Friday, November 9, 2012

7. makes you think - traditions

It was Eid almost two weeks ago. Our families (both mine and my husband's) are in different parts of the world. We come from different cultures, with different traditions, and this got me thinking. There are Eid traditions that I remember from my childhood, like going to the outdoor prayer in the morning, visiting relatives and being gifted with money (Eidee or Eidiyyah). Being in the UK, we got used to sending money to other countries to have the sacrificial animal (udh-hiyah) slaughtered and distributed to the poor. Hailing from North Africa, my husband is used to personally taking care of this. Very personally. Meaning, in the garden or the driveway of the family home! This year, he didn't miss out on this tradition (albeit at the abattoir) and I was more interested in the wool (I didn't get any) than the meat but I realised that we have formed our family unit based on a combination of traditions. Some that we need to hold on to and some we can let go of and being proud of our own identities and allowing our children to see that. Some traditions deal with major issues and some deal with daily, mundane ones. But a religious holiday made me think more about this. We've adopted some of the other's traditions without even realising it and then we've started our own too. Subhan Allah! It's amazing!    

Old traditions:

Slaughtering an animal and distributing a third of it to the poor. This is an Islamic tradition.

Going to the Eid prayer after sunrise.

Greeting each other after the prayer. In my family, the tradition is to hug an "Eid Mubarak" to the right, then the left, then the right! In my husband's family, the "Saha Aidkoum" greeting consists of kissing the right cheek, then the left, then the right again and then the left again! 

Putting henna on. In Algeria, my girls were a bit shocked to have blobs of henna put on their palms while they were sleeping as they're so used to the intricate Asian designs. My sister-in-law has spoilt us too!

Wearing special clothes and gifting children with money.

My daughter was given this bag of goodies at the mosque.

Having traditional sweets. I'm used to the burfis and traditional Indian or Pakistani sweets. 

My husband is used to the traditional Algerian ones

Going out somewhere different, like a park, the Corniche to try and see some fireworks. I do like the idea of having a family meal at home but this Eid we decided to go out just for dessert! 

New traditions:

Having a fancy breakfast of a combination of traditional food, like Algerian Baghrir or sweets and South Asian Sevia, or just modern day treats, like Cinnamon Rolls 

and Mushroom and Onion Biscuits which is what we went for this year. 

Giving gifts sometimes instead of money. Even small gifts!

Treasure Hunt! My brother usually sets one up and the kids just love it! Well, he once created a very cryptic one for the adults which we had lots of fun with! It seems to have become a bit of a tradition and so I made sure there was one for them this Eid.

Spending time on Skype! Oh yes! This is the best way for us to see and talk and laugh with all of our loved ones across the globe!

Don't you love forming new traditions along the way? I wonder if I can come up with some creative ones!


Amena Ali November 10, 2012 at 8:06 AM  

You have a very interesting blog mashaAllah :) Did you bake the cinnamon rolls and the algerian desserts shown in the post? Do you have some recipes for the algerian deserts? I would love to try some!

Maryam November 11, 2012 at 2:25 PM  

mashallah sounds like you had a really good time...I have to say for me that eid here is not as nice as eid in london though...I don't really enjoy it which is bad of me to say because it's an islamic festival!

Amina Advany Maglajlic June 17, 2017 at 10:49 AM  

I love meeting other mixed couples. I'm half mixed White American and half Pakistani. My husband is Bosnian, we like you have made things our own.

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