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Celebrating Eid ul-Fitr 2009

Due to certain circumstances, this year’s Eid isn’t as joyous as it was previously but my family tried our best, even if it meant slapping on fake smiles and be all fakely happy despite the drama.

I woke up early on Sunday, without needing my mum to wake me up. Within a few hours, all the mess in the living room was cleared up, the table cloths ironed and changed and all the plates/glasses/silverware, arranged next to the dishes and everything was ready for guests. My mom even turned my birthday lilies into the centre piece on the buffet table.

Lilies as centre piece

Every year, the trip up north to visit my paternal grandmother is a must and this year was no different. To me, Eid is not just about the food, but it’s mainly about family. It’s one of those few days in a year that I get to meet majority of my relatives and catch up, so meeting my my cousins on my dad’s side was nice. I may not have much to say to them as I don’t know how to initiate a conversation but I tried and I did enjoy their company.

On the way home, we passed by a number of houses with oil lamps lit around their compound, some people playing with sparkles and some of the houses had fairy lights decorating their houses. These things added to what my dad referred to as the spirit of celebrating Eid in the village.

He told us how, as a child, he and his brothers would go out to find old tin cans or even cut some bamboo to make into those oil lamps, and how they’d build their own canons to shoot sparkles into the sky. I remembered when I was a child, my grandmother’s house would be alit with the oil lamps and I had so much fun playing with sparkles with my cousins. I even remembered one year when one of my late uncles and my cousins had built their own canon and the resounding blast for that made my ears ring but it was so much fun.

Listening to him tell stories from his childhood gave a sense of nostalgia, wishing that it’s as simple now as it used to be. My sisters didn’t get to experience the full spirit of Eid like I did as a child and part of me is saddened by that. I just hope that when I have children one day, they’ll be able to experience Eid that I did.

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