To all those who fasted, celebrated, or acknowledged Ramadan, please have a Blessed and Happy Eid this weekend as the feast begins on Sunday.
Eid marks the end of Ramadan which is a month of daily fasting from dawn until dusk and a month of giving charity.
It’s all about the food this Sunday
Muslim around the world and in Toronto will celebrate Eid this Sunday with a feast. The food at various celebrations across will vary greatly representing the vast cultural mix of people who are Muslim. Culinary delights rooted in tastes found across Asia, Africa, and Europe (areas such as the Mediterranean, and the Balkans) will grace the tables of homes, mosques and community centers beginning early Sunday morning. Modern mixes of juices and smoothies will be upstaged by traditional milks boiled with almonds and raisins and saffron, drinks with rose water and apricot nectar, seeds and herbs, mint and basil will be shared among friends and family. Meets and savories with varying degrees and mixes of spices will sampled and taken across to neighbours and and friends along with baked goods and desserts.
There is nothing like food to bring people together. Combined with the collective hardship of fasting there is also a unity in the celebration that begs to be shared.
The kid next door
Muslims apparently make up over 7% of the 6.4 million people in the Greater Toronto Area (link). Like any other group of people categorized by “religion”, Muslims are a pretty diverse bunch. For those who have been following CNN’s United Shades of America, you may have caught on to the fact that, as with many other ‘religious groups’, identity and group affiliation is as much cultural as it is based on belief.
This year the City of Toronto hosted a ‘Fast in the 6’ event at Nathan Phillips Square on June 9th to celebrate the themes of diversity, unity and prosperity, Torontonians of all sorts gathered for a shared experience of breaking fast at sunset and fundraising for the Daily Bread Food Bank. It was an evening of arts, entertainment and, at sunset, food, hosted by G98’s Mark Strong.
While great things happen all over the City, it necessary to boast (in our blog) that our little corner of the world at Eglinton and Oakwood / Dufferin has always been a place of diversity welcoming new people and traditions and histories evolving together. The Muslim population of our neighbourhood is not evident, however, there are two mosques within a 10 minute walk of our main corners and you can find Halal restaurants if you care to look. If you stop for a while and chat on the street you will find more people, Muslim or not with Eid stories to share than you would have expected.
And as always, we invite you to visit.