Today, Friday 24 April, is the start of Ramadan for Muslims around the world, including those who call Wollongong home.
Ramadan is a time for prayer, reflection, community, and helping those in need. It’s an important time for Wollongong’s diverse Muslim communities, whose cultural backgrounds span dozens of different countries. And, while some are newly arrived to our city, others were born here or have been here for generations.
For those marking Ramadan, the 30 days of fasting from dawn to sunset will this year not be able to include the traditional large gatherings and festivities associated with the religious event. This is in line with ensuring social restrictions around Coronavirus or COVID-19 are being met.
Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said he wished our Muslim communities well as they embarked on this time of reflection and prayer.
He acknowledged the coming month would be particularly challenging for our Muslim community, who observe the holy month until Saturday 23 May.
“Ramadan is the holiest month for Muslims and ordinarily it’s a time of fasting, prayer and reflection and shared meals,’’ Cr Bradbery said.
“This year members of this vibrant community are faced with observing this month while also adhering to social and physical distancing restrictions and the closure of their mosques. It will be a different Ramadan this year, I am sure our Muslim community will approach it with the same level of innovation and compassion of our communities who have already marked Easter, Passover and Orthodox Easter. Ramadan Mubarak to our Muslim communities.’’
For those who are marking Ramadan, there is information on Multicultural NSW’s website about managing COVID-19. It’s available in a range of languages, to help in raising awareness and sharing information with our culturally and linguistically diverse communities.