Sunday, August 19, 2012

Eid mubarak!

In celebration of the culturally-confusing way I spent Eid this year, here are some ways to say Eid:

The Malay way, which I grew up with (and which practically all Singaporeans, whether Muslim or not, say it) is Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir dan Batin which literally means Happy Day of Celebration of Eid, I seek forgiveness sincerely from you. That's because we have a Eid morning, post-prayer and pre-breakfast ritual of asking to be forgiven from the old and the young, together with tearful kisses and hugs.

For me, always awkward. Haha!

The Dutch way is Gelukkig Suikerfeest, which literally means Happy Sugar Party! Very culturally-specific no? But I guess Eid cookies are the staple of Eid anywhere in the world.

Moroccan cookies

This year, Eid was a tiny affair. The Dutchman and I went (I cycled! In a long skirt!) to the Indonesian mosque (the mosques are largely segregated by ethnic groups because of the linguistic abilities of the imam and administration) and we had another Dutch muslimah with us as well! It's always really nice to be able to sit with someone in the mosque.

By the grace of God, we managed to find a space in the main prayer hall with other ladies (still behind a barrier of course, but at least a low one!) just in time before they closed off the area to prevent overcrowding. Some administrative announcements for zakat fitra were made in both Bahasa Indonesia and Dutch (again, very nice!) although the Eid sermon was a typical long and droning one in only Bahasa.

Dutchmuslimah was also very surprised at the number of Dutch men present, and the good-looking offspring of their families. I was quite surprised at the number of ladies walking around in knee-length skirts! In general, Indonesian mosques are more tolerant of uncovered hair in the mosque, but this was new :)

To complete the Dutchness of this 'sugar feast', we had tea/coffee and cake/quiche at a cosy little cafe in town.

Hmm, maybe apple pie next year! Have a blessed Eid everyone, and let's enjoy the return to our fitrah and the beautiful gifts that Ramadan has given to us to enjoy and keep close to us for all of our days.

Summer hydrangeas!

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