By Milan Perera, News Writer
As the holy month of Ramadan drew to an end, Muslim students at the University of Bristol came together to celebrate the event with a vibrant and diverse Ramadan Bazaar held at the Student Union Living Room in Senate House.
The Ramadan Bazaar was organised by the Student Union (SU) of the University of Bristol in collaboration with the University of Bristol Islamic Society (Brisoc) which showcased the rich culinary traditions of different countries, offering a gastronomic journey through different cultures.
The Student Living Room was transformed with colourful decorations, festive lights, and the aroma of delicious food wafting through the air. The event was attended by students, staff and well-wishers creating a sense of inclusivity and community.
The highlight of the evening was the array of stalls with food and beverages that represent the student community at University of Bristol.
The stalls were showcasing the unique culinary heritage and flavours of the respective countries. From savoury to sweet, visitors were treated to a plethora of mouth-watering dishes.
One stall featured freshly fried samosas and kebabs from Pakistan, while another offered crispy spring rolls from Indonesia. The Emirati stall had a range of hummus, falafel, doughnuts and Arabic coffee, while the Turkish stall offered flatbread and baklava.
The event was not just about food, but also about cultural exchange and understanding. Students from different countries and backgrounds came together to share their traditions, stories, and experiences. It was a melting pot of diversity, where people engaged in conversations, learned about different cultures, and celebrated the spirit of Ramadan.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world fast from sunrise to sundown. In addition to abstaining from eating and drinking, those who fast also restrain themselves from ill thoughts, speech, and action. At the end of Ramadan Eid al-Fitr is celebrated and is one of the most anticipated holidays in the Islamic calendar.
Speaking to Epigram, Adam Michael, Union Affairs Officer of the Students' Union highlighted the importance of Ramadan for Muslims around the world :
‘Ramadan is something I’ve always known. I started fasting when I was seven. For me as a practicing Muslim it’s a great reset. Every year you fall in to the rhythms of the world but Ramadan is a time to be more engaged in prayer and fasting.’
Dilara Eren, the Interfaith Representative of Brisoc who was also representing the Turkish Society pointed out the significance of Ramadan:
‘It’s said that you compare breaking your fast to patience. So, just when you are fasting you know that you will be able to eat eventually. That’s like patience in life. You put your trust in God and eventually God will answer your prayers. Whenever I’m fasting I feel more God-conscious and it reminds me to be patient. Just like I’d be able to break my fast, God always hears my prayer.’
Abdu Khalifazoda, a second-year Economics student from Kyrgyzstan, and also the secretary of Brisoc reflected on the community spirit during the feast of Ramadan:
‘We all come together during this beautiful time to break bread and have some fruitful conversations. At this point borders don’t even matter anymore. We are all brothers and sisters in Islam and in humanity.’
Adnan Qureshi, the Vice President of Brisoc explained how an event like Ramadan Bazaar creates a cohesive atmosphere for students from around the world:
‘Ramadan is a very special moment for us. During this time we can spend time with others. Even when you are away from your family you can always feel a sense of community regardless of your race or nationality. We are coming together under this banner of faith. This is a time for jubilation and happiness. You can feel closer to God and realise that your purpose in life is fulfilled. This is what Ramadan means to us.’
According to the organisers, Ramadan Bazaar at the SU Living Room was a resounding success culminating in the sighting of the new moon. It was a celebration of diversity, culture, and community, showcasing the power of food to bring people together.