After a month of fasting, the Muslim Student Association (MSA) celebrated the Eid in sumptuous fashion on Friday, the holy day of the Muslims. Eid ul-Fitr is one of the two Eids of the Muslims, marking the end of the month of Ramadan. Eid means festivity and Fitr means “breaking fast” in Arabic, hence the name symbolizes the end of sacrifice. The largest festival of the Muslims was celebrated in a grand banquet arranged by a vibrant group of individuals.
The MSA fast-a-thon and other Ramadan events earlier this month set high standards for Friday’s event, and people arrived with eager expectation. They were not denied. The way up to the Hall of Presidents in the James C. Colgate Building was adorned with colorful balloons leading the way. Once you got in, it was evident that the MSA ensured a great time for everyone. Professors, faculty members, staff and students from all years simulated a bustling melting pot. Since it was homecoming as well, some alumni had already dropped in to add more color to the event. People mixed with excitement, bonded by the invisible yet palpable thread of festivity. They had to settle down as a presentation of the Eid ul-Fitr went underway with an introduction by first-year Junaira Javed. She explained the Eid terminology like Lailatul Qadr, while people listened attentively because she gave clues for the raffle that was going to take place. But soon the moment came that I have been waiting for: the food.
Now, I will be honest, I am going to be partial about the food because I am a South Asian. However, as the majority of the nearly 200 people present will agree, the food was delicious. There were few complaints about the food being spicy, and people generally went for second helpings. Even some people who were nervous about whether they were eating food the proper way or not were able to let their hair down. Conversations flowed across the tables as seamless waves: laughter, food jokes and remembrances for the alumni. The playlist, though not the best part of the event, was still good enough as a background for keeping people’s attention focused on the conversations! Dinner was over, but people were evidently reluctant to leave.
The photo-taking was in full flow as the alumni and faculty joined the MSA for photos. The organizers were patient and gallant enough to volunteer for interviews for CUTV after the event, explaining their month-long efforts to make the event a success, the story of the MSA so far, their reactions and expectations. Junior Rifat Zaman, co-president of the association, spoke about how the celebration of the Eid has changed for her in a place far away from the familiar environment back home. She said now she had to perform more duties than before, but the fun is not missing at all!
For a lot of freshmen who were in the Hall of Presidents for the first time, it was a great introduction. They left with the belief firmly ingrained that festivities bring people together and that interfaith people can join hands to share the pleasure at Colgate. It definitely charged them up for the bonfire later at Whitnall field, but that is another story.