Today is “Eid el-Fitr”. “Eid el-Fitr” is the day marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. In “Eid”, Muslims visit each other and serve traditional Arab pastries. All of this may seem like a lot of fun, but it’s not as fun as you think.
Firstly, on Eid day, you get too tired at the end of the day from kissing and hugging other people. But, here is the bright side: you get a really muscled jowl. Another major problem in the “greeting field”. As a guest, you should know whether you should give the other person two kisses or four kisses because it’s really impolite leaving people hanging.
As an Arab teenager, you hear a lot of compliments when you go to a relative’s house. You may hear the famous idiom “ Mashallah” which actually has a double meaning. Whether the person means that you’re beautiful or fat ( it’s up to you to guess). There is also this very popular phrase “You’ve grown so much!!!”, that you hear so much. I never found a response to this phrase, so I’m embarrassed whenever someone tells me that and I’m like:” Well, it’s normal, you know. It’s the course of things”. Here is one common thing that I used to hear all the time and has always seemed illogical to me. You have these distant relatives whom you didn’t see since a long time or that you don’t simply know they exist, and they come to you saying: “ I saw you when you were just a little baby, don’t you remember me?”. So, you shake your head “no” politely but inside you’re like:” How the hell am I supposed to recognize you ?”
One of the characteristics of “Eid el-Fitr” are the pastries. In every single house, you find and get served these small traditional sweets. You may not find food in the fridge but you’ll always see these pastries. So, you’ll have to eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and have them as snacks. You’ll be lucky enough if you won’t get diabetes by the end of the week.
However, our only motivation to go visit relatives as kids is “ Mahba”. “Mahba” is a small amount of money that adults give to the kids, as a gift. In “Eid el-Fitr”, you have three kinds of adults: the generous one, the stingy one and the one who doesn’t give, at all. Lucky kids are those who have a lot of generous and rich relatives.
Anyway, “Eid el-Fitr” is always a moment of love, generosity where families and friends gather, to celebrate their accomplishment of finishing the holy month of Ramadan which represents a very strong link between the Muslim community.
EID MUBARAK to all Muslims, and everyone else around the world!
Do you have any anecdotes about “Eid el-Fitr”? Share them with us in the comments!