Suvra Rahman, Academic Lead & Director A E Academy
Not long ago…. Eid was such an event of excitement. It was full of activities.
Eid as a child was only new dresses, good food, and accompanying mom to relatives’ houses. No school, no studies, and lots of fun programs on tv. Eid as an adolescent was shopping with mom for dresses (and the dresses had to be like the Indian actresses’ dresses!!), going to neighbors houses with the neighborhood friends, collecting eidii money from anyone that is elder than I was, eating sumptuous food in everyone’s house, coming home in the evening tired, watching Eid Natok on tv. University days were more fun! Along with shopping, new dresses and this that, there was a new addition! Secret Boyfriend!! It was a totally thrilling experience. All of us friends had to make a scheme so as to how to go out with the Boyfriend without letting anyone know!!!
So, those were the good old days! Then begins the endless days of responsibilities once you aremarried, have a job and a child!!
Shopping is still there but it is mostly for others, good food is there but you have to cook it yourself, and rather than you, going out, guests will be crowding your home, you will, of course, get tired but not for enjoyment but for entertaining guests all day and evening. Even then, eid is eid. Eid means joy, and it is a blissful occasion. Though we complain that eid of adulthood is not fun, but it comes to us with a different meaning, that is not self-entertainment sacrifice and giving back to society. The happiness lies in giving gifts and food to the less fortunate people of the society.
Now, what is eid to our north American generation? I was asking my students around; the response was varied. Most of them really do not care about eid because it is not highlighted anywhere. They like Christmas more than eid the reason is pretty clear Christmas has all the grandeur, the malls are decorated like magical fairyland, Santa greets them in so many places. the giant Christmas tree lit up in the main squares of the city, Christmas parade …oh, so magical, so many programs are broadcasted on the tv, so many special movies are there……..so it is all fun and festivity all around. But for our eid there is no national festivity, it is celebrated only among the ethnic groups. It is nothing but a private ceremony. Our children know it is a one-day special event when mom cooks good food if she doesn’t have work on that day( as it is never a holiday like a Christmas day), and if they have close family and friends then they go out to visit them dressing up.
We the parent need a plan to present eid in a far majestic manner to our children otherwise not only the festivity but also the religious aspect of it will be lost forever. We have to be united in our effort to establish our culture and religion out wise our next generation will not be able to carry our tradition forward. In Canada, slightly over one million individuals identified themselves as Muslims. representing 3.2% of the nation’s total population, this is a considerable number to stand for our own rights and rituals. We should begin the movement.