Australian Alevi Cultural Centre in Sydney commemorated the Fast of Muharram and the Kerbala incident at the traditional Ashura event at their headquarters in Lidcombe.
Alevi community leader Zeynel Abidin Haydardedeoglu spoke to a crowd of nearly 200 about the sacrifice Imam Huseyin gave in order to stand against injustice and said Alevis of Anatolia too had for centuries stood against injustice and educated their children to do so.
“There is a reason why the generations still commemorate and follow Imam Huseyin’s example” Haydardedeoglu said “however, Yazid is only remember for his oppression and tyranny”
Haydardedeoglu further said that unfortunately there were still people who share the spirit of the sadistic and evil Yazid today.
Following Haydardedeoglu’s speech, the “zakir” sang traditional Alevi ballads in commemorating Imam Huseyin. Ashura soup and other food was then shared among the community.
Fast of Muharram is a major Alevi fast which is held in the first 12 days of the month of Muharram. In addition to abstaining from food, many Alevis who fast during these 12 days, also abstain from drinking water both day and night. They would intake liquids other than water.
The main purpose of this fast is to mourn the death of Prophet Muhammed’s grandson, Imam Ali’s son, Huseyin, during the battle of Kerbela.
Following on from the Muharam fast, a special dish called Ashura is cooked. Ashura is prepared from a variety of 12 different grains, fruits and nuts.