I am dealing (as a Christian in Western Europe in a Syrian refugee situation) with a (perfectly nice) about-10-year old girl, who for now speaks almost only Arabic (which I don't). She is not having lunch and I'm by now pretty sure it is because of Ramadan. (She's also quite tired each day.)
Before I thought about Ramadan as an explanation, I tried to suggest to her repeatedly to eat or drink at lunchtime. Once she took some bare bread and once some pineapple compote, but otherwise she just smiles a bit shyly and shakes her head. I now no longer do that because I think it would be disrespectful to her culture and may cause harm in her family. I never see her parents, just two older sisters who are also at the very early stages of learning the local language (and perhaps also English for that matter). Lunchtime must be pretty tough on the girl, because lots of local kids are eating next to her.
Here is my question (which I will put also to local adult Muslims when I get the chance): What, if anything, can one reasonably infer about the religious background and mindset of a family who teaches a young girl to observe Ramadan? (My understanding is the Quran says it's optional for the sick and for kids.) For instance: Is this considered a "normal" or "rather extreme" practice? Is this common in a certain area or sub-community?
P.S. It just came to mind that the same behavior was already present also last week, so perhaps Ramadan (which apparently began on June 6) and religion is not the (entire) reason after all.