UIII Fosters Unity and Cultural Exchange Through Iftar Gathering

March 28, 2023

Contributor: Maroof Ahmed  |  Editor: Supriyono  |   Photographer: Safiullah  |  2 minutes reading

In the spirit of Ramadan, Universitas Islam International Indonesia (UIII) organizes a daily Iftar gathering aimed at providing its students an opportunity to break their fast together whilst also promoting cultural exchange and unity among local and international students.

Held every day for the whole month of Ramadhan at the Rahmatan Lil ‘Alamin Mosque, the iftar gathering excites many. Bunga Wijayanti, a local student from Central Java, has found participating in the Iftar gathering to be a delightful experience.

"Spending time together [at iftar gatherings] makes me happy because we, as students, are like family," said Bunga, who admitted to having also helped international students by cooking them food or accompanying them to the mosque.

In line with Bunga’s testimony, Saeed, an international student from Afghanistan, testified how the iftar gatherings indeed help him socially. "Eating with others [at UIII] provides me with an opportunity for social interaction, which has helped me build and strengthen relationships," said Saeed who favored Indonesian refreshment dishes and beverages for his iftar meals.

Meanwhile, Difa Mahya Zahara, another local student, echoed the statement saying that she used the chance of iftar gathering to share moments with her fellow local and international students of UIII from different countries.

“We talk about each other's home country's culture, the food, and how they celebrate Ramadan [in their countries],” said Difa highlighting the cultural exchange aspect of the gathering.

Through these shared experiences, Saba Ansari, an international student from Pakistan, recognizes the potential to build strong relationships with her peers and gain a deeper understanding of their diverse backgrounds.

“During iftar, all of us girls, including those from Indonesia, Nepal, Gambia, Afghanistan, and India, sit together to break our fast. We prepare food from our respective cultures and share it with one another. Sharing this blessed month with them, I have learned about other people's cultures and beliefs," said Saba.

Indeed, the Iftar gathering is mainly aimed at fostering unity and cultural exchange among UIII students. "We are pleased to provide iftar dinner for the entire month of Ramadan. We hope you enjoy the food and the community spirit [that] this event brings," said Mr. Hidayat Al-Fannanie, the Head of the General Affairs Office at UIII.

Sharing food and stories for iftar might be a simple act, yet for UIII students, this is a chance to have built strong relationships and gained a deeper understanding of each other's cultures. These gatherings have not only enriched their Ramadan experience at UIII but also contributed to a more inclusive and supportive campus community.