POST TIME: 27 May, 2019 12:39:39 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 27 May, 2019 12:40:33 AM
Harmony, camaraderie mark Iftar parties on RU campus
Jahidul islam, RU

Harmony, camaraderie mark Iftar parties on RU campus

Students of Rajshahi University arrange iftar party on the campus. The photo was taken recently. Independent photo

Students of Rajshahi University (RU) along with their friends from other institutions break their fast by hosting Iftar parties on different fields on the campus. The university had declared holidays for Ramadan and Eid from May 7 to June 23, but many departments are continuing to hold examinations, practical classes and research activities. As a result, 70 per cent of the students are continuing to reside at the dormitories and adjacent areas of the campus even during the holidays.

The Iftar parties on campus present a scene of religious harmony with even non-Muslims participating in these programmes hosted by the students and teachers of different departments.

Post iftar, many students take part in namaz on the spot. Though the days are hotter in Rajshahi than in previous years, there is no dearth of enthusiasm among the campus community in following the rituals for Ramadan.

Sheikh Russell School premises (Iblish Chottor), Boddijibi Chattor and RU Shaheed Minar and Sabash are the most popular venues for Iftar and the crowds start gathering at these places before half-an-hour during Iftar. Besides, outsiders throng the corridors of different academic buildings, footpaths, small makeshift stalls and shops on the campus. Besides, students gather at the Sabash Bangladesh field, the mass graveyard premises, Shaheed Habibur Rahman hall playground, central cafeteria, in front of Teacher-Student Centre, Tokiraki Chottor, Station Market, around the central library, Momtazuddin arts building, Shahidullah arts building and even the dormitories. A good number of students also go to the female dormitories to participate in Iftar with their female friends.

Different cultural, social, political, employees, journalists, volunteers, and other organizations also arrange Iftar parties amid festivity on the campus. Especially, several district student welfare associations are at the forefront of arranging such activities.

Tanjil Bhuyan, a lecturer of the tourism and hospitality management department, said: “I am the incumbent president of the Narsingdi District Student Welfare Association. Though I was appointed as a lecturer recently, I still enjoy myself with the students by hosting Iftar parties. Everyone gathers at these events by forgetting religious differences.”

The smell of different items like beguni, jilapi, piyaju, muri, khejur, chop, salad, sherbet and fruits add to the enjoyment of these gatherings. “I stay at Begum Rokeya Hall, but my friends stay at different halls. So, this is the best option. We have to participate in Iftar together. Besides, most of us are master’s students and very soon we will spread out to different workplaces. So, this is the only available chance to get together,” said Sharmin Akter Lima, a student.

Traders and employees are also busy preparing Iftar items at hundreds of makeshift stalls on the campus and adjacent areas. The employees and staff of different dorms dining, food shops and tea stalls become Iftar vendors to earn extra money during the period.

Students of different religious, communities and institutions like Vorendra University,  RUET, Rajshahi Medical College, North South University and so on throng to the RU campus to take part in Iftat with their friends.

Konika Rani Sarkar, a master’s student of philosophy, said: “My Muslim friends invite me to their religious events. Similarly, they too participate in Hindu religious programmes”.

Konika, who was participating in an Iftar party hosted by her friends at Iblish Chattor on Friday evening, added: “Actually, I cannot define them on basis of religion; I want to define them as fellow human beings and together we will build a non-communal country.”

Socrates Menj (Jibon), a Christian student, said: “Our government wants to build a secular, non-communal and hunger-free Bangladesh. Our community also wants this. That’s why I invite my friends from other religions to participate in these gatherings on campus and they also respond favourably.”