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Welsh Muslims unite with wider community to prove what a Big Lunch is really all about

The trustees of the Welsh Muslim Cultural Foundation, Cardiff are sharing their culture with the wider community to prove what a Big Lunch is really all about.

The Big Lunch Lunar Lunch at Welsh Muslim Cutural Foundation.

Due to the daily fasting of Ramadam, their Big Lunch will actually start around 9.30 at night and bring together people of all cultures and religions.

 Where it all began

“We first heard about the Big Lunch when some of our young people were invited to the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in March this year. Prior to the service they were amongst a small group of young people from around the U.K. invited to visit 10 Downing Street and help prepare (and tuck into) a Big Lunch with TV Chef Ainsley Harriot.”

What inspired you to organise a Big Lunch?

“Last year we held a Great Get Together during Ramadhan as it coincided with one of the iftars we had planned. This year the Great Get Together falls outside of Ramadhan and, although we plan to hold a potluck meal for that as well at the end of June, we felt the Big Lunch had so many similar aims we could still hold an iftar which was open to the wider community beyond just local Muslims.”

The plans!

“An iftar is basically the meal Muslims have at the end of a day’s fast. So our Big Lunch will start around 9.30pm and go on until about 11pm! Iftars can be held at home, or in the mosque, but wherever they are it’s always nicer for them to be communal. In our case, the planning is actually minimal. We provide the venue, the traditional dates and milk to initially break the fast (water is literally on tap) and then simple refreshments such as teas and coffees. We then have the main meal after a short prayer held in congregation. Our iftars in the centre are ‘potluck’ where everyone brings something to share. It means we never know exactly what will be provided, but there’s always something tasty. Guests joining us for the iftar who are not Muslims can just bring along something vegetarian if they’re unsure about what food would be appropriate.”

“It will be held in the Crescent Centre, which is based in Meanwhile House, a creative hub, in Butetown in Cardiff.”

Keeping to a trusted, simple format

“We first held iftars in our centre when we opened it in 2017, so there is a simple format which we’ve followed previously. For this particular event, however, we contacted Eden Project Communities to see how we could work with them and they put us in touch with their Country Manager for Wales. Lowri was really helpful and directed us to bilingual materials on the website, which we could use for advertising. This is important to us as we advertise all our events in Welsh and English and so, in keeping with our usual practice, we were able to have bilingual Eden Project branded materials to publicise this event.”

The best thing about doing it so far and what you hope it will achieve?

“Firstly, it’s great to develop connections with other like-minded organisations who believe, as we do, in the importance of building healthy and harmonious communities. We enjoyed inviting people of other faiths and none into our space during Ramadhan and just eating and chatting in a relaxed atmosphere, so it’s great that we’ve got the opportunity to repeat it again this year. We hope that new friendships will be forged and existing ones strengthened.”

All are welcome but space is limited, so anyone wishing to attend needs to register via the events page on their website: www.wmcf.wales/register