Ramadan Festival in Lakemba is an experience that is one of its kind

By Manju Mittal

I am quite fortunate to have nice Muslims friends who took me to Lakemba on the weekend. I have been in Sydney for 30 years and this is the first time I experienced Ramadan festival in Lakemba that turned out to be very special. It is a true display of the cultural melting pot where not only one ends up learning about Ramadan, you also get to know the festival and significance it holds for the people of Islamic faith living in Australia.

Haldon Street in Lakemba comes alive every year in the month of Ramadan, that is in the month of June, with nightly street side stalls selling all sorts of wares, clothes, jewellery but food is the centre of it all. You can taste camel burgers and Lebanese coffee until 2 am. There is an array of dishes from Lebanese, Palestinian, Syrian, Burmese, Malaysian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indonesian origin offered for Iftar, the evening meal one takes after the whole day fast. There were dishes that night that I had never ever tasted before, freshly made kebabs on hot coals, curry stalls, traditional biryanis, Paya soup and of course the camel burgers. Having a cup of tea at a Church stall in the end was just out of this world.

The holy month Ramadan is a wonderful experience that appeals to everyone and promotes a sense of compassion, generosity and harmony. The daily Iftar meals are a fulcrum for friends and family who gather to partake at the end of the fast in the evening which can be particularly warm and an enriching experience.

What’s really special is the kindness of people in Sydney during the Ramadan month, personally, it is amazing to witness the commitment of the people to their faith. Its so nice to see everyone celebrating it together, walking and exploring various eclectic foods tastefully displayed with stall holders inviting you with a smile. The food is fresh and some dishes are being prepared right in front of you. Ramadan Eid is a joyful and vibrant month when people bond with one another forging positive relationships with one another and wishing ‘Eid Mubarak’ to anyone and every one. After the full day of fasting, family and friends meet, greet and eat together in a joyful atmosphere.

Throughout the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Muslims across the globe fast from sunrise to sunset. They begin their fast with the sahoor, an early breakfast encouraged by the Prophet Muhammad, and break it with the Iftar before going to the mosque and attending the night prayer that lasts till after midnight.

Lakemba’s night market run from 5pm till 2am. One of the popular places to taste Iftar and experience the festivity in Sydney is definitely in Lakemba.  The Lakemba Ramadan night markets are a community wide celebration open to all. If you have not experienced it, you should visit Lakemba and give it a try!!

Short URL: https://indiandownunder.com.au/?p=13306