Thursday, September 1, 2011

Eid Muhbarak!

Tonight was Eid. The festival ending the month long fasting of Ramadan. You know it’s time for Eid when the first crescent after the new moon is shown in the sky. Ian and I waited for the moon as the sun set. And among the gold and pink we saw it. An eruption of music and car horns saw the moon as well marking the beginning of Eid.

The next day we got dressed up and went to Dr. Barka’s for lunch. His whole family greeted us and brought us to a lunch of beef, chicken, expensive fish, vegetables with flan and cake for dessert. Dr. L advised us all to take small portions at first because they would expect us to take many servings. After three servings I could confidently take Dr. Barka’s wife that no, I couldn’t eat any more, I had taken three servings!

The afternoon past in a food funk and next thing you know we were expected at Dr. Hasmot’s for dinner! Dinner was served on the rooftop and even more splendid and plentiful than lunch. The entire family stood over us watching to make sure we were comfortable and enjoying the food. It was very awkward.

I made sure to proclaim loudly, again and again, how good “bahlo” the food was. At one point I started to have a panic attack and didn’t think I could eat any more than the small portion on my plate. I looked at Ian for help but he, at 6’5” had no sympathy for my small appetite. I just kept eating. And somehow, my stomach stomached it.

Many of the children entertained us by singing and dancing during our meal. It was wonderful. Whenever the power would go out, we would take an eating break to look at the stars and point at constellations with Dr. L’s laser pointer.

I’m glad we have a large family here right now in Rangpur. It would’ve been very sad to leave that warm large family otherwise. In the car ride home we saw men with loudspeakers in the street dancing in the moonlight. It was very pagan in an urban kind of way.

We all went upstairs with drums and a guitar and joined the music of Rangpur with our own homeland tunes. “Country roads, take me home…”

Asalam Walaikum,


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