Festive mood follows fasting

Courtesy of The Torch - 2/9/2009

Festive mood follows fasting

FROM Restaurants in Lakemba and bakeries in Belmore, to sweet shops in Punchbowl and gelato in Bankstown, everyone will be taking advantage of the extra long trading hours during Ramadan.

Wile only Muslim population in Bankstown and Canterbury will observe fasting in Ramadan, everyone can join in the after-dark feasts and mouth watering desserts on offer.

During the holy month, Muslims refrain from eating from sunrise to sunset, and you’ll find most will be in festive mode when the sun goes down.

Bashir Sawalha, a small business owner in Lakemba, tells us about what Ramadan means to him.

“Fasting is discipline for the soul,” he said.

“It’s good to know you are strong enough to control your desires. It’s not really tough to fast, but people think it is.”

“It’s a good and very busy month. People are always out eating, inviting each other out. Breakfast before dawn is good. You’ll find people out at the bakery having breakfast at about 5am.”

Karl Saleh, Canterbury Counci’s Deputy Mayor, says Ramadan brings a sense of community by sharing food with everyone.

“Ramadan gives us the opportunity to enjoy not only a wonderful meal, but also each other’s company.”

“The day goes by really quickly, and I’ve been told by shopkeepers in Lakemba that they are enjoying the late night trading hours. It means more people come to the area, and it’s good for business