Dhaka, Buddhist monks help Muslims celebrate Ramadan "thanks to Mother Teresa"

For the past six years monks from the Dharmarajika temple have donated food to the Muslim poor to enable them to interrupt the ritual fasting. Every day they distribute 500 boxes for the iftar, filled with typical foods. One monk: "Mother Teresa said that you meet God by serving man. We were inspired by this. "

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Buddhist monks helping poor Muslims celebrate Ramadan in the spirit of Mother Teresa. This is what happens in Dhaka in the Buddhist monastery of Dharmarajika, where for six years the local religious give food boxes to the Islamic faithful for them to break the fast after sunset (Iftar). 
Buddhapriya Mohathero, assistant director of the monastery, told AsiaNews: "We launched this initiative with an unusual spirit. Mother Teresa said that we find God by serving people and we have been inspired by this message. "

The monk states that the iftar boxes are distributed to poorer Muslims living near the monastery and who can not afford to buy food. Many of them work pulling rickshaws and live day to day, "During Ramadan - says Buddhapriya Mohathero - every day we assign 500 boxes for iftar".

The fod packs contain the typical Bangladeshi iftar foods, such as potatoes in pieces, peyaju (tempura onions), beguni (tempura eggplant), chhola-boot (lentils), muri (steamed rice) and jilapi (a cake made with sugar syrup).

Abdul Hamud, a Muslim, says: "I come every day to take the iftar box and they gift them  with sincerity. I am very grateful to these monks ". Farud Islam, also Muslim, appreciates the Buddhists cooking: "The foods in the boxes are very good, very tasty."

Shuddhananda Mahathero, another monk, says: "We believe in peace that comes from harmony but the complaints of minorities in Bangladesh become stronger every day. Our country belongs to all people of faith, and we do not intend to hurt anyone. Why then we are persecuted? ".

The priest explains that Buddhism is present in Bangladesh for thousands of years, but its faithful are a minority (around 0.7%) and their number is steadily declining.

The Dharmarajika monastery was founded in 1960 and is very famous in Dhaka for the monks' social committment. Within the religious compound they run an orphanage, a school and a clinic.