We all know that Ramadan is a challenging month that has many rewards; its spiritual and cultural values, resetting your system, family bonding, delicious and well deserved food, and a conscious stream of acts showcasing compassion and warmth filling our everyday lives and atmosphere. At least, between 7 p.m.-3 a.m.
Sunrise to sunset can be a little testing for many, especially under the hot sun, and the hazy days of Ramadan can get a little stressful, even post breakfast! But don’t worry; we have some fun life hacks for you to survive R2K17!
ORGANIZE YOUR INVITES
Okay, so this is a big issue – especially if you’re an unmarried local who still lives with their parents. Ramadan is the quintessential time for gathering people together, and generosity knows no limits. That’s all completely lovely, but things can get messy if they aren’t done in an orderly fashion. Think about whom you want to invite, whom you should invite, which groups go well together, and the feasts you’ll provide so that mama/cook/nanny can organize themselves as well. I highly recommend spreadsheets for this procedure; sometimes, it’s necessary. Turn your gathering into a fruitful one, and organize an Iftar drive, or gather donations for the needy—every little step helps, and getting organized about it is so important!
FIND YOUR GO-TO-GUYS
Having Ramadan essentials on your Iftar table is a right that doesn’t come without responsibility, and consistency is key! This is why, we recommend that you know who your necessary suppliers are. You’re going to need a juice guy for the Jallab and Qamr il Deen, a samboosa guy, an Iranian bread firin, a qatayef and knefeh supplier and of course, a solid source for dates to break your fast with – or to at least have at the table. If you’re still in search for the ideal place to procure these essentials, I advise you to use everyday, nuclear family Iftar time for trial-and-error periods; because nothing brings a family closer than judging the heck out of somebody’s samboosa making.
GET YOURSELF A DECENT ABAYA OR TWO
This one is for you, Ladies! Ramadan is the most wonderful time of the year because of the fact that it is socially acceptable – nay, encouraged – to prance around in the most comfortable article of clothing known to woman, the abaya. Or, dara’a. Or, dishdasha – whatever your preference, this beautifully tailored piece of cloth will be your best friend this month, so keep it classy, comfy and stylish; you never know who will be coming over, or where you’ll be invited to.
RAMADRAMAS ARE YOUR FRIEND
#nodrama #nofighting are cardinal rules to follow during Ramadan, but TV is the exception! If Keeping Up with the Kardashians is more your thing, luckily, OSN’s E! seems to have a never ending Kardashian marathon to make days spent waiting for food pass by a little faster (and really, who has ever wanted to eat while watching the Kardashians?), but Kuwait’s local channels are where it’s at! Mosalsalat, or as we affectionately call them, “Ramadramas”, are the 30 day special soaps we wait all year for, and their intense plotlines can take up two hours a day to finish. Do it up, and do it with gusto. It’s also a great opportunity to bond with your mom!
PLEASE, DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE CHILDREN
Not everyone is guilty of doing this, but some of us might be (my family, for one). Gergeean candy. We tend to forget to stock up on it, and it has happened that children will show up at our doorstep singing their song and their faces will fall when they realize that we have no candy or treats to give! Don’t be like my mom and ask if they want qatayef to go. Save yourself the mortification and risks of crushing a child’s mid-month spirit by stocking up early on in the month, and even the most exclusively adult household will be prepared.
MOVEMENT IS KEY
Staying immobile during Ramadan is just asking for your body to shut down and retain all sorts of fats and water while fasting. Try not to go to the extremes of sleeping all day and gorging yourself at night. Exercise is key! Whether your thing is yoga, a bit of cardio, or you’d like to invest in some at-home exercises, do your thing! Also, early birds may notice that the weather is absolutely gorgeous early in the morning. If your neighborhood permits you to do so, go for a short walk to jumpstart your day!
PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
Be kind this month. Be patient, and be understanding and empathetic. Don’t be afraid to dole out some cash to the workmen standing underneath the hot sun all day, and most of all, be tolerant. Even with all the fun, food, family and tradition, the most important thing about Ramadan is compassion and kindness. Practice what you preach!
Mubarak 3aleikom ilShahar, and we wish you all a blessed and peaceful Ramadan 2017.