So excited to have the amazing Tamania behind the fabulous new blog, Urdu Mom, here to reminisce about Eids back home and how her Eid as a mom of two, looks like now. ENJOY!
When I think about Eid in Pakistan the memory is a colorful collage of bangles, mehndi, sheer khorma, eidi and family get-togethers. The eve of Eid called Chaand Raat was the highlight of the festivities. Everyone would be waiting to hear what the “Roet-e-Hilal Committee” (moon-sighting committee) decides. The only source of news was the sole TV channel, PTV. It would be a true Eid if it was announced on the 29th Roza that the next day is Eid. There would be jubilations, hugs and mubariks all around. My parents would take us to the bazaar to buy bangles for Eid. The streets would be busy and festive. Strings of bright electricity bulbs would hang over makeshift stalls that housed rows and rows of colorful bangles. We would return to the car carefully holding the bangles wrapped in old newspapers, their glitter already coming off on the paper and our hands. Although my Dadi (grandmother) would be asking us all to sleep on time, there would be lots to do that night before the big day: laying out the clothes with the matching shoes and accessories, catching any special TV programs or just giggling in the excitement of the day tomorrow.
My grandparents would give us all Eidi after the men came back from the Eid Namaz. You were expected to have showered and changed your clothes by then. I would say “Adaab” and lower my head infront of my dada and he would put his hand on my head, say “Jeete Raho” and then hand over the Eidi, which was cash in crisp new notes that he got from the bank the day before just for this purpose. Breakfast on eid day was Sheer Khorma. What a treat!
Another tradition in my family at Eid was to visit anyone’s house who wasn’t celebrating that year due to a recent death. As a child it was a great reminder of the ups-and-downs of life and why it’s important to think of others even in the time of your happiness. My nana passed away before any of his grandchildren were born. So we would also visit the graveyard to show him our Eid clothes. Another lesson from childhood of remembering those who have passed away in loving ways and keeping them a part of our life.
Eid greetings changed from special Eid Cards bought from book stores, to E-cards and then simply text messages, and so did some of the ways Eid was celebrated all around us. However my parents always carried out the Eid traditions of our house. There were many dinners and get-togethers over the 3-day celebrations. By the third day of Eid we were all well-fed, super-tired-but-happy and ready to count our Eidi to see how much we scored this year.
I moved to Canada ten days after getting married, so my first Eid in Canada was in a new home, in a new country with a brand new husband. The first couple of Eids in Canada were spent calling immediate and extended family to wish them “Eid Mubarik” and when they would ask “what did you do for Eid”, replying: “Yahan to Eid bari pheeke hai”.
It was after I had my daughter I realized the importance of celebrating Eid and making it a tradition. I was the mothership myself now and needed to give my little one a base.
She is four now and we do age-appropriate celebrations. My mother always sends us Eid dresses from Pakistan and the arrival of that package kick starts the celebrations in our house. Since my daughter doesn’t get any presents for Christmas but most of her friends do, we have invented a character called “Chachi Eid” who mysteriously brings presents for my daughter over Chaand Raat (We leave out a paratha for her instead of cookies and milk). I love the look on my daughter’s face on Eid morning as she tip toes into the living room to see if Chachi Eid indeed did come and then to see her gifts, the eid banner and the balloons. That moment is priceless.
Last year I went to my daughter’s preschool for a special Eid presentation. I read out a book to her class about Eid, and we taught all the children how to wish “Eid Mubarik”. As a craft, the children made Henna patterns on hands drawn on paper. I loved the look of pride on my daughter’s face as she saw her “angraizi” friends enjoying a celebration that belonged to her “urdu” world.
For Eid we arrange small family dinners where all the children get eidi. Usually the night before someone hosts a “henna” party. Eid is a celebration of love, friends and community. My daughter is now old enough to understand that not everyone is as lucky and we are including activities for her to share her good fortune. My hope as a mother is that when my children think back about Eid, it gives them the same warm glow as it gives my heart and it encourages them to keep the tradition alive.
TAMANIA IS A MOM, WIFE, HOMEMAKER, PART-TIME MARKETING CONSULTANT AND ADVENT COFFEE DRINKER. SHE LOVES TO WRITE ABOUT THE URDU ADVENTURES OF HER PAKISTANI-CANADIAN FAMILY AS URDUMOM. HER WISH AND GOAL AS A MOTHER IS TO PASS ON THE LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING OF THE PAKISTANI CULTURE TO HER CHILDREN GROWING UP IN CANADA, THROUGH THEIR MOTHER TONGUE URDU.
Thanks so much for sharing those beautiful memories Tamania. Wishing you and your family a lovely Eid 🙂
What are some of your favorite memories about Eid? Would love to know.
Thanks for reading. Lots of love.