In celebration of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr, the OGA hosted an event titled Ramadan & Eid al-Fitr: Islam Religion and Culture Sharing. This event was the third installment in the Bon Voyage! Event Series (國際領航員系列活動).
A month prior to the event, the OGA pulled together a student planning committee that consisted of 16 current Muslim students. The student planning committee served as the cultural consultant and advisor for this event. The committee assisted with many things, including helping with the planning of the event itinerary and format, assisting with the catering, buying materials for the activity segments, and advising the OGA organizer regarding Islam culture and religion.
The event took place on Monday, April 24th, in Li-Hsueh Building Conference Room 4. A total of 28 participants joined the OGA in this exciting student-led event. Due to the limited materials for the interactive activity segments, pre-event registration was capped at 34. The event invited 3 student presenters to share about Islam culture.
- Shuaib Ahmad from Pakistan is a 2nd year Ph.D. student in the Pharmacy Program at the College of Pharmacy.
- Tati Rahmawati from Indonesia is a 5th year Ph.D. student in the Department of Public Health, College of Health Sciences.
- Vidya Febrasca Tenderly from Indonesia is a 1st year Master’s student in the Pharmacy Program at the College of Pharmacy.
Unfortunately, Tati was sick on the day of the event and thus was not able to present, so Vidya filled in for Tati instead.
Shuaib gave an overall introduction to the Islam religion, with a focus on how Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr, including explaining to the participants when and how these religious festivals are celebrated and sharing the customs. Some customs discussed include praying and reciting holy verses, fasting during the day, having Suhoor (meal consumed early in the morning by Muslims before fasting) and Iftar (the fast-breaking evening meal of Muslims), and more.
Vidya introduced the ketupat and how it is made, having participants try making it themselves with bamboo leaves. Ketupat is the traditional food eaten during Eid al-Fitr in Indonesia. Vidya also gave each participant a handmade decorative ketupat as a gift. In addition, she also introduced Halal Bi Halal, a tradition Indonesians partake in during Eid al-Fitr. On this day, people would visit their family, elders, friends, and coworkers, to show them respect and forgive each other, regardless of their religion. Participants were asked to write a small note of blessing on their card and exchange it with another person.
Lastly, for Tati’s activity, participants were introduced to Arabic numerals, days of the week, and the names of months of the Islamic Hijri calendar. For Muslims, one is required to learn Arabic to learn and read the verses of the Quran. Participants were invited to try and write their months of birth and date in Arabic on a small keychain tag.
Participants of the event not only improved their knowledge of the Islam religion but also learned how the religious festivals of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr are celebrated, thus also increasing their awareness and respect for other cultures and heritages. Not only did the event enhance the participants’ cultural competency, but also increased their English language skills via English execution. This aligns with the goals of the Ministry of Education’s Higher Education Sprout Project (高等教育深耕計畫).
The Bon Voyage! Event Series is a new series of cultural events for KMU students hosted by the OGA beginning in Spring 2023, with the goal of developing KMU students’ cultural competency and English language skills. This event series is part of the nationwide efforts of internationalization of university campuses (在地國際化) and the creation of more culturally inclusive campus environments (國際共融校園). The funding for the series comes from Taiwan’s Ministry of Education’s Higher Education Sprout Project (高等教育深耕計畫).