Muslim culture celebrated at Massey University

SHAFAQNA – Massey students embraced Muslim culture by learning about traditions during a day of celebration. Students and staff wandered into the MUSA Lounge throughout the day to check out the event that was hosted to celebrate Muslim Culture on Wednesday.

The Manawatu Muslim Society members gave the public a run-through of their culture, which included traditional food and henna tattoos. They also taught women how to wear the traditional headscarf and had a question-and-answer session.

Sanara Samson, 18 and Edina Helms, 21, were some of the first people through the doors.

“I’m quite curious about the culture,” Helms said.

“I don’t know much about it but I find it really interesting.”

Fatin Nabliah, from Malaysia, was helping draw the henna on the hands of those who were keen.

Nabliah learned henna-tattooing when she was 13.

She said it was easy to learn. “It’s just like drawing but on the skin, not paper.”

Nabliah said there had been a lot of negativity toward Muslim people around the globe because of Islamic State and she wanted to be part of the event to teach people about her culture.

She said her religion  was peaceful.

“We would like to give this message: If you ever have a question, come and ask, without making assumptions.”

Those who had lined up for the henna had to answer a question relating to Muslim culture. The questions ranged from “Who is Allah?” to “What do Muslims think of Jesus?”

Sadia Tahir, 34, and Rubab Malik, 34, had a stall at the event.

Tahir said

people were “very curious” but sometimes afraid to ask them questions.

“It’s a general impression about Muslims these days that we are not that friendly, when it’s the other way around.

“We are all really friendly and we like to answer questions.

“”They want to know why we wear the headwear. Sometimes people think we are forced to wear it but we wear it at our own free will, we choose to wear it.”


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