The Melbourne chapter of the Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association hosted an iftar dinner at Vegie Mum Restaurant in partnership with the Australian Intercultural Society and with support from the Victorian Multicultural Commission. The dinner took place on Friday; 18 July 2014.
Emceed by Dr Di Cousens and AIS Executive Officer Esma Yucel; the evening began with a moment of silence for the victims of the MH17 crash. Then the dedication of merits was given by Zimwock Rinpoche; followed by the Muslim call to prayer (adhan) and the breaking of the fast. The impressive 10-course menu was both vegetarian and vegan. The dishes ranged from black pepper vegetarian duck to sweet and sour vegetarian ribs. Many cups of hot tea accompanied the meal as well.
Speeches were given by Cr Philip Daw on behalf of Sharon Ellis; Mayor of Whitehorse City Council; Bhakta Dasa from the Hindu Community Council of Victoria; Fr Nick de Groot SVD from the Janssen Centre; Catholic priest Fr Bob Maguire; Ahmet Polat; executive director of AIS; and Laura Chan; president of the Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association.
Sadik Kirazli recited several verse from the Quran; and Ven Chi Kwang Sunim recited from the Buddhist scripture. Anne Norman gave a shakuhachi flute performance.
The evening concluded with the transfer of merits by Ven Phuoc Tan; a vote of thanks from AIS President Ergun Kirmaci; and the presentation of gifts of thanks to the night’s speakers.
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