By: Rurri Yani Sartika
Alhamdulillah, Ramadan 2017 is second year of fasting that I live as a permanent resident in New Jersey state, United States (US).
In last two years, the lust of the fasting month falls in summer, where sun shines earlier and sinks longer, which means sun is shining longer and of course fasting time is also more longer.
With sun shining long enough, Imsyak time on first day of fasting is 03.35 am, every day Imsyak time will progress. While, time of Magrib or breaking fast on first day falls at 20:18 pm and every day Magrib time will retreat. Which means fasting time will be longer.
If asked, what about the impression of fasting with almost 17 hours? That is the question that is often asked relatives and friends in Indonesia. My answer exciting, interesting, and many temptations.
Because I previously only undergone fasting in Indonesia which only 12-13 hours is draining, and currently extra five extra hours from Indonesia. It is rather difficult, but with power of real intentions, Alhamdulillah, 17 hours fasting run smoothly.
Then with Ramadan in summer, temperature can reach up to 43 degrees Celsius. You can imagine, heat makes the body more quickly tired, dehydrated, sweaty and quickly thirsty.
Then how about the implementation of Tarawih prayers if at around 9 pm new Maghrib? Isya here just falling around 10 pm, Tarawih automatic just about starting after Isya or around 10:30 pm.
In mosque in area where my house lives, Imam who leads Tarawih usually reads long of Al Quran letters, so Tarawih finishes in midnight. While not less than three hours later had to get up to eat Sahur.
US is a country where Muslim minorities make fasting a little heavier and more tempting. Where I work, only I am a Muslim. When almost all the work friends put a drink in the corner of his desk like ice coffee or ice juice, Who does not drool ..
Plus when at break time my friends enjoy lunch, I only can smile. Some of my co-workers here do not know if this is Ramadan, and of course do not know what is fasting.
If the fasting month in Indonesia when it comes to breaking the fast, culinary food vendors begin to serve food or drink to break the fast, here there is no such thing.
So when I want a glass of ice to break the fast, I have to make it myself, no one sells fruity ice. In addition I also missed the culture of breaking fast together with family and friends.
Sometimes often envy with the condition of fasting in Indonesia, at 6 o'clock already breaking with various takjil easily accessible because the majority of Indonesia's population is Muslim.
Many people find it impossible to fast well in US. But the assumption is actually wrong. With construction of some mosques, and growing number of Muslims in US, non-Muslim residents in US began to understand and know about Ramadan.