“It’s a combination of culture and spiritual experience. And different people have different experiences,”
CALGARY – As soon as the sun sets over Calgary during Ramadan, the city comes alive with Muslims’ night prayers and colorful iftar events at restaurants, eateries, homes, and community centers.
“First we break the fast and then we go for prayer and then the dinner and mingling with family and friends. There’s a lot of fried food,” Asjad Bukhari, a guest at an iftar of the Pakistani Canadian Cultural Association of Alberta told CBC Canada on June 4.
Some iftar organizers and religious groups in Calgary are increasingly extending invites to non-Muslims, curious to learn more about Ramadan and their Muslim friends and neighbors.
“It’s a combination of culture and spiritual experience. And different people have different experiences,” Bukhari explained.
For non-Muslims who attend, iftar parties are a celebration of culture, food, and diversity. Myra D’Souza, who was raised in Pakistan as a Christian said: “It really touches my heart, it really gets to the core of me.”
“That’s what we’re all about, getting together and understanding each other. Canada is the envy of most countries in the world because we’re so diverse. We do it so well,” she said.
According to the Canadian National Household Survey of 2011, Muslims represented 5.2% of the total population of Calgary.