Calgary Muslims yesterday marked the first day of Ramadan, the holy month in Islam where adherents abstain from most activities in which things enter or leave the body.

While Muslims across the globe observe Ramadan together in the same way, Muslim youth in western countries have a unique experience in observing the holiday.

“(My friends) always ask me questions and I love explaining to them everything and they always seem very interested,” said Sumaiya Huq, an active member of Mount Royal University’s Muslim Students Association.

She said the point of Ramadan is not necessarily just the fasting, it’s to practise self-control in your everyday conduct, including refraining from talking behind others’ backs or lying.

“There are times when controlling yourself may be quite difficult ... but at the end it feels good,” said Huq.

She said having other Muslim friends and community members observing with her makes Ramadan easier and more fun.

“If a lot of Muslims are participating with me, then it’s more like a celebration all the time.”