Ramadan in Jeddah Gher
Growing up in Saudi, Ramadan was all about staying up late, eating bountifully, and sharing with others. The whole month is a celebration of giving. Must have staples of dates, Vimto and Shorba (Soup), were the distinct flavors at our home Iftar. Moving forward to becoming a Home-maker myself, I continued on with the tradition of food and celebration. Still, looking back to then, I realize how easy it was to make the prayers and celebrate Ramadan in Saudi Arabia. I say this, because as a working woman also, I would get the whole month of Ramadan off, as declared by the Saudi Government. As to debate on why they do that, is not my place, as its their land and their laws. It did however make the month more celebratory for all of us. Alhumdulilah!
Ramadan in Lahore
During my College years, I lived in the vibrant city of Lahore. Here Ramadan was all about lights, food and prepping for Eid in form of food and clothes. I did relish the fact that due to the nearness of so many relatives, one did not have to wonder what to do on Eid day. Ramadan is swept through the practice of fasting, and attending Iftar at dear ones place. Yet, in my youth, I recall that catching the latest Iftar deal at an eatery was also an adventure for us. Pizza Hut and Salt & Pepper Village, were a key favorite for my friends and I. Still, no Iftar is complete without the street vendors supply of Pakora, Samosa and Jalaibi.
Ramadan in Calgary
Present day, my family calls Canada home. Living in a mid-sized city; Calgary, I must say that the hustle and bustle of Ramadan that I grew up with, is dearly missed! Yet, all is not lost! I have found that fasting for 17+ hours has brought out the healthy eater in me. Gone are the days of fried goodies, and excessive dinning. Now I concentrate more on how to make the month memorable for my family.
We started off with starting to decorate the door and front porch, making it welcoming by using a modern twist to the traditional lantern only decor of Ramadan. I made a trip to Michaels, and got the supplies for making a wreath…after all, what better way to dress up the door? Plus it is a great investment! This piece is now in its 3rd year of adorning my home door. I choose the colors to be as vibrant as possible, while keeping the traditional prime colors in mind. If you plan to make one, just search on Youtube, and hundreds of ideas pop up! Otherwise, I have had the pleasure of making them for the ones who requested. The lights can be purchased from any hardware store. I got mine from Wal-Mart after the christmas clearance sale for 2$ a string!
Here is a glimpse of the setup at night….
The lanterns that I used, are purchases over time. The Moroccan multicolored themed one was a precious buy from Fantasy Stationary in Jeddah. The Golden tall lantern was a find here in Calgary Home Sense. Finally the complementing pink lanterns were a gift from a dear friend. Inside the home, I am still building my collection.
However, my mom sent me these adorable Ramadan themed cushions last year, as purchased from Souk Shatee in Jeddah. They add a nice touch to the living room. There is an accompanying banner with the same pattern, which I still have to figure out where to hang. Still, I made the most of the fireplace top, and again, my favourite craft store Michaels had these wooden blocks, which serve well in setting up the mantel. I have started drawing Henna inspired doodles on the blocks to personalize them. Soon, they should all be done!
Overall, I am pretty happy with the way the decor is going. Since the kids are away from a community where such celebrations take place on a daily basis, recreating that at home is a small step towards creating lessons. I realize that since I grew up in such an environment, I took a lot for granted. Now, with my kids growing in a multi-cultural country, I realise how different it is for them, and how they enjoy these small crafts, while learning about their culture. Have you done any decor? Do share!