Iftar recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage
By TOI Desk Report December 8, 2023 Update on : December 8, 2023
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized “iftar”, the fast-breaking meal of Muslims in Ramadan at the time of Maghrib prayer, as its Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The UNESCO made a post on its website in this regard recently.
The move has come after Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan filed a joint application to UNESCO to add iftar to the list of intangible cultural heritage for the sociocultural tradition.
Muslims observe Iftar, also known as futoor (the Arabic word for breakfast) at sunset during the month of Ramadan. Fasting is one of the main column of Ramadan.
Those who do not consume any food or drink between sunrise and sunset, break their fast with Iftar at the time of evening prayer and sunset.
People of different ages, genders, origins, and commemorates observed Iftar as the conclusion of the daily challenges of fasting from sunrise to sunset.
People who do not fast for the entire month of Ramadan are also allowed to participate in the iftar festivities and ceremonies, the UNESCO post reads.
The iftar frequently takes the form of community meetings or dinners, encouraging family and community bonds as well as charity, solidarity, and social exchange.
Children and teenagers are typically entrusted with the preparation of traditional meals as well as oral teaching, observation, and participation.
Children also learn from parents about the benefits of fasting as well as the societal ideals and purposes of iftar during this time.
Government institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and charities frequently supported Iftar, the UNESCO post also said.
Muslims traditionally break their fast by eating three dates as the prophet Mohammed broke his fasting the same way. Then, a celebration with plenty of food, family, and friends begins. Even though Ramadan is followed in many countries and cultures, each location has its traditions and dishes.
Muslims in Afghanistan traditionally break the fast with dates and meat, kidney beans, chickpeas, and vegetables. Shorbot, a sweet drink, is common at the Iftar table for Bangladeshi Muslims. In Somalia, iftar is broken with injera, a sourdough pancake, at every Somali iftar table.