“Mustafa, go look who’s ringing the bell, tell them to get inside and I will be right there”. A sentence dad used to repeat tens of times during the days of Eid.
But anyway, my post is not about what Eid is. It is about what we used to do and what we do today, the different lifestyles and traditions, and how life manipulated our interaction and relations.
Not very far from now, the impact of Eid was much greater than it is these days. It meant a great time with great fun for all family members. Houses get prepared for continuous visits from wide range of guests, sweets and candies are bought in scary quantities, kids set up their wallets for the “no-effort” cash, and new clothes are a must. Having said that, you can now imagine how crazy the shopping was as people go everywhere to buy everything. When the Eid day comes, an amazing indescribable atmosphere starts. At a very early time of the morning, almost the entire city goes to pray what’s called “Eid Prayer” with everyone having their new clothes and dresses. After the prayer is done, people start shaking hands, hugging, kissing, and talking. It’s so peaceful and friendly that random people will come to you, shake your hand, and say “Happy Eid”. Families divide their Eid’s time differently. For example, in my family we used to make the first day for visiting relatives, second day for hosting friends, and third day for going out in general. As a kid, I always found the first two days boring hehe, because I didn’t like to sit and get asked the same questions over and over again. Things like “oh Mustafa, you got bigger” (Am I not supposed to?), “Mustafa, you look like a groom when is your wedding?” (yeah a wedding for a 12 years old boy, great), “You look taller and stronger, but you can never beat me” (sigh, sure thing uncle) were embarrassing and funny. Yes those moments were somehow boring yet they made you feel loved and appreciated. They let you know how much others care about you (not mentioning the cash I make from these visit and the candies I eat). The third day was my long awaited favorite day. We would go to a theme park and I would go crazy with the different rides and games (I still love theme parks). So basically during the old days of Eid, three amazing values are preserved and practiced; Family reunion (on the big scale), strengthening friendships, and making the kids happy. All that was under the big umbrella of having the whole society celebrating at the same time.
On the other hand (and I won’t talk about it much), Eid these days almost lost its flavor. Of course there are still many families and friends holding on to the old habits of Eid, but in most cases these habits are lost. Sadly, Eid nowadays is just another free time that you can use to sleep, do more work, or say “happy Eid” by phone to the family. Our interaction is getting so small that we think it’s enough to just send an email to each other. Lately, it’s getting even smaller that we only write “Happy Eid” as our facebook status. Neighbors don’t visit each other, relatives don’t bother about traveling to see their families, and kids are not as happy as before.
Life has gotten us very busy and distracted that we don’t feel the beauty of Eid anymore. Hopefully, one day, we will learn to get ourselves out of the crazy time to a more relaxed enjoyable time. Happy Eid everyone, and sorry it IS late.