Third Annual Interfaith Ramadan Dinner Held at USU
Thursday, Jun. 14, 2018
Ramadan is a holy month in the Islam faith where observant Muslims fast from dawn to dusk each day for the entire month.
On June 11, Utah State University Family and Single Area (USU FASA) residents, Logan Islamic Center and local community members gathered to celebrate an interfaith Ramadan potluck dinner and break the fast.
USU’s Ramadan potluck celebration is about more than breaking the fast. It’s about breaking stereotypes. Three years ago, USU graduate student Tien Lindsay and neighbor Manal Arab, then an engineering doctorate student were discussing stereotypes, microaggressions, ignorance and naïve comments, they have experienced while living in Logan.
According to Lindsay, raised a Buddhist, and Arab a Muslim, they connected through identifying similar values and clarifying misconceptions of each other’s beliefs. The conversation inspired Lindsay and Arab to organize the first USU Ramadan potluck, to bring people together through food.
“Most people will tell you extraordinary things. Food opens up dialogue and context,” said Lindsay. “People will talk about their upbringing, their family, their emotions, which leads to clarification. Then a person is no longer a generalization but a person that you can identify with.”
The committee invited Protestants, Catholics, Muslim, Mormons, atheists and more to attend the dinner. USU Dining provided curry dishes and others were encouraged to bring side dishes, desserts and traditional drinks.
“This Ramadan dinner was a wonderful time for the community as a whole to come together and learn about each other. It is a great opportunity to keep in mind all of the different international cultures that are here in Logan,” said Reed Johnson, a townhouse resident assistant at USU. “I feel like America used to be such a great melting pot of cultures, but now we are full of fear. If we are to make any progress into the future, we should be kind and caring, able to participate and learn about other culture and come closer as a community.”
Contact: Celestyn Hollingshead, 435-797-3677