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Members of the Muslim community in New Zealand will join with others at Parliament on Tuesday, August 21 to celebrate the Islamic festival of Eid ul-Fitr (Eid).
Eid-ul Fitr is a festival of feasts, celebrated by Muslims all over the world when the fasting month of Ramadan is completed.
The Minister for Ethnic Affairs, Judith Collins is looking forward to hosting the celebrations in the Banquet Hall at Parliament and will be joined by the Prime Minister, John Key.
“New Zealand’s Muslim community is represented by more than 40 ethnicities, following the arrival of the first Muslims as Chinese gold miners in 1874.”
“For members of the Muslim community, Eid is about celebrating the special meaning of Islam in their lives,” Ms Collins said.
“For the wider New Zealand society, Eid is about acknowledging the valuable way that Muslim people continue to contribute to New Zealand’s religious, cultural and ethnic landscape.”
There are around 36,000 Muslims in New Zealand â€“ most are based in Auckland and are of Fijian-Indian extraction.
In addition to immigrants from India, Africa and the Middle East there are around 1000 Maori and 1000 Pacific peoples who identified themselves as Muslim in the 2006 Census.
The Director of the Office of Ethnic Affairs, Mervin Singham said: “We need people from diverse backgrounds to be familiar to each other, to respect each other’s strengths and to share some common values and understanding.”
“When we connect at public celebrations such as Eid, and work together using our unique attributes, we can achieve a lot together,” he said.