Food, food culture, food as culture and the cultures that grow our food

Come to your senses, and fast

September 24, 2006

ramadan festival logo
The Ramadan Festival logo

Loving the lunar calendar convergence this year. Since Friday, I have celebrated the beginning of no less than 3 religious holidays, 2 of which are devoted to forms of fasting. It was a veritable autumnal fasting kickoff weekend as the new moon signaled the start of the Jewish New Year (one week to go until the Yom Kippur fast begins), the Hindu nine day fast of Navratri, and the first day of the Muslim month of Ramadan, an entire month of reflection through fasting.

I just got back from the opening of the Amsterdam’s Ramadan Festival, and if you’re in the Netherlands in the coming month and want to learn about and/or participate, go have a look-see at the festival website to sign up to host an Iftar (break the fast) meal, or sign up to be hosted by a Muslim family. During the entire month of Ramadan there will be a different site each evening where Iftar will be celebrated en group in the larger Dutch cities. Tonight I was plunked down at a table right next to the minister counsellor of the Malaysian embassy in the Hague and we had a great time talking about urban agriculture whilst nibbling on sweet things and drinking exceedingly sweet tea. Metuka! A sweet year awaits us!

The orthodox mishpocha from Amsterdam’s Portuguese Israelite Community (aka the P.I.G. - I kid you not) were present at the fĂŞte and couldn’t stop shooting off the shofar (a ram’s horn trumpet used to signal in the new year), which I hope was understood by all as a convivial gesture.

Even if you can’t read Dutch, go and check out the Ramadan Festival website. I cannot praise this initiative enough for it’s forward thinking and generously accessible approach, but I would like to add another hearty Chapeau! to the team that did the corporate identity and fab graphic design. Beautiful work! The programme booklet, aside from containing thoughtful programming, is absolutely smashing! Komen jullie weer bij ons eten? means, Fancy having dinner with us again? Yes please, if you’ll have me.

debra at 23:09 | | post to

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