Category Archives: Religion

Life goes on

At the end of the Ramadan, when Muslims celebrate with their family, I was wondering what that day would be like for our neighboring widow (see a previous blog). Would she be allowed to take part in the celebrations? ‘Of … Continue reading

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Back to normal

After 30 days of fasting the Ramadan came to an end for the Malian Muslims. For a moment it looked like they would have to join their Indonesian brothers and sisters in an extra day of fasting, it being too … Continue reading

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For the rich only

It must have been late last year when I asked Amadou for his birthday. He had murmured a bit, not mentioning a particular date, stating that birthdays are for the rich only. I had respected his choice of not giving … Continue reading

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The circle of life

Yesterday morning I woke up with the sounds of people screaming and crying and finally a man’s voice trying to calm them down. My sleepy mind noticed this very uncommon situation and I wondered what was going on. In the … Continue reading

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The Ramadan blues…

Every religion and way of living comes with its particularities. The Muslim religion for instance comes with five prayers a day and 30 days of fasting called Ramadan. Mali being an about 90% Muslim country, life has changed from one … Continue reading

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An extra pair of hands

Part of the Muslim religion is the 30-day period of fasting, called Ramadan. A time for reflection, for being closer to God, for self discipline, for thinking of people who are less fortunate than you are and many more things. … Continue reading

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Polygamy in daily life

Mali being a Muslim country it is legally accepted for a man to have up to four wives and in daily life you’ll find that many have two and some indeed do have four. It’s allowed by the Koran and … Continue reading

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Vampires and witches…

‘Amadou, do you believe in vampires?’, a guest staying at my house asked. Amadou looks at him with a puzzled faint smiling face as if he’s wondering how anyone could possibly be so ignorant. With a tone of disbelief in … Continue reading

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The nature of giving and receiving

‘Madame, donnez-moi un cadeau! Donnez-moi mille franc! Un bic? Un bonbon?’ Slogans like this will be heard from many children and they lead to a variety of reactions with travelers. Even if we are far from rich in our own … Continue reading

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Christmas in Mali…

With over 85% of the Malian population being Muslim, you won’t find much of a Christmas atmosphere. With no Christmas trees or decorations to be found and warm sunlit days I found it hard to realize Christmas was coming up. … Continue reading

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