Eid always brings a sort of bittersweet nostalgia. After spending so many years in Qatar I’ve gotten used to celebrating Eid in the Middle East although I haven’t yet grown fond of it. It lacks the giddy anticipation and family bonding over Eid shopping that I’m accustomed to in Cape Town. Granted, I haven’t celebrated that many Eid’s in Cape Town and the few times that I did, as an adult, it wasn’t the most pleasant.
But it’s the minor details that I miss. The little things that make Eid, well, Eid. Any other Cape Townian muslim, especially us Cape Malays as we’re called, will be able to relate to the follow things:
- Eid shopping. You all know how packed malls can be when the slamse mense take over before Eid. I don’t particularly enjoy shopping but I liked spending that time with my mom and siblings.
- Pie on Eid morning. Where did that tradition start anyway?
- Eid money. Do you guys still count how much you’ve made at the end of the night? Haha
- Eid night. Probably the most fun you’ll experience on Eid with close cousins and friends. I absolutely loved those moments.
Of course now that I’m in Jordan Eid celebrations here are similar to Eid celebrations in Qatar i.e non-existent. I have no idea how to roll pastry properly let alone bake a pie so there goes that tradition. Well at least until I figure it out, which I will eventually, so that my future kids get to experience waking up to the smell of freshly baked pie. I overslept. I’m not sure what time I crawled out of bed and into the shower, especially since it’s Winter now and our clocks have been set back an hour. In Cape Town I enjoyed getting dressed up for Eid, since most of the time I’d be in jeans or shorts which my grandmother would always reprimand me for. Turns out I’m still not lady-like enough at age 21 although I feel that Eid makes up for that since I usually wear long dresses and pretend that I’m a Grecian princess. This Eid was an exception; I opted for a poncho with a bronze feather necklace, channeling my inner hippie.
Hussam doesn’t have family here so there were no relatives to visit; instead we ate out and spent Eid night talking and drinking coffee; a tradition we’ve started regardless of Eid and one I really enjoy. In the next few years we’ll be making our own traditions, a blend of Palestinian/Philippino and South African/French/Malay/wherever-else-my-ancestors-are-from, so much so that our household will seem like a mini UN. I suppose it’s the closing of one chapter and writing the next one, I just wish I didn’t have writer’s block in that regard.
[Late Eid night, lounging on a camping chair]
[“Let’s take a random Eid photo” et voila]