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Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

How North Penn students celebrate Ramadan

Submitted Photo
North Penn senior Amna Jovinda poses with Madison Maltese, Julia Diedel, Amna Jovindha, Izzy Tubertini and Isabella Fiore during a Ramadan party.

With quite a diverse student body, spring time introduces dozens of holidays to be celebrated at North Penn High School. Spanning over the months of March and April, Ramadan is considered one of the most important and prevalent holidays celebrated within the school district.

This year, Ramadan started on Sunday, March 10th, and will end the night of Tuesday, April 9th. In Islam, Ramadan is considered the holy month of fasting. During the period of Ramadan, people of Muslim faith will fast during the day and gather during sunset to pray and break their fast.

“Ramadan for my family means more family dinners for the most part. We’re all going through this together when it comes to fasting, so at the end of the day we’re all eating together which makes every night feel special,” BCC president and member of MSA, Muhtasim Sagiv, explained.

Traditionally, many will break their fast with specific foods that have significance within the culture.

“There’s a couple specific foods we have, like dates, that we break our fasts with,” Sagiv shared.

Surrounding Ramadan are values of honesty, humility, and kindness. During the holy month, it is very common for people to spend more time with their friends and family. 

“The first night of Ramadan is always special because we usually cook a little more that night and celebrate that together, but every night after that is so special too,” Sagiv said. “The whole idea of Ramadan is being humble, kinder to the people around you, and more aware of your surroundings, so I do find that I spend a lot more time with my family,”

Ramadan, from a historical context, has kind of always existed in Islam. The main idea of the holiday is to focus on humility and grounding yourself, part of it is being able to empathize with people who are less fortunate,”

— Muhtasim Sagiv

After Ramadan has ended, the celebration of Eid al-Fitr commences. Eid is comparable to the extension of Ramadan, where all people of Muslim faith gather together to celebrate the end of the holy month of fasting and charity.

“Eid is almost an extension of all the time I’ve spent with my family over Ramadan. I get the opportunity to see so many people throughout my community that I don’t get to see as regularly; aunts, uncles, and family friends,” Sagiv explained. “Everyone will make some kind of food at their house and we’ll go across to their houses all dressed up and say hi.”

Eid starts with a morning of prayer and giving, many people will go to the Mosque and partake in charity work.

“The morning specifically is very important  because everyone goes to the Mosque to pray. My dad and I will typically go and hand food out in  the mornings, which is always nice,” Sagiv said.

A large part of Eid is enjoying many cultural dishes with friends, family, and community members.

“Throughout the day I’ll have close to six meals from just visiting everyone and spending time together,” Sagiv shared. “Typically we’ll end the night with a meal at our house or a family member’s house with all my close friends and family.”

A common misconception about Ramadan is that it is a holiday strictly about fasting, but there is much more historical context than that. 

“A lot of people think all it is is not eating and drinking during the day, but a big part of it is not being mean to others and trying your best to spread kindness. Generally, it’s always been about bettering yourself and being spiritually closer,” Sagiv explained. 

Learning and respecting other cultures is of great importance, especially at North Penn. During Ramdan, it is important to acknowledge how and why people are fasting.

“Being more aware of different cultures is always a good thing. For people who are fasting, if their friends are aware they can help make it a more welcoming environment for them to fast and express their faith,” Sagiv said. “Again, a big part of Ramadan is being kinder, so if your friends can find value in what you’re doing, you can almost share that experience with them.”

One of the best things you can do to support someone who’s fasting is to learn and appreciate why they are doing it.

“You don’t have to apologize for eating or drinking around people who are fasting, it’s not like just because we are fasting we expect everyone else around us to not eat,” Sagiv shared. “There’s no reason to feel bad, you just need to show respect.”

As children grow older, the focus of Ramdan shifts, and children are able to value the importance of the holiday.  

“My view on the holiday has kind of evolved over time. When I was younger, I only fasted for a couple days just to see if I could do it. It changed a lot for me with age because as I got older I understood that this is something that is important and helps me feel at peace with myself,” Sagiv explained. “Being able to take on this challenge is more than the challenge itself, but being able to grow and become stronger as a person. I approach it as a month for me to grow as a person, rather than just looking at it as fasting.”

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  • W

    Willa MaglandApr 15, 2024 at 8:12 pm

    > Surrounding Ramadan are values of honesty, humility, and kindness.

    What a beautiful holiday. My best wishes to everyone!!