Muslims celebrating Kurban Bayram with kebab and folkoric dances

by Victor Grigore, Webphoto.ro

One of the five pillars of Islamic faith, required to all believers is the Hajj, the pilgrimage to the sacred places of Mecca. For those who don’t attend the spectacular procession around the Kaaba, there are of course festivities in honor of that event in almost every country. The Arabic name of this holiday is Eid al-Adha, also known in the Turkish world as Kurban Bayram, and is one of the two most important Islamic events in a year.

The religious significance of this holiday is one of the many cultural items that bond together Hebrews, Christians and Muslims, for the event is mentioned and underlined in all sacred books of the three monotheist religions. According to tradition, patriarch Abraham (Ibrahim) is asked by the Lord to bring sacrifice his only beloved son, Isac (Ishmael), born as a gift of God at a very old age. Abraham is deeply troubled but is about to carry on the sacrifice, from which is stopped at last moment by the voice of God, offering to sacrifice a ram instead. This is a parable for undeterring faith in the superior divine plans.

Kurban Bayram is a communal event, celebrated by eating especially mutton and other animals as well as sweets and traditional dishes. The food is divided into three parts: the family gets one part, the relatives and friends get another part, while the needy, including those of other faith, get the other third. Gifts are also exchanged, especially for children.

The Turkish community in Romania is somewhat numerous, with excellent commercial relations and not known notable conflicts in the last decades. The public celebration of Kurban Bayram, the holiday of the Sacrifice, is a tradition that is catching on, in the largest park for children in Bucharest. The organizers are Tuna Foundation, represented by its president Șahin Kalafat with the help of local authorities, represented by the mayor of 4th District of the Capital, Cristian Popescu Piedone.

The two opened the ceremonies, with speeches and with a surprise gift for the mayor: a live ram, that the mayor pardoned from being slaughtered. The spectacle contained folkloric dances from both Romania and Turkey, with dance group Româncuța from Constanța. Toys were given to the participating children by lots. Everyone also enjoyed the free doner kebab offered by the organizers, as shaorma is already one of the most popular if not the most popular fast food dish in Romania.

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