Ramadan is the month-long tradition of spiritual renewal for Muslims around the world. With over 3.5 million American Muslims in the US and nearly 2 billion worldwide, this 30 day month is a time of spiritual rejuvenation as Muslims fast for all days of the month from sunrise to sunset. For 30 consecutive days, Muslims will refrain from eating during daylight hours. Their usual three meal a day routine is replaced by a more stoic two meals a day routine – Suhoor (the pre-dawn meal) and Iftar (the sunset post-fast meal). The day often ends with long hours of prayer and spiritual engagements. In general, Muslims spending increases during the month of Ramadan for food, experiences, gifts, etc. across sectors and the Islamic economy is projected to be $3.2 trillion by 2024, including interest areas like halal food, Islamic finance, and modest fashion.
For Muslim Gen Zers, Ramadan means routine changes in their routines as students, employees, and in their day to day lives. We have put together this guide on how workplaces can accommodate their Muslim employees in the longest religious festival celebrated in the world.
Gen Z is tired of banal digital content. A recent trend has young people responding to meaningless Tweets with impactful reflections on life. When @rik__16 asked, “Honest question… can Vanessa Bryant ever get remarried?,” thousands of Twitter users responded with musings like, “I once got paid $100 to pick cotton on a plantation for a Thomas Jefferson documentary” and “One of my first jobs was at a dairy milk plant where I dyed the milk a milky white color to hide all the blood.” It was also seen (on TikTok as well) regarding Ariana DeBose’s BAFTAS performance; as we covered in the March 6 edition, Gen Z pivoted the narrative to the award show’s racism instead of the campy performance. The trend, mostly originating from marginalized people, is a way to counteract the intense judgment directed towards POC and women. Whether it’s about an artist or celebrity, this pushback is a way to reclaim power and center discussions on what’s actually important.
The Oscars (rather, an extended ode to “Everything Everywhere All At Once”) were quite the event this year! With viewership up 12 percent from 2022, we saw a mélange of memeable moments, stunning performances, and celebrity goss. Amidst all of this chaos, what can Gen Z agree on? Three things: stan “EEAAO,” Jimmy Kimmel is unfunny, and the Best Supporting Actress award went to the wrong person. “EEAAO” swept the Oscars this award season, with 11 nominations and 7 wins; this makes it the most awarded film (150+). Fans of all ages and demographics rejoiced due to this win. @krispyryde mused, “Can’t believe the guys who directed the Turn Down For What music video are now sweeping at the Oscars and thanking public school teachers and supporting drag.” These wins had a special resonance for AAPI young people, especially women. As reported by the New York Times, only 23 of 1,808 acting Oscar nominees have been Asian. The emotional wins and speeches by cast members showed just how impactful a show discussing immigrants’ generational trauma has been since its release. “EEAAO”’s success across the board means much more than a trophy. Jimmy Kimmel hosted the Oscars this year, and young people agreed that the comedian was not up to the job description. The most infamous moment: a series of interview questions, the worst of which had him ask (The!) Malala Yousafzai, “Do you think Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine?” She quickly deflected, but people joined together to point out her discomfort and the strangeness of the inquiry. He then called her “Malala Land” (as a reference to “La La Land”) and made a bad joke about the 2022 Will Smith-Chris Rock incident. Of the Best Supporting Actress nominees — Angela Bassett, Hong Chau, Stephanie Hsu, Kerry Condon, and Jamie Lee Curtis — the latter seemed least likely to win in her mainly comedic role. As @aeligne said, “Never seen 4 people get robbed from an Oscar at once.” Though most people agree that this was a “legacy win” (rather than one for this specific performance), Gen Zers pointed out the incredible performances, especially from Bassett and Hsu, that deserved the award. One Hsu fan theorized that she didn’t win because that would make three of the four acting award winners AAPI. Those who took a joking angle to the win pointed out Curtis being the first Activia spokesperson to win an Oscar and asked what the yogurt brand had done to get her an award. Overall, the awards show was an impactful cultural moment for young people and beyond.
Silicon Valley Bank just crashed; let’s talk about what this means for Gen Z. The biggest banking crisis since 2008 started on March 10. SVB offered services tailored toward startups and venture-funded businesses and was the 16th largest US bank (the largest in Silicon Valley). It had been operating since 1983, with a large community involvement wing and sister subsidiaries in over 10 countries, but it was a few months of crisis that caused its demise. Beginning at the end of 2022, increased interest rates and a burst of the technology bubble were two of the main factors: the first because they did not diversify well enough, and the second because many of their investors and businesses were in the tech world. So, how does this concern young people? As of 2015, 65% of all US startups used SVB; for the year to date, 44% of US venture capital tech and healthcare IPOs banked with them. Gen Z is the generation of startups, from JUV (wink wink) to the thousands of other newly-budding businesses. Additionally, we are interested in nascent technology — 54% of Gen Z investors held cryptocurrency assets, and 11% had IPO shares, in 2022. Banks like SVB are more accessible to young and marginalized entrepreneurs. Mendoza Ventures partner Asya Bradley said “only SVB was there for most of the underrepresented founders.” Founders of color are much less likely to get VC funding and loans. Many older people also blamed young people and “wokeness” for the bank’s collapse. @BobBubBub, one example of this, Tweeted, “SVB was a financial playground for woke politically-correct, schemes. Its director of risk is a young minority lesbian focused on Woke.” @MrRockMan2001 said, “There will be LOTS of left wing Gen Z, blue haired goons who lose their jobs if SVB fails. Let it fail.” A conspiracy that SVB failed because its team included young, diverse people is currently abounding online. Jason Koebler’s Vice article is a perfect clap back to this theory. Only one man can save the economy now: MrBeast.
It’s everyone’s favorite time of the year: spring break szn! This year, Gen Z is loving the classics, with Florida, The Bahamas, Cancún, and other seaside destinations trending in popularity right now. Cruises (specifically party cruises) are having their moment now, as well. For the many students experiencing their first post-pandemic academic year, having the archetypal spring break trip is a must. AAA found that international travel interest is up 30% from 2022’s spring break season. Now is the moment to make up for lost vacation time! For the cuffed members of our generation, now is the time to joke about what happens when two partners are on different trips. Whether it’s Snap Maps or street interviews, watch your girl. Despite the number of jet-setters this year, many young people are also choosing to stay home. With the current economic crisis and the high prices of college education in the US, shelling out hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a week of fun is not viable. @n3wr0mant1cs lamented, “Looks like I’ll be spending my spring break working and smoking.” @officialarry1k posted, “pov: working while everyone in miami.” with the caption, “i didn’t wanna pay $500 to walk around & say ‘oh she bad.’” For some people, the grind never stops. According to TravelPulse, 21% of Gen Z will not be traveling. We know how young people are celebrating their time off from school, but how are they going to be able to return to classes after this fun?
✨ IYKYK ✨
✨ We’re no strangers to random updates within Gen Z. This trend on TikTok compiles some of the obscure reasons we’ll be OOO, from “my gf’s period” to having “a tuna salad sandwich.” What’s your status update?
✨ Time to dance! This remix of “Jackie Brown” by Brent Faiyaz is TikTok’s newest trend. STURDYYOUNGINN’s dance is super simple, so no need to worry if you’re choreo-challenged.
✨ Who else hates the sentence, “Has anyone ever told you that you look like …?” A current TikTok trend highlights the people who *actually are* that person. Check it out here!
Screenshot of the Week