4th of July and Ramadan
I have been reflecting on several traditions lately.
We live in a time where the world is more inter-connected than ever. Communication and technology enable us to know about what is happening across the country and across the world. The world also has people on the move in unprecedented patterns of immigration – some seeking opportunity and others seeking safety. For the United States – this is not new. We are a mixture of legacies and most of us are descendants of people from all over the globe. Next week is the Fourth of July Holiday – when we celebrate the creation of the United States as a country. It makes me think about the wonderful diversity of histories, cultures, religions and people that make this a great country. I wish you all a good holiday and hope you have a safe time with family and friends.
For many FM employees, next week will also bring about the end of Ramadan. Ramadan is a holy month for the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims. It is an annual period of prayer, fasting (abstaining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset) and giving to charity. It follows the lunar calendar so it is not at the same time each year (moving earlier about 10 days each year). This year is began June 5th and ends July 5th. I grew up knowing next to nothing about the traditions of Muslims – and only during my time in FM have I begun to learn more, often from co-workers here at the University. I wish all participating in this holy month well during their observance.