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Eid 2011: A Week On

It’s been a week since we celebrated Eid. Usually, there would still be some lingering celebratory feelings but not this year. In fact, my family barely celebrated. Everything was done with a heavy feeling of obligation. We weren’t in the mood to celebrate at all that we procrastinated the Eid preparation until the last weekend of Ramadhan, where we squeezed a couple of weeks worth of preparation into the last 4 days of Ramadhan. It was a feat and a week on, I’m still recovering from that exhaustion.

My mother had not planned to make the traditional rice cakes, ketupat, the traditional way, by weaving coconut leaves and filling them with rice before boiling. She had just planned to cook the instant ones that are available at the supermarkets, to make our lives easier. However, when presented with a bundle of cheap(ish) young coconut leaves, my mom couldn’t resist and so my sisters and I were tasked to make them.

ketupat weaving

What would normal take my grandmother (when she was well), a couple of hours to do, took the three of us half a day to accomplish as we had to wipe clean each leaf individually. It was the very first time that we had to prepare the ketupat by ourselves, it wasn’t any wonder why it took us so long

We ended up with a whole basket of cooked ketupats with sizes ranging from as small as a baby’s fist to one that was one and a half times bigger than my fist.


We were so rushed for time that we didn’t even make that many treats and cookies these year. We made just enough to serve our guests, when in previous years, I would make enough to give all my aunts at least a bottle.

pineapple tarts

The night of Eid saw my cousins coming over for pre-celebration meal and it just so happens that we had a couple boxes of sparklers and I thought, screw it, lets re-live our childhood (even though the youngest of us was 16).

playing with sparklers

We had to play at the void deck of the building as the sparklers were very smoky and we didn’t want our neighbours to complain. I know that my sisters, my cousins and I had a lot of fun.

On Eid day, and the subsequent days after, we recieved a number of guests and this year, having developed Grinch-y, cynical feelings about celebrating Eid, it was an effort to slap on a smile and pretend that I’m all happy at having people whom I only meet once a year, descend to my house and ask me pointed questions about my life that aren’t any of their business. So my sisters and I spent most of the time hiding out in our rooms, away from the crowds and only appear to greet the guests when the arrive and when they leave.

Maybe it was just me being grumpy but there seemed to be a record number of people pushing the buttons this year.

There was that lady with no filters what so ever, asking questions that aren’t any of her business, without even attempting to make it sound less busybody.

There was that relative, who suggested to my aunt that maybe we have a black magic item that’s preventing my grandmother from moving on (read: that she should be dead and that the body lying in the bed is inhibited by something nasty) (Also read: my kneejerk reaction to that was not pretty).

The best of all, the 3-year old boy who went into my room, poked me in the boob and licked my arm before running off to pull my mom’s hair and then hit my domestic helper, all while the parents just shut up and watch.

I might just be a tiny bit pissed off with all of these but on the bright side, I only see them once a year.

Do you have any horror stories from your Eid celebrations or any festivities? Feel free to share in the comment section.