The moments we choose to celebrate lets people know what matters to us. It’s why I treat my birthday like the social event of the year; because it matters that much to me. I like to squeeze as much pomp and ceremony into the day as humanly possible, and the people around me, much to their dismay, know that it’s important. That know that it’s time to stop and take notice.
Thankfully, the people around me always come through on my birthday. They make a fuss. They mark the day. They write cards and messages. And in doing so, I feel loved, appreciated, seen and included in their lives. It’s not a day that means anything to them, and before they knew me it was just an ordinary day, but they make an effort for me
I’m sure the same is true for you and the people in your life. They mark the moments that mean something to you, and in doing so, you feel part of something bigger than just you. We do it all the time, and so it stands to reason that we can do it in our businesses and working lives too
Eid Is Coming
As we head into the final stretch of Ramadan, Muslims around the country are getting ready to celebrate Eid, the Muslim version of Christmas. Families are prepping meals, the kind that sink you into the best food comas, parents are frantically buying presents for friends and families, someone is stringing up decorations on a ladder that isn’t quite sturdy enough and grandmothers and aunties are preparing to ask all the single men and women when they’re going to get married. Just the usual chaos that anyone experiences around the festive season.
So, with Eid just round the corner, here are a few ideas:
- Send a company-wide communication, wishing all those celebrating a happy Eid
- Be lenient with days off for Muslim employees around this time. Islam works on a lunar calendar and what day Eid is all depends on the sighting of the moon. This year, Eid will either be Monday 2nd May or Tuesday 3rd May, but no one will know for sure until Sunday 1st at night. I’ve had many conversations with managers who have told me I can have the day off if I can let them know the exact day, at which point I have to painfully explain about moon sightings. Which admittedly made me feel a bit odd, and slightly witchy.
- Give your Muslim employees a gift. If you do this for Christmas, then apply it to Eid also. Pro-tip, don’t give a bottle of wine. A box of chocolates, however, is always a winner.
- Give/hold a charity drive. Charity is one of the key tenants of Islam, and at the end of Ramadan, on Eid, it’s obligatory for each Muslim adult to give to charity. It’s a huge part of the celebration. If your workplace donates to charities normally, you could ask your Muslim employees where they would like to donate this month’s money to, or you could hold a special donation initiative for Eid. Hello bake sale!
- Hold a special team Eid lunch. If you’ve got the budget and the time, and you have Muslim employees on your team, you could have an Eid team lunch. Everyone loves an excuse for a team outing, and it gives your employees a chance to celebrate together and learn about the holiday.
If you’ve got any questions or want to chat further about this, drop me an email and let’s talk.
Stay inclusive. Stay Diverse.
Chief Diversity Officer