Current Weather
The Spy FM

Cream-cheese puri and 30 balloons: An American Ramadan (with audio gallery)

Filed by KOSU News in Public Insight Network.
August 20, 2012

Story produced by Meg Martin and Jeff Jones

During the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, many American Muslims embrace the cultural and religious traditions passed on to them across the generations.

But as they begin to have kids, parents — both immigrant and American-born, whether they were born into Islam or converted later — are finding ways to integrate their childhood traditions with those of their friends, neighbors and communities to create a wholly American Ramadan for their children — one that reflects the cultures, tastes, sounds and melding of experiences within their own lives.

They’re using social media to share ideas for making Ramadan more memorable — and meaningful — for their kids. And, like their counterparts in other religions and cultures, they’re creating their own family traditions to engage the newest generation in their faith.

The result: A Ramadan still centered on fasting, reflection and charity but that looks, sounds — and tastes! — very different from what they or their parents knew as children.

For Amy Hossain and her family, this Ramadan has become the Ramadan of cream-cheese puri, as she looks for creative suhoor meals to sustain her growing girls through the month’s fasts.

Ahmad Fahmy‘s daughter is 6 months old, so it’s his first Ramadan as a father. As he reflects on what that means, he’s finding even the basic routines of parenthood are tiny  acts of worship in this holy month.

For Asma Khan, Ramadan has shifted from the Pakistani holiday of her childhood to the American one she celebrates with her daughters. “I want my children to know it’s not a religion of culture, but a religion of many cultures,” she says.

Kung Pik Liu, along with her husband, Jontie Karden, has integrated her childhood traditions from Hong Kong into Jontie’s Circassian traditions to teach her 4-year-old daughter about the generosity that goes hand-in-hand with the prayerfulness and fasting of Ramadan.

Sharmina Zaidi and her family have blown up 30 balloons (to represent the 30 days of Ramadan), filled them with candy and notes about what they’re thankful for, and pop one each night as they break their fast. They’re counting down the days until it’s time to get dressed up and head to downtown Dallas on what the kids call “The Eid Train,” which will take them to the convention center to mark the end of Ramadan (which happens this week) with Eid prayers.

For each of these parents, most of whom are American-born and some of whom moved here more recently, the Ramadan experience they’re creating for their children is wholly American: A fusion of traditions old and new, borrowed and created, of faith and food and fasting and community.

Powered by WPeMatico

Leave a Reply

5AM to 9AM Morning Edition

Morning Edition

For more than two decades, NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports.

Listen Live Now!

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

View the program guide!

10AM to 11PM On Point

On Point

On Point unites distinct and provocative voices with passionate discussion as it confronts the stories that are at the center of what is important in the world today. Leaving no perspective unchallenged, On Point digs past the surface and into the core of a subject, exposing each of its real world implications.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center