There are about 7.6 billion people in the world. And about 24% of them – 1.8 billion – fast from sunrise to sunset. Every day. For a whole month.

This is Ramadan, the holiest month of the Muslim calendar.

But what if you are not a Muslim – just a caring, considerate person. Is there anything you need to do to not feel so insensitive to your friends who fast in the United States during Ramadan?

Short answer: No. Long answer: No.

But you can earn interesting points if you follow these 10 tips:

1. You can completely eat in front of us …

During the 30 days of Ramadan, Muslims around the world will abstain from eating and drinking during daylight hours. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t conduct business as usual. (Just don’t listen to our grumpy stomachs.)

2. … but try not to plan a working lunch

If you have to take a brown bag, you have to. But don’t regret it when we sit there like a vegetarian friend on a churascaria. Same for the happy watch mixer. If your Muslim colleague accepts the pass, understand.

3. You don’t have to fast with us …

You can if you want to see what it is. But it does not hurt our feelings – even if we are best friends.

4. … but you can join us for iftar

Iftar is a solution after sunset. We like to make this a great communal meal. You have to come.

5. You don’t have to know when it starts …

Ramadan is not like Christmas or Thanksgiving, because everyone knows exactly when it will fall. It bounces because the Islamic calendar is lunar. When it starts depends on when you see the new moon. Therefore, the exact dates change from year to year.

6. … but be a little flexible

The way we determine when Ramadan begins is clearly old school: you have to physically see the moon (even if there are programs for it). That’s why if your colleague says, “Can I start work earlier tomorrow to leave faster?” try to adapt.

7. We’ll go for coffee with you anyway …

No, we can’t drink. Not even water. But we will go with you if you want to relax.

8. … but we can keep our distance

One word: halitosis. You try not to eat or drink all day. That’s why we keep up with you when we talk.

9. You can say “Ramadan Mubarak” …

There is no controversy at the level of “war with Christmas” around congratulations (it means “Happy Ramadan”). Your Muslim colleague will appreciate the thoughtfulness.

10. … but please do not say, “I must also fast.” I need to lose weight ‘

Ramadan is not about that.

Previous articleCritics of Trump have gone back
Next articleAcademy of Natural Sciences: the first natural science institution in America