Sunday, February 01, 2004

Well, Eid Moo-baaaa-rik to one and all.

The Moslem majority of the family is celebrating Eid of the Sacrafice. It was Sunday, my sabath, but I made some adjustments to join the festivities. I left Church early, after attending only 2/3 of my meetings, stopped at Jewel and bought a Elmo balloon for my 2 year old grandson. I wanted him to have something fun, since cash Eidie is meaningless to a 2 year old.

My youngest son came over to visit, bringing his friend, a Russian/American convert to Islam, Oleg. He had been to Namaz, thankfully. He remembered to bring flowers for his sister-in-law as I requested. (May he always bring flowers for the hostess from now on.) The attatched card was a sweet note about learning to appreciate things (read: people) he had previously taken for granted. He was dressed in his signature Pak/Ameri look of baggy blue jeans and a kameeze. They played x-box and played with the babies, 2 year old and 4 month old nephews. It was Super Bowl Eid in America, with the game dominating the afternoon. My two sons are big football fans.

We ate the chicken biryani, dahi-burries, and sheer kurma made by my daughter-in-law. (Laugh at my Romanized Urdu if you must, I'm doing the best I can.) I kept hinting that we should have bukra (goat) for Bukra Eid, but none was boughten. Oh well, it was Chicken Eid this year. I didn't make any American sweets, the tradition in our family is a german chocolate cake. I wish I had, 'cause it's 12:30 and I would love a piece of cake.

Before we moved to Pakistan our house was a magnet for all indoor Eid celebrations. We made tons of food and the girls and boys took turns hosting a dozen or so of their friends in the basement family room at a time. I learned that teenage girls can and do eat just as much as teenage boys! They loved my husband's wonderful Paki cooking and my American baking. We had the best of both worlds, Paki main dishes and American desserts.

Eid in America is pretty lame compared to Eid in Pakistan. Eid there is preceeded by weeks of preperation. New clothe is boughten and taken to the tailor before he gets too busy. The tailors work round the clock to turn out all the extra clothes. Then there are the other shopping trips to get shoes, bangles, hair clips, duputta, Eid cards, henna for the hand. Two weeks before Eid the undeveloped land in our sector of town gets turned into a kind of bizzar, Other-world State Fair, with cows, sheep, goats and the occassional camel all brought into town to sell as sacraficial animals. We like to drive through just to see the goats playing king of the hill, the wild colors and markings spray painted on the animals to show ownership, the people shopping and haggling for the best beast. It's quite a wild and exciting place. It's total bedlam! Of course, we stay away from that area when we are in a hurry because the traffic is crazyness. Many people cruz by treating the area like a drive though shopping from their cars and slowing up traffic terribly. This is the time when you see sheep and goats riding on the back of motorcycles, rickshaws, taxis, trucks, cars, you name it, even bicycles! Cows and buffalow have to ride in the back of trucks. We have yet to see a cow in a taxi, but over there, we have learned to "never say never".

I haven't written anything about the actual slaughter of the animal. My husband is such a kind hearted man he even hates to buy a live chicken. It's last few frantic squacks before the blade seem like a personal cry for life directed at him. So with such a gentle hearted husband, we usually have not bought an animal, but donate the money to charity and avoided all the blood, guts and gore of the actual slaughter. Last year was the first year we actually had our own beasties. I think I complained that I like goat meat and we never have any since we donate, and as business owners and employeers, we would be expected to give meat to our employees, so last year we bought a sheep to sacrafice. We tried not to get him too early, only a day before, but even in that short time we grew to love him. We dressed him up with a shirt, sunglasses and cap and took family pictures with him. We did have to hire professional butchers to do the dirty deed, since we it would feel like murdering a family member to kill him ourselves. But I must admit, the meat was wonderful. He was the tastiest family member I ever ate. Speaking of family...

Later I was able to talk to my wonderful hubby, and darling daughters, although only for a short time. It was good to hear their voices, even thought the sound quality was poor and the time was short. I have to mention that half a family sometimes seems like no family at all. We miss those who are not with us, but we are grateful to be with those here in the states whom we would miss if we were in Pakistan with the rest of the family.

If you can't be with the ones you love, love the ones you're with.

Wishing you all the joys of Eid, family, friends, food and fun, and may you aid others in need.

We all need to contemplate what are we willing to sacrafice. In our mortal lives, each of us must climb our own Mount Moriah as Abrahim did and be willing to sacrafice that which is most dear to us on God's request. What will He ask you to sacrafice? Money, career, fame or fortune, our sins and weakness,control of our lives, our willfulness?

Whatever He asks we must be willing to give it up, trusting in God that is of for our good.
Ps: Sorry for the spelling error, Spell check wasn't working, and please use the tag board not the comment box, I still can't get into it. Technical problems...