What Ever Happened to the Ramadan Spirit?
Year after year, Egyptians try harder to maintain the Ramadan spirit, but something always seems to be missing.
Below are some examples:
1- Ramadan decorations everywhere
2- Special Ramadan menus
3- Lanterns in every single social media ad
4- Every nightclub, restaurant, café is a Ramadan tent
5- Konafa and sohour carts everywhere
6- WhatsApp groups being renamed “3ayzeen Neftar Youm”
7- Every single Instagram post is captioned #RamadanGatherings or #RamadanVibes
Those desperate attempts to revive the Ramadan spirit that we oh-so long are proven to us, year after year, that they aren’t enough. However, many people find it hard to comprehend why the Ramadan spirit is still missing; Ramadan might be happening, but it lacks of the life and soul we used to experience during the holy month back in the ’90s and ’00s.
From my intensive analysis, there are several interrelated reasons that make us miss the Ramadan spirit. The reasons are interrelated in the sense that each of the reasons solidifies one another, or is the cause of another reason.
Ramadan has transformed from a holy month of worshiping, to an opportunity for business owners to drain money out of consumers in one way or another. The so-called holy month is now a high season for competing TV shows, advertisements, overly-priced tents, etc. Naturally, that led everything in Ramadan to be more materialistic than it used to be. Consequently, everyone is now trying to sell the “Ramadan vibes” people are desperately searching for.
The streets may be filled with Ramadan decorations, yet they’re empty of the people that used to actually celebrate it. Everyone is racing to reserve their place in that restaurant they’ll feel more popular at when they check-in or post about on Instagram.
The rise of individualism and the nuclear family substituted the collectivism and large family gatherings that used to exist before. Even when large family gatherings do happen, everyone either has their faces stuck on their iPhones and Samsung tablets, or thinking about when they should leave to be home in time for their favorite mosalsal.