UMM Lecturer Shares Ramadan Experience in Taichung, Taiwan

Author : Humas | Wednesday, March 27, 2024 05:49 WIB
Novendra with Muslim students in Taichung (Photo: Special).

The holy month of Ramadan is always eagerly awaited by all Muslims around the world, especially in Muslim-majority countries like Indonesia. However, spending Ramadan in a Muslim minority country is a real challenge. It was also experienced by Novendra Setyawan, ST, M.T, as a lecturer in the Electrical Engineering program at the University of Muhammadiyah Malang (UMM), who is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at the National Formosa University, located in the city of Taichung, Yunlin County, Taiwan.

Novendra shared some of his interesting experiences during Ramadan in Taichung, Taiwan. The majority of the people there are Buddhists. Therefore, the atmosphere of Ramadan in his residence was just like any other day. "Taichung is a small city and the culture is still very strong. There are no mosques in this city. It takes about an hour and a half to find a mosque in the central city," he said.

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The struggle to find a mosque to pray at led Novendra to join a community of Muslims from several countries. Such as those from India, Pakistan, and Indonesia. They often gather during Ramadan to have iftar together or pray tarawih together.

"We often cook ourselves to avoid non-halal food. Utilizing the halalin app helps us find ingredients that can be consumed by Muslims. There are not many stores that sell halal food here because most of the food that the locals consume contains pork oil," he said.

Furthermore, Novendra said that he and his Muslim community friends are preparing to organize socialization about Islam. It's a good opportunity to introduce Islam to the non-Muslim community in Taichung. During Ramadan, Noven also visited Pimpinan Cabang Istimewa Muhammadiyah (PCIM) in Taiwan. There, he met many people who were studying in Taiwan. They held iftar, tarawih, and pursued their studies together. He felt happy because he could feel the atmosphere of Ramadan abroad and be able to gather with fellow Muslims.

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Regarding the distance of the mosque, he says that the long journey does not stop him from worshiping with other Muslim friends. He believes that his journey is part of worship and counts as a reward. "I've heard many stories that those in my situation are special people. So I have to enjoy it well and spend Ramadan happily in this city," he joked. (ri/wil/put)



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