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Muslims in Taipei celebrate Eid al-Fitr

2016/07/10 20:34:00

Taipei, July 10 (CNA) Hundreds of Muslims in Taiwan, many of whom are workers from Indonesia, gathered in Taipei on Sunday for Eid al-Fitr, a celebration that marks the end of the month-long Ramadan fast.

Around 20,000 Muslims celebrated the religious festival in the lobby of Taipei Main Station, a place where many Southeast Asian workers in northern Taiwan usually spend recreational time on weekends.

Agusdin Subiantoro, deputy director of Indonesia's National Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers, said in Jakarta that the arrangements made by the Taiwan Railways Administration to offer Muslims a space at Taipei Main Station for the celebration was a positive move.

He said, however, that he hoped venues could be set up in Taiwan specifically for Indonesian workers to congregate for religious events.

Meanwhile, the Taipei City government also held a one-day event at Expo Park for Indonesian and other Muslims to celebrate Eid al-Fitr.

The event began with prayers and a lecture by Indonesian scholar Ali Saleh Mohammed Ali Jaber on the tradition of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.

The celebrations also included performances by Indonesian singer Siti Badriah and several bands, including Real Play, Marya Isma and the Reggae Rasta Kurawa Band.

A marketplace selling Halal food was set up at the venue, while foreign workers were offered free phone calls to relatives back at home.

The Taipei City Department of Labor has been holding similar events in past years to mark Eid al-Fitr, but this year the Department of Information and Tourism became involved.

The goal was to not just to facilitate the Muslim festival but also to provide an opportunity for Taiwan residents to gain a better understanding of Islamic culture, the organizers said.

(By Jay Chou and Kay Liu)
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