CHICAGO: Arab News reporter Kateryna Kadabashy has noted that while more than 1.8 billion Muslims around the world commemorate Ramadan and celebrate Eid in similar ways, subtle differences still exist based on local and regional traditions and cultures.
Ramadan ended on Wednesday evening marking the start of Eid Al-Fitr celebrations by Muslims around the world.
The holiday signals the end of the important month-long period of Islamic fasting and religious reflection, with many worshippers adopting different ways to enjoy the festival based on their national origins.
A Ukrainian-Palestinian journalist who reports on varied topics including Crimea, Palestine, and women’s rights, Kadabashy detailed in her story how Ukrainian Muslims in the Crimea region celebrate Eid with slightly nuanced differences reflecting local culture.
She said: “One of the stories I wrote, was about how Ukrainian Muslims celebrate Eid. And I tried to focus on Islam in general because in Ukraine it is not a very widespread religion.
“There are not a lot of Muslims, and a lot of people that are Muslims – unless they are Tartar Ukrainians or from the Crimea region – are most likely to be people that have converted to Islam or people that have become Ukrainian.
“I was wondering how they celebrated Eid, because for me all of the Eid celebrations done at home were very Levant oriented.”
Kadabashy explained how Ukrainians celebrated Eid in a slightly different way to the rest of the Islamic world.
“The way Ukrainian Muslims celebrate Eid is kind of very similar, more similar to how Ukrainians celebrate anything rather than how we celebrate Eid at home.
“I asked a (Ukrainian) woman how she celebrated Eid at home, and she liked the usual things that we do. Baking a cake, going for a picnic. Ukrainians like to celebrate anything and everything, such as having a barbecue in the park. So, they do the same things for Eid that any other Ukrainian would do for any other celebrations,” she added.
Kadabashy noted that Muslims everywhere practiced certain basic traditions of Ramadan, such as donating money and food to charitable organizations and those in need.
But she also pointed out that the types of food eaten during iftar and Eid varied, with many preferring Levant foods over traditional regional dishes.
“They also try to give a dua, or an amount of money for their children or other children on Eid,” she said.
“They still try to gather with family, loved ones, and friends. These things are kind of similar. But then all cultures gather around the holidays and all religions are not exclusive to Eid.”
In addition, she noted that Muslims around the globe sacrificed lambs or other animals during Eid and gave the meat to needy families.
The Ray Hanania Radio Show is broadcast every Wednesday live on WNZK AM 690 in Greater Detroit and WDMV AM 700 in Greater Washington, DC at 8 AM EST, and streamed live on Facebook.com/ArabNews.