Studying abroad is often about learning about and experiencing new cultures and traditions typical of the host country, but the experience can also be enriched by finding new ways to celebrate your own customs and traditions in the new environment. In this blog post Jihaan shares how celebrating Ramadan and Eid, important festivities from her home country, in Amsterdam led her to create deeper connections with and learn more about the Dutch-Indonesian community in the Netherlands.
As someone who has had the pleasure of spending time in Amsterdam and the Netherlands, I can tell you firsthand that the social life and connections here are truly something special. Dutch people are known for their open-mindedness, friendliness, and genuine care for others, which makes it easy to meet new people and make lasting connections.
One of the highlights of my time in the Netherlands was getting to experience Ramadan here. I was fortunate enough to break the fast with people in my community and even opened up my own home to host a gathering for people to break their fast together. It was a beautiful experience, and it allowed me to connect with people on a deeper level.
Another way that I was able to connect with people during my time in Amsterdam was through participating in congregational prayers at the mosque. The community here is incredibly welcoming, and I was able to make many Muslim friends who have become like family to me.
Of course, food is always a central part of any social gathering, and I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to cook typical Eid dishes with my friends. The flavors and aromas of these dishes are truly something special, and it was a wonderful way to come together and celebrate the end of Ramadan.
Finally, I was also able to connect with Indonesian friends and their families to celebrate Eid together. The Netherlands has a rich cultural history, and it was fascinating to learn more about the Indonesian culture and traditions that are still celebrated here today.
All in all, my time in Amsterdam and the Netherlands has been full of opportunities to connect with others and build lasting relationships. Whether it's through breaking the fast during Ramadan, participating in congregational prayers, or sharing a meal with friends, there is always something to do and someone to connect with here.