Usually traveling is all about getting to know a different culture. However, what if upon your arrival you realize that the streets are empty and the shops are closed. This is something that a lot of travelers are afraid of during Ramadan.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan starts in July and it lasts for a month. This is the time when Muslim people strengthen their relationships with Allah. During this period they abstain from sexual intercourse, smoking, eating and drinking, especially during the day hours. Some people even abstain from swallowing their own saliva.
Even though during the day the rules are very strict, after the nightfall there are parties with music and food. Although some people might not agree with these customs, it is best to follow the customs during the day. This means no hugging, kissing, holding hands, smoking, eating, drinking, or playing loud music in public.
Less strict regions
If you visit a region that isn’t so strict regarding these customs, you could do all the above mentioned things. However, it might be rude to eat your lunch in front of a person who didn’t eat anything all day. Ramadan makes life quite difficult for people so it is no wonder to see entire cities slowing down. If you are planning on traveling by public transportation consider the fact that the driver was partying all night and he didn’t have anything to eat or drink all day.
If you have a flexible schedule, it might be best to postpone your vacation. If you can’t postpone your trip, it might be interesting to learn new things about the religion and culture of the new country. It might be difficult to find food during the day, but the feasts at night will make up for everything you missed during daytime.
About half of the population of the country is Muslim, so you will see the impact of religion in this country. The non-Muslim people aren’t required to fast. Some of the restaurants will open only in the evening, but on the markets you will find sweets and other treats to nibble on.
Just as in case of Malaysia, some of the restaurants will be closed, but non-Muslims keep their business open. However, it is best to be discrete about eating, drinking, and smoking in public. In the same time tourists should be careful about public transportation.