Multicultural Britain: Conviviality The Sociological Imagination

Sadia Habib on a number of initiatives demonstrating a more open approach to multiculturalism than often mentioned in the media in the #ShareRamadan social media campaign:

Yet in spite of the politicians and the mainstream media falling short in highlighting examples of how British people experience multiculturalism amongst their friends, colleagues and family, there are glimpses of good that prove that difference and diversity are respected. There is much going on that contradicts this spiel that multiculturalism has failed. Here comes in social media democracy that allows the spread of stories illustrating the significance of small-scale social interaction between diverse Britons of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds. One such example of Gilroy’s concept of conviviality in action is #ShareRamadan, which shows British people engaging in social practices that are beyond the confines of giving lip-service to tolerance and civility.

Ramadan 2014 is part-way through, and an interesting project aiming to #ShareRamadan with non-Muslims has been trending on social media. Those taking part in #ShareRamadan have been providing video logs of the experience of the fasts that British Muslims are experiencing this lunar year. Non-Muslims are getting to know first-hand how it feels to not eat or drink in daylight hours, and have been waking up at Suhoor time to eat a pre-dawn meal, and then breaking their fast with Muslim friends at sunset (around 9.40pm for most some parts of Britain). Throughout the world the lengths of the fasts vary according to the time of the Fajr and Maghrib prayers, with the fasts in Brazil and Australia being relatively short compared with Iceland and Britain. The Guardian online has provided a space for user-generated content where contributors from all around the world are sharing their photos and tales about Ramadan.

Multicultural Britain: Conviviality The Sociological Imagination.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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