By Nerissa Hosein. Being born into a Muslim family, Eid ul Fitr has been part of my life since birth. It has always been a time for family and for tradition. There is a certain aura that goes along with the day that I have always loved.
Eid ul Fitr while growing up
As a child I remember getting ready with my parents, my grandparents and the rest of my family to go to mosque. I would have a hard time sitting still through the prayer but I always enjoyed it. Then we would give alms to the less fortunate who would line up outside the mosque. When we came home the smell of sawine would surround us. Qaseedas would be playing and all my cousins and I would play while the adults finished the cooking.
The day would go by with neighbours and other relatives coming over to eat and spend time together. It was a day that had such a peaceful and loving theme to it that I always found myself sad when it was over.
Eid ul Fitr as an adult
As an adult now with children of my own I still feel that way. Most of the traditions have stuck with us. Eid ul Fitr still has a certain air to it. The day itself smells differently to me than any other day. From the moment I open my eyes, I feel the auspiciousness of the day. Times have changed. My grandfather is no longer with us and he holds many of my Eid memories with him. But this year will mark the third Eid that he is not with us. There is a sadness very profound about that. But as a family we push on, hold our memories close to us and still gather together. I have married into another close knit Muslim family that have their own traditions, they too have suffered loss but my husband and I hold to the good moments and Eid ul Fitr to us is now a moment to give our children memories that they will one day cherish as we have cherished ours.
The day still starts with the familiar rush to get ready for mosque. The air is thick with the scents of sweet sawine, tinged with the spiciness of the curry. The crispiness of clean linens and woody aroma of polished furniture is also a strong presence. It is a fulfilling experience watching your own children get prepared for the Eid traditions that you know all too well. You see the excitement on their faces and you remember your innocent days.
Where we worship
My family goes to Eid Salaah at the Nur-E-Islam Masjid. It is quite an experience. The Salaah itself takes about an hour or so. The Imam’s words are always profound and deep, giving us strength and enlightenment. Afterwards the lines are long as the excited kiddies gather around for the Eid goodies! It sure is a treat for the young ones.
Our families gather after the Eid Salaah and the laughing and playing goes on around us while we the adults finalise all the preparations. The rest of the day always goes by with neighbours, family, and friends stopping by for the customary foods such as curry goat, curry mango, channa and aloo. Then comes the sweets such as halwa, sawine and burfi.
My favourite parts of the day is the ones that remind me of my childhood, the traditional aspects such as seeing all of my family and now extended ones come together. Hearing the Qaseedas that I grew up listening to such as Lahilaha playing in the background most of the day and the atmosphere that embraces us when we come together.
Yes, Eid to me is about family, about sharing and honouring past and present elders that have left us, and about holding close to the traditions that were handed down to us so we can pass them on to our young ones.
August 2014 – Issue 11 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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