Ramadan is the month of fasting and extra prayer. Muslims fast from the every day nourishment and activities; all given up in the name of Allah and bettering themselves as Muslims. By challenging themselves, they become closer to Allah and better themselves as Muslims.

The month of Ramadan, though not fasting, was a difficult month for me. By moving to Bangladesh, I have challenged myself in each aspect of my life: physical (food, weather), mental (cultural barriers), professional (working in an unorganized and corrupt nation), and personal (learning to exert self-discipline.) All in all, I am fasting from my normal, comfortable life in order to challenge myself to be a better person. But as always, it’s easy to forget the reason for your fast; whether it’s for Allah or yourself, that ‘person’ is easy to lose.

As Stage Three of Culture Shock sunk in – hard – I lost sight of my ‘future/strong/ new-and-improved’ self; the self I hope to attain at the end of this expedition. All I saw was the frustrations of living in one of the most underdeveloped nations in Asia (use your imagination as to what the aggravations and derailments are…)

But here it is, the end of Ramadan. Life is back to normal for all Muslims and citizens of Bangladesh. But my fasting remains. But I literally dreamt a few nights ago that I sawed off my leg in order to challenge myself. How appropo of my life in Bangladesh: I’m literally handicapped and limbless in this new place. My dream also showed me all my friends who rallied around me, also an accurate reflection, not only friends from home but new friends here. But when you lose a leg, a limbless life must become normal, you must adapt.

On Eid, I hung out with my friend Emy and her family. She was born here but lived in Florida most her life. Here with her parents and brothers, we drove around the empty streets of Dhaka blasting Jay-Z and Luda, chillin' and laughing, had a private Reggaeton dance party between the two of us, and stayed up until 4am talking about the difficulties of adjusting here. Though slightly different situations, we both feel a little lost and outcast here -- but comforted that we are not alone in it.

So now onto Stage Four of Culture Shock – adaptation: learning to find the beauty here, to understand the cultural nuances, blending in, making it home. As the New Moon rose ending Ramadan, I hope I enter a new stage of my life in Bangladesh.

**(I had photos from Eid, the end of Ramadan, but my memory card got ruined L so there are no photos.)

No comments:

Post a Comment