Gurugrammers relish interfaith iftar gatherings | gurgaon | Hindustan Times
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Gurugrammers relish interfaith iftar gatherings

Celebrating togetherness and unity, Gurgrammers are soaking in the spirit of Ramzan, by organising interfaith Iftar get togethers in the city.

gurgaon Updated: Jun 14, 2018 17:51 IST
Naina Arora
Naina Arora
Hindustan Times
Ramzan,Iftar,Gurugram
Gurugram residents bond over interfaith iftar gatherings in the Millennium City. (Facebook/ShahlaAhmed)

Interfaith iftars have sprung up all over the country to offer Muslims and non-Muslims a chance to bond over food. And in Gurugram, they are slowly establishing a tradition of communities not only relishing food, but also busting stereotypes, learning communal harmony anew, and talking culture together.

For author Nazia Erum, the inspiration came from other Muslim women. The writer of Mothering a Muslim says the idea of organising an interfaith iftar came about when she saw some Muslim women do it. “It all started with Muslim women opening their homes, and cooking with a lot of love for strangers. The idea was to call people who have never been to an iftar or never shared bread with a Muslim family. We did many last year also in Delhi, Noida, Mumbai, Kolkata, Guwahati and Hyderabad. Gurugram was the first one this year,” says the author of Mothering a Muslim, adding, “The Gurugram one was beautiful because a lot of people attended the feast for the time, and many were from different regions of India. Some of those who hosted these were non-Muslims.”

Erum explains, “It’s a heartfelt initiative because there is no economic side to it — 10 of us cook one dish. People open their homes for us. Somebody says ‘I’ll take care of the Chole or paneer’, ‘I’ll take care of the Biryani’, each co-host gets six guests and those six guests have to be someone who has never been to an iftar.”

The attendees love the idea, too. “We loved the idea of an interfaith iftar. I had never been to any iftar before this. I took my friend along, too. And when I came back, I had some great new friends,” says Hina Arora, who attended one such iftar.

Glimpse from the Gurgaon Nagrik Ekta Manch’s interfaith iftar gathering.
“I attended the mutli- faith iftar party for the first time . The food was fabulous. A special effort was made to break stereotypes. We did an activity where we wrote one myth that was fed by the society, which was later discussed anonymously,” says resident Neela Kaushik

Gurugram-based film-maker Saba Dewan, who is part of Gurugram citizen’s group ,Gurgaon Nagrik Ekta Manch, that also hosted an intercommunity Iftar on Sunday at a community centre, says: “The Iftars are strengthening the bondsof friendship and love between citizens. Gurugram, today, has a very diverse population and we see this as a first step in bringing different groups together. [The idea was] to get them together, break bread and start a dialogue. We got all sections of society together for this iftar, and even made extra efforts to get people from the villages, too.” The event also saw song recital by students.

Gurugram residents relish the delicacies on display.

And while they’re at it, why not go along shattering some pre-conceived notions about communities? Neela Kaushik, a resident, says, “I attended a multi-faith iftar party for the first time. The food was fabulous. A special effort was made to break stereotypes — we did an activity where we wrote one myth that was fed by society, which was later discussed anonymously.”

Interact with the author at Twitter/ @Nainaarora8

First Published: Jun 14, 2018 17:48 IST