UNAIR NEWS – There are many stories from Muslims who practice fasting abroad, especially if the country has Muslim as minorities. There is indeed a different atmosphere in fasting abroad.
Afifah Nur Rosyidah, one of the alumni of Universitas Airlangga shared her story about the month of Ramadan in the land of cherryblossoms, Japan. Afifah is a Special Research Student at Kumamoto University, Computer and Electrical Engineering Department, Japan.
Interviewed by UNAIR NEWS via WhatsApp on Friday, June 8, Afifah said that there is no special atmosphere of Ramadhan in Japan. It is like any other months unlike in Indonesia. In Japan during the day people eat openly in public places.
“It feels like fasting alone. And it is natural for us, as Muslims here is the minority, ” she said.
However, there is something special for her. Afifah said that in Kumamoto there are many muslims. Residents from every country take turn to prepare the iftar event.
“Yes same like in Indonesia, we prepare takjil and iftar food,” she added.
Uniquely, continued Afifah, food prepared for a whole month only Arabian foods such as dates, apples, bananas, watermelons, juices, and curry.
“Once, it was Indonesians’ turn to prepare the food, we cooked and prepared the mixed rice. It was not popular, just Indonesian people like it, ” she added.
Regarding other worship such as tarawih prayer, before the month of Ramadan comes, Afifah and her fellow Muslim asked for permission to lab lecturer in order to perform tarawih prayer as laboratory activity lasts until the evening.
” Alhamdulillah we did not expect to get the permission from sensei (teacher, ed),” she said.
About the difference with in Indonesia, Afifah said that if in Indonesia the month of Ramadan becomes a moment of rest and focus of worship. During Ramadan, working hours in Indonesia will be reduced. While at night the mosque is full and crowded with the sound of the tadarus.
“In Indonesia we are fasting together,” she added.
Although she has left home since 2009, Afifah admitted that gathering with family and fasting at home is what she always loves. According to her, Ramadhan at home is the most healthy Ramadhan and it is always missed.
“I miss home if I remember moments like this,” she concluded.
Author: M. Najib Rahman
Editor: Nuri Hermawan