I have only ever fasted in two different environments. One, at home, with mum, dad and my sister where maman would always always prepare a feast of our most favorite Persian dishes: ghormesabzi, beef kebabs, salad olivieh and to finish, orange and saffron syrup cake. We would be gathered around the dinner table with my sister and I’s eyes glued on the wall clock’s face eagerly awaiting the sunset when suddenly, my dad would start chanting a really long prayer that always finished too late! I’d be so mad at him! Making me fast for an extra 5 minutes! Ha, can’t help but laugh at those times today.
And two, in Haifa, Israel where I volunteered at the Bahai World Center. There, 99% of the staff fasted, so as my family home, we all broke the fast, together, in a joyful and vibrant fashion. In Japan, where I live alone in a village with literally no one my age, things are different. I spent the first days of the fast eating dinner by myself which is fine and all and solidarity is important etc etc but compared to the previous years, it was less exciting come sunset. Though last night, Kaori invited me over for Indian! She said, she and her husband, Taka had traveled through the Middle East during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan so she knew how breaking a fast was often celebrated as a social and joyous occasion.
Both Emma and I (see below picture) patiently waited until the sun set with our eyes glued not on the clock but on the rice cooker and ended up eating too much food as always.
We ate 2 different kinds of vegan curry with purple rice, homemade papadum and coleslaw with raisins and cumin. For dessert, we had vegan, gluten and sugar-free chocolate cake. This cake was so freakishly delicious that I’m going to recreate it tonight to take to Akiko and Lifa’s place (Yes! Another family dinner). In other words, the recipe and pictures will feature Saturday.
“We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.” -Gwendolyn Brooks