Yellow Fort

I had one of the more meaningful experiences of my trip so far on Saturday night, when I went to the Yellow Fort to see the cannon fired off at the end of the day. I must admit, I felt a little awkward. Part of me felt like I was intruding a bit, since (seemingly) everyone else there was waiting to break their fast. I actually left the top of the fort because it was so busy, and most of the tables were reserved for people waiting to have iftar. But I found a spot at the below the fort to take it all in, and it was a really interesting experience. It was incredibly busy, and people were gathering on the grass below the fort. Lots of people brought their own food, with pizza appearing to be the dish of choice. What struck me the most is that the streets were incredibly packed, with very little room for parking. Yet there wasn’t a lot of horn honking or yelling. People seemed to realize that they were all there to have a meaningful experience and that there was no need to get angry, and that was cool to see. It was interesting to watch all these hungry people starting to get a little antsy as the sun was going down. Children who were being cranky seemed to be (at least in my interpretation) getting the “Be quiet, you haven’t been fasting all day!” treatment. And seeing how happy people were when they could finally eat and drink was a sight to behold. Even though I am decidedly not religious, I have a lot of respect for the sacrifices that people can make for their faith, in an attempt to better themselves. I also really value the sense of community and tradition that fasting seems to create among practicing Muslims here in Bosnia, and we got to experience a very small amount of that when we had iftar last week.


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