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Around 30,000 people attend Eid al-Fitr event in Taipei

04/14/2024 09:01 PM
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Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an (fourth left) poses with guests at the opening ceremony of the 2024 Eid al-Fitr in Taipei event at Daan Forest Park on Sunday. CNA photo April 14, 2024
Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an (fourth left) poses with guests at the opening ceremony of the 2024 Eid al-Fitr in Taipei event at Daan Forest Park on Sunday. CNA photo April 14, 2024

Taipei, April 14 (CNA) Around 30,000 people attended an Eid al-Fitr event at Daan Forest Park in Taipei on Sunday, featuring a variety of activities that attracted Muslims and non-Muslims alike, as well as tourists, to celebrate the Islamic holy day that marks the end of Ramadan.

Organized by the Taipei Department of Information and Tourism, "2024 Eid al-Fitr in Taipei" featured a variety of performances, workshops, as well as a Halal bazaar filled with more than 20 Muslim culture-based stalls and food booths.

The celebration has been held annually at Daan Forest Park since 2018, and this year's event drew approximately 30,000 people from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., according to the department.

Some participants are queuing in front of a Muslim culture-based food booth in the 2024 Eid al-Fitr in Taipei event at Daan Forest Park on Sunday. CNA photo April 14, 2024
Some participants are queuing in front of a Muslim culture-based food booth in the 2024 Eid al-Fitr in Taipei event at Daan Forest Park on Sunday. CNA photo April 14, 2024

Syed Aqsa (謝阿可莎), a half Pakistani, half Taiwanese who was born and raised in Taiwan, enjoyed a new halal food item called "Tom Yummy" sold at a FamilyMart -- a convenience store chain in Taiwan -- mobile store in the Halal bazaar.

"This is a very convenient and a very good thing in Taiwan," said the 24-year-old software engineer, who in the past couldn't buy food at convenience stores while her classmates could.

She also said that the event provides an opportunity for Taiwanese to know more about the Muslim community, noting, "they can eat some traditional food and halal food, and learn about Islam, the Eid, about Ramadan."

Syed Aqsa, a half Pakistani, half Taiwanese born and raised in Taiwan, poses for a photo at an Eid-al-Fitr event held on Sunday at Daan Forest Park in Taipei. CNA photo April 14, 2024
Syed Aqsa, a half Pakistani, half Taiwanese born and raised in Taiwan, poses for a photo at an Eid-al-Fitr event held on Sunday at Daan Forest Park in Taipei. CNA photo April 14, 2024

Indonesian caregiver Ani came to the Eid al-Fitr event with the "grandma" she cares for, saying she was glad her boss gave her permission to bring "grandma" with her to the event.

"We have fun together, going around, eating with everyone, and chatting together," the 45-year-old said, adding that the event has a good atmosphere as there are many participants.

While there have been instances of employers not allowing caregivers to fast during Ramadan, Ani, who has cared for "grandma" about seven years, said this is not the case for her.

"My boss is fine [with me fasting during Ramadan]. He also allows me time to pray -- he is a good boss," she said.

CNA video April 11, 2024
Indonesian caregiver Ani participates in an Eid-al-Fitr event held on Sunday at Daan Forest Park in Taipei with her care recipient. CNA photo April 14, 2024
Indonesian caregiver Ani participates in an Eid-al-Fitr event held on Sunday at Daan Forest Park in Taipei with her care recipient. CNA photo April 14, 2024

Among the participants who joined a workshop called "Muslim outfit fitting experience," Yusyuan Shih (施妤萱) said that "curiosity" is the reason she signed up for the workshop, in order to get to know about the Muslim community.

"Although we see them [Muslims] when we are on the streets, we don't know much [about what they are wearing], whether it's from Indonesia or from the Middle East," said the 54 year-old who works in the service industry.

Wearing a Kebaya, a traditional garment originating from Indonesia and Malaysia, Shih said that she still has not had the chance to interact with Muslims in real life, but is willing to connect with them in the future.

Yusyuan Shih joins a workshop called “Muslim outfits fitting experience” in an Eid-al-Fitr event held on Sunday at Daan Forest Park in Taipei. CNA photo April 14, 2024
Yusyuan Shih joins a workshop called “Muslim outfits fitting experience” in an Eid-al-Fitr event held on Sunday at Daan Forest Park in Taipei. CNA photo April 14, 2024

Growing up in a Muslim family, Adnaan Bhamla, a tourist from the United Kingdom, said that it is not common to have such a big-scale event to celebrate Eid al-Fitr in his home country.

"[In] the UK it is more like a family event, so maybe like 30 or 40 family members, and maybe some friends as well. But here, it's just a huge event -- I mean, it's kind of amazing," the 31-year-old said.

He also noticed that there is a big prayer room in Taipei Main station and a number of Halal restaurants in the city, noting that Taiwan has always been very welcoming to minorities.

"Like the pride [parade] with the LGBT community, and with this [Eid al-Fitr event] too ... it's great, incredible," the Muslim-turned-Buddhist said.

Adnaan Bhamla, a tourist from the United Kingdom, poses for a photo at an Eid-al-Fitr event held on Sunday at Daan Forest Park in Taipei . CNA photo April 14, 2024
Adnaan Bhamla, a tourist from the United Kingdom, poses for a photo at an Eid-al-Fitr event held on Sunday at Daan Forest Park in Taipei . CNA photo April 14, 2024

During the opening ceremony, Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) said in his remarks that Taipei not only organizes activities to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, but also endeavors to create a Muslim-friendly environment, adding that over 70 venues in the city, including hospitals, hotels, and restaurants, have Muslim-friendly certification.

Currently, more than 300,000 Muslims living in Taiwan, the majority being migrant workers from Indonesia, according to government data.

Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an delivers opening remarks at an Eid-al-Fitr event held on Sunday at Daan Forest Park in Taipei. CNA photo April 14, 2024
Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an delivers opening remarks at an Eid-al-Fitr event held on Sunday at Daan Forest Park in Taipei. CNA photo April 14, 2024

(By Sunny Lai)

Enditem/AW

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