It can get pretty awkward explaining to co-workers and peers that you can’t join them for lunch because you’re fasting. I think it makes a really nice gesture if you bring in treats for your office, letting them know the celebrations for Ramadan have begun. This way, they’ll feel like they’re part of the festivities too (who doesn’t love a holiday?!) and it’s a great way to break the ice about the whole fasting thing.
Last year when I took in treats to Chatelaine, one of my co-workers said something that really stuck with me. She was telling me about how her boyfriend would come home from work and complain about one of his co-workers who was fasting. Apparently that particular fasting Muslim was all cranky at work to a point where his co-workers were really resenting him. This girl’s boyfriend would go on about how he can’t wait for Ramadan to be over so that his Muslim co-worker would quit being such a pain. At this, my co-worker told her boyfriend that not all Muslims get cranky like that and gave my example saying how at work I brought in samosas for everyone. Her boyfriend was super shocked.
It’s amazing how small gestures like this can totally change people’s opinions of a religious practice.
Since I’m working from home this summer and don’t see my co-workers till the end of the month, I made some treat bags for my family to give off to people they work with tomorrow. The bags read “It’s Ramadan, Have a Treat!” It doesn’t have to just be co-workers though. My mom is giving one to her fitness instructor; she’s sparked up a friendship with her.
I try to hand out treats that I know will appeal to everyone. I did samosas last year because in multi-cultural Toronto, samosas, and even things like hummus, are typical finger foods at every work related event. This year I’m going with giant cookies. M&M cookies to be exact. They’re my favourite and so bright and colourful, they’re perfect for summer! I used this recipe to make mine.
You can fill up your treat bags with whatever you like – whether it’s baked goods or some finger food that’s particularly associated with Ramadan in your culture.
I thought cookies would look particularly nice in the glassine bags you see pictured above rather than brown bags. Only thing with glassine though is that you can’t put it in the printer because it may melt. So to get around that, I printed off my design on clear sticker paper and then attached that on to my glassine bags. I cut my sticker paper the same size as my glassine bag so I didn’t get any lines hinting that I stuck on a sticker.
To make your own glassine bags for Ramadan, you can download my free printable.
I purchased my glassine bags at The Creative Bag (located in both Toronto and Mississauga), otherwise check with your arts and craft supply store or local wedding supply store for them. They only cost about $2-3 for a pack of 10. I went with the 5 1/2″ x 7 1/4″ size. For clear sticker paper, I contacted Kinkos who printed off my sticker labels for me for about $1 per sheet. The whole project cost me less than $15. If you have a printer at home that works (unlike mine!) you can actually get clear sticker paper from stores such as Staples for about the same price and print at home.
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