Friday, August 19, 2011

The Middle East During Ramadan

This is a unique experience that is completely different from anything I have ever witnessed.  As Oman is a devout Muslim country, the rules are followed closely and I am amazed.

1. No eating or drinking during the day.  If you are caught eating in public, I was told that you could be fined and put in jail (for a little while) to learn your lesson.  All those times when out of habit you would just stop by the water fountain or grab a bottle of water are when this rule becomes most apparent.

2. Everything is closed during the day.  Stores were open earlier in the morning and then close from about 10 am until 7 pm.  The night is filled with feasting and socializing.

I wouldn't say that I followed all the rules, but I respected them and followed the routine.  We wouldn't eat all day and then all gather for a dinner, and then a post dinner dinner again around midnight.  Any sightseeing we did during the day made sightseeing in India look crazy.  It was like going through ghost towns, there were no cars on the road, no people at the beaches.  Ramadan, very interesting experience.

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