Hello dear readers,
I hope you found the previous article about Ramadan intriguing and interesting. I decided to write a follow-up post after I remembered that some of my friends have previously asked me about the ethics of “Ramadaning” including what to do or what not to do when invited to an Iftar with a Tunisian family!
#1. Prepare Yourself to Eat a Lot of Food
Ramadan is about fasting during the day and eating tons of food during the Iftar. The amount of food is insane, and the amount of food waste is also absurd.
#2. Communicate your Preferences when it Comes to Food
Make sure you let the host family know if you have any preferences when it comes to how spicy you like your food to be.
If you can’t tolerate spicy food, you might want to flag that to them in advance. As Tunisians we love our Harissa spices and not everyone can tolerate that.
Suggested Read: Top 10 Foods to Eat in Tunisia
#3. Make Sure you Show Up on Time
The specific time for breaking the fast is set and the last few minutes prior to the call for prayer are usually the hardest. So being late is considered being culturally inappropriate so make sure you are on time.
#4. Brace Yourself to a Minimum Meal of 4 Courses
There will be Tunisian soups, salads, the famous briks, main course and a variety of Ramadan related desserts that I will write about in an upcoming blog post.
My only recommendation would be to encourage you to portion your intake. You don’t want to eat too much of one dish and end up being rude by not trying anything from the rest of the dishes.
Suggested Read: For the Love of Tuna?
#5. Make Sure you Emphasize how Tasty the Food Is
The person who is hosting you is probably fasting when he or she cooked the meals and invited you so make sure you complement them and emphasize how tasty the food is. I know this is basic human niceties but it doesn’t harm to remind y’all of how important this is.
In case you hated the food you still need to be kind and just pretend it is tasty (go home and order pizza).
#6. Bring a Sweet Treat or Healthy Dessert
Bring a sweet treat or healthy dessert (mainly fruits or baked goodies tons of options to pick from. Don’t show up empty handed. That’s not the nicest thing to do and don’t bring a bottle of wine.
Even if your friend drinks, Tunisians are weird, and they might fast and won’t really appreciate being given wine.
#7. Offer Helping with the Dish-Cleaning Once the Meal is Over
But be ready to be told no. It is known in the Tunisian culture that guests should not clean the dishes after being invited for a meal!
#8. Ramadan TV shows
Some Tunisians love Ramadan TV shows so they might want to watch them while eating. Be patient with that. I hate (I know, I know hate is a strong word but I mean it) those stupid shows.
They mean nothing to me because I have never owned a TV but some Tunisians love Ramadan soap operas.
#9. You’ll Get Invited for a Second Iftar
Tunisians will most likely tell you to come for an iftar again for a second time. But they won’t necessarily mean it! So think about whether you will join then again or not!
Remember, inviting people over for Ramadan can be costly especially if the hosts are not well-off Tunisians.
#10. Make Sure you Let the Host Know your Plan
Ramadan is the holy month where people really like to stay up late (sometimes super late until sunrise) so plan to stay up late if invited.
If you need to leave by a certain time, make sure you let the host know in advance because there might be a second round of food and dessert.
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