By Tanya Faulkner
A gathering of culture and connection was held in the heart of Hallam over the weekend.
Local business Mannat’s Collection held its annual Eid Chand Raat event over the weekend, celebrating the Muslim culture in the South-East.
The event was a chance to bring together and celebrate local women who all run their own businesses in our community.
Galsum Foladi, owner of Mannat’s Collection, said putting the event together has been a lot of hard work for the last few months.
“All of the ladies with stalls all have small businesses. They all work two jobs with their business, and look after their families at home,” she said.
Many of these women running their businesses have come from difficult backgrounds, doing what they can to make a career for themselves, which Ms Foladi said was an inspiration to her to see what these women are capable of.
“Some of the women are less fortunate than others, and I like bringing them together and supporting their businesses
“It’s a lot of hard work in business, showing people the good quality of our products, but we like it,” she said.
Ms Foladi said an event like this is a true family affair, with everyone in her family playing their part in both the event, and the day to day running in her business.
“All of my family are involved in my business, my daughters help me a lot on the weekends and at home, and even my 12 year old son is helping me” she said.
Around 500 people from across Victoria visited the event, some from as far as the CBD, further Eastern Suburbs, and beyond.
Those who attended were treated to an array of dress stalls, authentic jewellery, cultural food, henna and face painting for the whole family.
Ms Foladi said there is no better way to celebrate her culture.
“This event brings people together. People come from all over to see us, some are friends and family, some are customers from further away”
The event also attracted both local and state government representatives eager to experience our community’s diverse culture, including South Metropolitan MP Lee Tarlamis.
Mr Tarlamis said it was wonderful to come down and have an opportunity to have a look around, meet the stall holders and chat with them about what they do.
“This opens up new doors and avenues for them to promote their products and for people to come together as a community and socialise, with plenty of things for the young girls, kids, and adults and lots of wonderful food.”
He said visiting the event was an eye-opening experience that more people should be open to.
“It’s a fantastic initiative and I think the people of the community really appreciate it. It would be great to get more people here and get exposed to the food and the clothes and learn more about the different cultures”.