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Reinventing support for cultural practice in the workplace: Ramadan

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Delta Capita want to do everything we can to sustain employee success. This includes supporting cultural practices and celebrations, which are an important part of many people’s lives and wellbeing.

As Ramadan begins, Delta Capita supports our Muslim colleagues as they start fasting for a whole month. We ask all our employees to show extra consideration for fasting team members, and extend kindness in and out of the workplace.

As we wish all our Muslim employees a blessed Ramadan, Priya Bhatia, assistant manager in our Operate line of business, looks at the celebration and what it means to Muslim communities.

What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community activities observed by Muslims worldwide. They celebrate it as the month in which the prophet Muhammad received the initial revelations of the Quran, the Islamic holy book. The Quran guides Muslims on how to live their lives and practice Islam. Fasting, which means not eating or drinking, is one of the five fundamental principles of Islam, and Muslims observe this from dawn to dusk each day during Ramadan.

When is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the 12-month Islamic lunar calendar. This calendar falls short instead passes through the seasons. In 2022, Ramadan will be celebrated from sunset on 2 April to sunset on 1 May.

What are the principles of Ramadan?
Ramadan is a time to practice self-restraint and reflection. As well as fasting during daylight hours, Muslims abstain from worldly activities and avoid any unkind or impure thoughts and words, and immoral behaviour during this time in order to focus more on their faith and avoid being distracted. It is a time for self-reflection, and self-control. They see fasting as a way to cleanse the soul and feel empathy for those who are less fortunate and unable to eat.

Muslims still go to work and school and continue their other usual activities during Ramadan. Some also read the entire Quran, say special prayers, and attend mosques more frequently during this time. The first pre-dawn meal of the day during Ramadan is called “suhoor”, and each day Muslims break the fast with a meal known as “iftar”. Iftars are often elaborate feasts celebrated with family and friends. The types of food served vary according to each culture. But traditionally many Muslim cultures eat dates to break the fast.

What happens at Eid ul-Fitr?
Muslims mark the conclusion of Ramadan with a big celebration known as Eid ul-Fitr – the Feast of Fast-Breaking. It starts the day after Ramadan ends – 2 May this year – and lasts for three days. There are processions through the streets and a special celebratory meal – the first daytime meal fasters will have had in a month.

While celebrating the end of fasting, Muslims also thank Allah for the Quran and for the strength He gave them throughout the month of fasting. During Eid ul-Fitr, Muslims dress up, decorate their homes and spend time with friends, family and neighbours. They give money to the poor and less fortunate, so they can also enjoy the day. They also hold communal celebration services outdoors and in mosques.

This is the first in a series of articles about our employees’ religious beliefs and practices. Delta Capita want all our employees to feel included, regardless of their background or beliefs. We support and encourage staff to allocate time to their cultural practices, and to their physical and mental wellbeing too. Employees that feel supported in these activities generally feel healthier, happier, and have more sense of belonging and engagement at work.

Are you looking for a new workplace that values diversity and employee wellbeing? Check out our latest vacancies here.

Also find out how Delta Capita are reinventing the workplace through employee-centric projects at our Reinventing Hub.