A question I am asked rather often as an ex-Muslim is whether or not I continue to participate in Islamic rituals, holidays, and celebrations as a cultural sort of thing, just as many former and never-Christians celebrate holidays like Easter and Christmas. The one “holiday” of which never-Muslims tend to be aware is Ramadan, which isn’t actually a holiday at all and has no appeal to me as a non-believer. Dehydration is bad, period, but especially in these long, dry, Southern Californian summer days.
There are other aspects of my cultural and religious background that I continue to honor or at least acknowledge for a variety of reasons: Filial duty, unchecked expectations, checked associations, the die-hard nature of old habits, and even, when it comes to a few specific things, a tinge of fond nostalgia.
All those play a role in how I feel about my two recent birthdays, just two months apart from each other, as well as my family wedding reception. Continue reading “Haramadan 2: A Wedding Reception”