Last year my friend Asakiyume, whose family is Catholic but who admires Ramadan, decided to fast for Lent the way people do for Ramadan — all day until sunset. She saw the fasting as a way to connect to people who have no choice about hunger.
Some members of my extended family observe Ramadan, but it’s their religion. And I knew a Somalian in Minneapolis to whom I once, in my ignorance, said, “Happy Ramadan.” He laughed and told me patiently that Ramadan wasn’t about “happy,” rather it was a time of reflection and sacrifice. I realized my blooper was a bit like saying “Happy Good Friday” or “Happy Yom Kippur.” One doesn’t say “Happy Lent” either. “Happy” is for the day before Lent and Mardi Gras.
Read about Asakiyume’s thought process and why she once borrowed another religion’s custom here. She writes a wonderfully eclectic blog full of deep thoughts and photos from her walks that suggest mythical vistas and fantasy characters to her.
(Today, of course, it is perfectly fine to say Happy Valentine’s Day! And if you missed getting birthstone-jewelry hearts for your Valentine at Luna & Stella, here, fear not! Mother’s Day is just around the corner, May 12.)