Cultural celebration for end of Ramadan

By T Whitsed

Shepparton’s Hazara community will put its culture on show to celebrate Eid — a huge celebration marking the end of Ramadan, a holy month of fasting observed by Muslims.

Organised by a local group of Hazara youth, the event is open to people of all ages and backgrounds and will feature traditional music, dance and food with support from Multicultural Arts Victoria and the Ethnic Council of Shepparton.

Meeting regularly in the past several months to plan the event, organisers including Emerge Cultural Ambassador Bashir Hashimi, Mohsin Haidari, Zakir Hussain, Asadullah Qasumi, Liaqat Ahmadi and Sumia Batool are looking forward to the event.

Ms Batool said the Hazara was a minority group from Afghanistan but many of the organisers had grown up in Pakistan after fleeing their country, and had never experienced their culture first-hand.

Mr Hashimi said Eid was one of the most important days of the year for Muslim people.

‘‘Usually each year we have to travel to Melbourne if we want to celebrate it at a big community event, so we decided to get together and organise something locally in Shepparton for everyone to enjoy.

‘‘We will have one of our own local musicians, Zakir Hussain, performing alongside some really popular Afghan musicians who are coming up from Melbourne, including the singer Murtaza Humdam and drummer Farzad Safi.

‘‘We will also have some delicious Afghan food — and the whole event is free.’’

Eid celebrations can last up to three days and in many countries with large Muslim populations it is a national holiday.

Schools, offices and businesses are closed so family, friends and neighbours can enjoy the celebrations together.

Eid is infused with different traditions in different countries which might include money given to children and wearing traditional dress or new clothes.

The event has been made possible through Multicultural Arts Victoria’s Emerge Incubator program which is supported by Gandel Philanthropy, Australia Council for the Arts and Creative Victoria.

The event was an initiative of 2018 Emerge Cultural Ambassador Bashir Hashimi who has recruited the team and driven the organisation.

The Eid Celebration will be on Sunday, June 24, from 3pm to 8pm at St Mel’s Parish Hall, 35 Hamilton St, Shepparton. Entry is free.