Photo Essay: Working Behind the Scenes – The Exceptional Work of Ismaili Volunteers During a Jamati Feast (‘Jaman’)


Photographer Muslim Harji, centre.

Editor’s note: During cultural or religious celebrations such as the Iranian New Year (Navroz) on March 21, Mawlana Hazar Imam’s accession to the throne of Imamat on July 11 (Imamat Day) and his birthday on December 13 (Salgirah), several Ismaili Jamats around the world gather to celebrate with traditional dancing, and enjoy a feast prepared and served by badged and non-badged volunteers of the jamat, which include members of the randhan (food and entertainment) committees.

Muslim Harji of Montreal, who has contributed so many other fine photo essays for this blog, captures striking ‘behind the scenes’ portraits of Ismaili volunteers working selflessly for the enjoyment of the jamat at large. We thank Harji for this exceptional series of photos taken in Montreal and Ottawa, two Canadian cities which are approximately 180 kilometres apart.

6dd1345Montreal – senior volunteers discarding the garlic skin. Garlic is a tasty additive to any meal and has a reputation for its medicinal benefits. Photo: Muslim Harji



Without potatoes, a curry, biryani or pilau is incomplete. Seniors peeling potatoes. Photo: Muslim Harji



And who is winning the potato peeling race? Photo: Muslim Harji.



And a grinder on full blast. Plenty to do. Photo: Muslim Harji


6dd0ee2Happy faces, with ovens on the go to serve thousands. Photo: Muslim Harji



Just a moment, some more of the spicy kind, green chillies! Photo: Muslim Harji


6dd15c5For even taste! Photo: Muslim Harji


6ef93daMixing the rice for all-round perfection. Photo: Muslim Harji


6dd1171Katchumber/salad for pilau and biryani. Photo: Muslim Harji


6dd11eeWith joy and happiness, filling up the serving plates. Hot food all the time! Photo: Muslim Harji



Food about to be served. Photo: Muslim Harji



Jamati members enjoy the food. Photo: Muslim Harji


6dd129aLine-up for chai and juice. Photo: Muslim Harji



Junior Ismaili volunteers take on the tasks. Photo: Muslim Harji



Youth at work – yes, we finished it all! Washing time! Photo: Muslim Harji



High power spray. Photo: Muslim Harji


6dd0c43DJ music for modern and traditional dancing to follow! Photo: Muslim Harji



6ef962aHot Ismaili style bhajias, which is served with chai, being prepared for early-birds to the Ottawa Imamat Day picnic held annually at Stanley Olde Maple Farm. Photo: Muslim Harji



Beef ribs for lunch. Photo: Muslim Harji



…and some more. Photo: Muslim Harji



Pizza, an option. Photo: Muslim Harji


6ef982dFavourites — beef, chicken and corn! Volunteers always have their meals last after fully satisfying the jamat. Photo: Muslim Harji

Date posted: Monday, March 30, 2015.
Last updated: April 3, 2015.

Copyright: Muslim Harji, Montreal, PQ, Canada. 2015.


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