Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Holiday Traditions

I’m a big holiday person, so every year on Eid, I make it a point to add whatever I can to make our celebrations special. I grew up in a family where holidays were always “overdone” (is that even possible???). My early childhood was spent in a predominantly “American” environment and my siblings and I enjoyed Christmas more than Eid. Obviously Christmas came with the tree decorations, the presents, the cookies and all the other holiday traditions. Eid however was very bleak and didn’t incorporate anything to look forward to. So my mom and dad made it a point to spruce up our Eid traditions in order to get us excited.

We made it a rule that everyone had to buy everyone presents. That meant that I buy something for my siblings and parents, and they all buy something for me and each other. Before iftar on the 29th roza, we all brought out our wrapped presents and laid them on the coffee table. If that night was “chaand raat” we were allowed to open our presents, if it wasn’t, then we had to wait a whole day before we were allowed to open them. Along with the presents, my parents added Eid lights and decorations. We bought the set of little white twinkling lights, and each year on “chaand raat” we used them to decorate our living room. Mom added her share of tradition in the kitchen, making sure each of us had a job to do for the “sawaiyaan”. Two of us chopped the badam and pistas while the other looked after the stove. Then my dad would take me and my sisters out to get mehndi done on our hands. And of course, in all the excitement, we wouldn’t eat enough dinner, so when we came home starving and our hands all covered with mehndi, he would sit us all in a row and feed us dinner from the same plate. It was the best night of the whole year, and by far….MUCH better than Christmas.

Now that I have a family of my own, I have borrowed my parents traditions and added them to Iman’s life. This year when I pulled out the twinkling Eid lights, Iman was overjoyed and pointed excitedly yelling “Happy Eid Lights”!! Omair and I bought her presents and… as always, we got a few things for each other. Unwrapping the packages was great, Iman couldn’t believe she was tearing something and we were letting her! Afterwards I took her into the kitchen with me and helped her stir the spoon… a nominal contribution, but a tradition that we will carry on for life.

Dr. Phil said in one of his episodes that we make memories for our children by adding traditions into our lives. I think he’s right. My parents helped create some of the most happiest memories I have, and I hope that some day Iman will say exactly the same thing.

11 Comments:

At 4:37 PM, Anonymous D said...

A great post. I'm fascinated by rituals and traditions, particularly those which have been around for so long, that they become inseperable from our cultural make up... although, somewhere in the past, they were probably created by something as whimsical as people wanting Eid to be as 'celebratory' as Christmas.

Sorry for indulging in another D tirade here, but I actually think that rituals act as such a crucial 'social glue'... and I think it's not surprise that the West's rejection of various rituals has gone hand in hand with the weakening of social bonds.

Tirade over.

 
At 4:38 PM, Anonymous D said...

The above should read 'no surprise', by the way... like you didn't know that...

 
At 5:39 PM, Blogger Hina said...

rituals act as such a crucial social glue...

THAT, was a tongue twister

:)

 
At 11:45 PM, Anonymous D said...

Yes, I thought it would be appropiate to reflect the imagery of cohesion in a sentence which, phonologically, contained words which appeared glued to each other.

I'm so pleased you noticed my genius.

 
At 3:07 PM, Blogger Hina said...

It takes one genius to appreciate another.

 
At 2:54 PM, Anonymous D said...

You go, girl!

 
At 10:15 PM, Blogger Hina said...

That statement just chipped off a little bit of your genius.

 
At 11:09 AM, Anonymous O said...

You depart young woman!
(you) (go) (girl) (!)

 
At 3:59 PM, Anonymous D said...

No, no, my genius is still intact, because it knows when to descend to the vernacular of the common man... or girl... who goes... somewhere...

 
At 2:51 PM, Blogger arfiman said...

You guys are weird...

 
At 12:43 AM, Blogger Kidinme said...

Aww Eid sounds lovely.

My folks used to make the hugest fuss at christmas, and not much for Eid, so we have turned this around.
The full whack for Eid...
Alhumdulillah I think my folks have seen a bit of light too...

Anyway, love the blog, and masha'Allah li'l Iman is edible, may Allah protect her.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home