As students enter University of Toronto this fall, many are excited about the 3 square meals a day that they will be getting from the campus dining halls. However, there are a group of students who will be fastingduring the daylight hours for the beginning half of September to celebrate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
During Ramadan Muslims abstain from food and drink during the daylight hours and avoid negative thoughts and actions so that they can remember and worship God, and appreciate the comforts of life they have been blessed with. By remaining hungry through the day, Muslims are able to feel closer to those who can only afford to eat one meal a day. Fasting is a practice common to all Abrahamic religions and Muslims all over the world have been continuing this tradition during the month of Ramadan for over 1,400 years.
The breaking of the fast or Iftar, is often a communal event for Muslims and is regularly done with their family and friends. Many students who live on campus and away from their family will take advantage of special hours provided by their dining halls and get together to recreate the communal feeling of home.
This year the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) on campus will be hosting iftars every weekday for the month of September. The iftars will begin on September 2 as part of MSA’s Frosh Week (aka Frosh Halal Meat) which is intended to compliment the University’s frosh week so as to create a welcoming environment for incoming students. MSA iftars are catered by a number of local restaurants that provide a taste from around the world, including cuisine from the Middle East, South Asia, North Africa and the Mediterranean. The iftars are attended by more than 200 students every night, all of whom leave happy after a free meal following a long day without food (see pictures below).
The end of Ramadan is marked by a celebration known as Eid-ul-Fitr, which is sometimes called the “feast after the fast”. As a commemoration to the successful completion of Ramadan, this day is celebrated with members of the Muslim community coming together and sharing of food from all over the world.
Yes, U of T has its very own Farmer’s Market! We receivedpositive feedbackabout the Farmer’s Market last year, and are excited to introduce four new farmers for the 2009-2010 Farmer’s Market.
Did we mention that some of the participating farms areLocal Food Plus (LFP)certified? That means that all the food you buy is produced locally in a sustainable environment; and that means that you are helping to save the planet while eating healthy…and that, dear UeaTers, is a good reason to come out to the Farmer’s Market on Wednesday afternoons and indulge in fresh fruit, veggies, cheeses, soups and breads. Yum!