As Ramadan knocks on the door, cities worldwide light up and prepare for the month of fasting, but in Copenhagen life goes on as it normally would. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar – it’s a time of fasting for Muslims. During this time food and drink are not allowed to be consumed from dawn to sunset. During the fast, we are not allowed to eat or drink anything. For me, during the summer back home, the fasts last for only 14-16 hours, but in Denmark, the sun sets close to 10 pm and rises at 4 am. That’s 20 hours of fasting during the hottest summer Demark has ever experienced.
When I applied for my study abroad program I didn’t really take into account that I was going to be spending Ramadan abroad, on my own, in the land where the sun never sets. I was really nervous about having to walk everywhere in the hot sun and I thought I was going to miss out on a lot of activities because of my lack of energy.
While traveling, it’s easy to become dehydrated when you’re not fasting, and even easier to do so while fasting. I made sure to hydrate plenty during the evening. I also made sure to take things slowly instead of trying to see all of Copenhagen at once. I realized that six weeks was more than enough time to sightsee and I made it a goal of mine to go sight-seeing at least three times out of the week and to do at least a couple of activities throughout the week. This allows me to enjoy my time without feeling drained. Fasting during my study abroad trip has definitely made this experience better.
Ruweida Kulane is a freshman at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance and Entrepreneurship. Ruweida is spending the summer abroad with DIS Study Abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark as a Gilman Scholar.
Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.