Monday, 23 July 2012

Ramadan: Day Three

Thousands turned out on Zenica's main square for the
Iftar evening. PS: Can you spot me?
 (Source: Zenica Foto)
Today marked day three of my Ramadan fasting experience.

My last two Ramadan entries went into detail about my personal progression each day with the abstinence of all food and drink - but today I will avoid that altogether.

Yes, I managed to successfully fast another day (or, so I believe), but I prefer to discuss another Ramadan-related event that occurred in my current city of Zenica this evening.

Earlier today, my partner and I came across a news article detailing how some people from a Turkish municipality were planning a big Iftar event in central Zenica tonight.

As you should know by now, Iftar is the name of the feast following the fourth prayer of the day. Citizens from Bayrampasa - a suburban district of Istanbul - came to the city today, spending hours setting up dozens, perhaps hundreds, of tables and chairs, and putting free meals on offer for those wishing to join in on the Iftar 'festivities'.
The set-up from above. (Source: Zenica Foto)

Although, undoubtedly, there was a bit of a 'Hell yeah, free meal!' attitude in my head, I was mostly keen to head down to the event to experience some cultural traditions in action.

Expecting to see 100 people present, at best, I was shocked when I arrived to see almost twenty times that amount. Bosnian news portal reported that 2000 Zenica locals turned out for the event (they forgot about the one Australian!).

It was an enjoyable evening, not only because the food was surprisingly decent, but also because it gave me an opportunity to witness the close ties that remain between the citizens of Bosnia and Turkey.

It also provided a refreshing illustration of how religion can bring people from across the world together, and for good purposes.

Some people left as quickly as they had come!
Zenica's Mayor, Husejin Smajlovic, was extremely grateful to the Turkish volunteers for their efforts.

"Peace to everyone and I wish to thank every one of you for coming to this Iftar," Smajlovic said on the evening. "To my colleagues and all Turkish people who are organising this tradition for years, I want to express my large appreciation. They presented to us another type of Iftar where it also provides a social context. I hope that we will see each other again."

The event in Zenica tonight formed part of the "Ramadan in the Balkans" project, which was organised by the Bayrampasa people.

There will be a similar special Iftar dinner in Konjic tomorrow night, followed by another in Srebrenica on Tuesday.


  1. Hi Rusty,

    I like your posts and the way you interpret Ramadan. And Bosnia. Thank you for your
    nice words.
    Enisa from Sarajevo.

  2. Hi Rusty,here is something for you