The Ramadan is a special month for Muslims from all over the world. Not only because it is the month of fasting for Muslims. Also the atmosphere that comes along with this makes the Ramadan a very special experience. But it is a bit different to celebrate the Ramadan in the Netherlands! Different food, little or no family… Happily New to the Netherlands has some good tips to help you get through the month of fasting in this new country. Hopefully you will still be able to enjoy yourself a bit!

1. Family Feeling

The atmosphere during the Ramadan is all about the warm, family feeling. It is a month in which you do things together. Through this, the family feeling becomes even stronger. For example you visit family members who live far away or visit the mosque with the entire family.

Our tip: Many newcomers came to the Netherlands alone. They are perhaps waiting for a family reunification and miss their aunts and uncles. Try to create a kind of family feeling here with your new friends, or with your Dutch neighbors! Then at least you will have a very special Ramadan!

2. Not the food you are used to

In the Arabic world the sun often shines during the day and everywhere you go you can smell delicious things. Mothers and their sisters make the most wonderful meals for the entire family. Perhaps you are alone in the Netherlands, or you can’t cook, or you are unable to find the right ingredients? And a nice Maaroek sandwich, where can you find that in the Netherlands?

Our tip: perhaps the time has come to try some new tastes! How nice would it be to serve a Dutch meal as the first meal of the Ramadan?!

3. Watching television during the Ramadan

During the Ramadan in Arabic countries there are many series broadcast, so that people can watch television together during their evening meal (iftar).

Our tip: Don’t have a satellite? Then during this Ramadan you can try watching our Dutch programs with Dutch, English and Arabic subtitles. And starting on Monday 26 May you will be able to watch the Ramadan News every week on NPO 2. Via our Facebook page we can give you updates about this program.

4. Long days

Muslims fast during the Ramadan. They do not eat or drink anything during the day. In the Netherlands the Ramadan often takes place in the summer. That is why the days here seem to last much longer than newcomers are accustomed to!

Our tip? Unfortunately there is no solution for the long days. What you can do, is tell your boss and your co-workers that you are observing the Ramadan. Then they will be able to take this into consideration.