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Foreign Students Enjoy the Tradition of Fasting at UI

Universitas Indonesia > News > News Highlights > Foreign Students Enjoy the Tradition of Fasting at UI

“Even though I am used to seeing the Muslim community in Manila (Philippines), I am overjoyed by the tradition of fasting in Indonesia,” said June Louie Flores, an international student at the Universitas Indonesia (UI), at the Ramadan Iftar 2024 event, last Thursday (28/3). According to him, the Ramadan Iftar event held by the International Affairs Office (KUI) at the UI Convention Hall allowed fellow international students to become more familiar with the fasting ritual.

The same thing was also conveyed by Ono Yuhi, an international student at the UI Darmasiswa Program. He said, “Ramadan Iftar 2024 is a new experience for me because in my home country, Japan, this is rare. I once tried fasting, and this was a new experience for me while I was in Indonesia,” he said.

The Ramadan Iftar activity introduced June, Yuhi, and other international students to the fasting culture in Indonesia and the unique phenomena during Ramadan—one of which is war takjil (food upon iftar) which has become popular recently. This introduction was interspersed with videos about Ramadan traditions in various countries, such as Gambia, Egypt, Pakistan, Palestine, and Syria. Furthermore, before iftar, they also distributed typical Indonesian takjil, such as cendol, pudding, and tea, to citizens around the UI Convention Hall.

Sami Trabelsi, a Muslim student from Tunisia, was impressed by the Ramadan Iftar activities. He could taste the authentic taste of Indonesian food through the dishes available at the event. “The thing that I tasted during fasting in Indonesia was the appetizer or takjil which was dominated by sweet foods and fried foods. I am very happy and enjoy the festive atmosphere of fasting in Indonesia,” he added.

For organizing this activity, the Head of KUI, drg. Baiduri Widanarko, M.KKK, Ph.D., said that Ramadan Iftar 2024 aims to build togetherness amidst diversity and provide new experiences for those who have never experienced the moment of breaking the fast. Ramadan is an opportunity to build spirituality and self-reflection for Muslim international students and provide opportunities for non-Muslim students to understand the tradition of fasting.

“Ramadan teaches us to be empathetic, disciplined, and grateful. Full support for friends is a solidarity with fellow humans. Therefore, let’s use this opportunity to show solidarity and celebrate diversity,” said drg. Baiduri.

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