This article was published in The Appalachian.

Plemmons Student Union’s Grandfather Ballroom will soon fill with music, dancing, food, Henna and more.

All will be part of the Muslim Student Association’s (MSA) second annual Eid-al-Fitr potluck, which will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday.

Eid is an Islamic celebration of the end of Ramadan. During Ramadan, Muslims fast during the daylight hours to mark a crucial time period in Islam – the month when the Quran is believed to have been revealed to Muhammad.Fasting is designed to draw one closer to Allah, said Nadareh M. Naseri, sophomore dentistry major and MSA president.

“Fasting helps me become more conscious of the things I say and do. It also gives me a chance to sympathize with those who live in a constant state of hunger,” Naseri said. “Eid-al-Fitr, to me, means that hardships will come to an end if you remain positive and dedicated.”

This year’s Eid-al-Fitr celebration will feature henna tattoos, Bhangra dancing and a potluck of traditional Eid dishes.

Students can register for the event – and to bring a dish – by visiting and clicking “Eid RSVP form.”

MSA members plan to bring dishes as well. Because of their diverse backgrounds, the dishes will be representative of a variety of cultures across the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia, Interim Director of Multicultural Student Development Gus Peña said.

“It’ll have sort of a pan-Islamic feel to it,” Peña said.

After the potluck, members of MSA will demonstrate traditional Bhangra dancing and allow the crowd to join in.

Peña said the dancing element was one of the most popular at last year’s Eid celebration – and one of the most meaningful.

“You would look over at the dance area and see Muslims and non-Muslims dancing together,” Peña said. “You could just see on their faces, they were happy and proud.”

Peña said he thinks multicultural events allow students to expand their cultural horizons.

“I do think students are hungry and interested in having their Appalachian experience be diverse,” he said.

Naseri said it’s best to RSVP to the potluck by Thursday night, but students shouldn’t be deterred if they can’t respond by then.