I had a pretty intimate conversation with my host sister on Eid al-Fitr or also called sugar feast. This is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims that marks the end of the Ramadan. Some families celebrated the Salat on Monday, because it was a national holiday, but my family celebrated the Salat on Tuesday. They believed that the sugar feast is the day after they had seen the moon. When people see the moon, they grab a gun and fire into the air to communicate that the moon is visible.
On Tuesday I woke up and I was invited to go with my host family to the Salat (Islamic prayer). They put on their most beautiful clothes, especially white clothes (cleanness). I had also to wear a hijab. I looked around and I saw two of my host sisters cooking. So I was wondering why they didn’t prepare themselves to go to the Salat. The oldest sister answered;
‘I am not pure today, so I can’t go to the Salat. You can only do the Salat if you are pure.’
I didn’t understand what she meant. So I asked: ‘Why are you not pure today?’
‘Well I have my period now so I can’t pray, because I am not pure and you can’t enter a Musk.’
I was really surprised, because I didn’t know that you couldn’t pray when you’re not pure. I was very interested and I was wondering whether they could fast when they have their period. She answered; ‘No, it’s the same as you are sick, you have to catch the day.’
We were talking a little bit and the next subject we were talking about was boy friends.
She ask me; ‘Do you have a boyfriend.’ I answered yes I do.
‘How did you meet him?’
‘Well I was on a vacation in Italy and we met over there.’
And how did you introduce him to your family?
Because I met him on a holiday, my parents knew him before I had a relationship with him. But in Holland we are very open with relationships.
‘That is very different from here. I had to keep my relationship secret. My mother or father could not see us together.
‘Wow isn’t that hard?’
‘Yeah sometimes it is, because in Ghana social relationships are very important and you know a lot of people of your community. Everybody knows everybody, so we can’t be intimate in public spaces. First you have to marry.’
‘But can you talk about this theme with others?’
‘Yes but only girls with girls and boys with boys.’
The conversation was stopped because my host mother called me, because we had to go to the Salat. I really liked this conversation, because you see a different world, culture and mentality. Unfortunately I couldn’t film the interview, because this conversation was spontaneous. And I think that it is better to have such a conversation than a prepared conversation.