Food for Thought

Eid Mubarak! Alhamdulillah we have just celebrated the end of Ramadaan after 29 days of fasting. It is always a bittersweet goodbye as we bid farewell to the month. The kindness and spirituality that is amplified during the month of Ramadaan will start to dwindle and we all go back to our normal routines and sometimes, self involved priorities. I hope and pray that we can hold on to and carry the feeling and sentiment of the holy month of Ramadaan throughout more months of the year. Insha-Allah.

The day of Eid is a lovely celebratory day. The run up to Eid is filled with confirming attendance at the various gatherings you have been invited to, baking, ordering, planning the parts that’s your responsibility. The night before the moon must first be sighted just as it was when the month began. The day starts with a special Eid salah (prayer), followed by a huge family breakfast. Our tradition is still the same even though my grandmother has passed for a number of years. The family still get together at what was her home, all the cousins and aunts and uncles are in and out of this central location. Even if the rest of the day everyone is split amongst other invitations for lunch and dinner,ย  breakfast is a priority for everyone and we all get to see each other.

We have a lovely long table where everyone sits together and there is the most delicious eid roast chicken and eggs (because its breakfast right). The food is passed up and down along the table as people dig in. This time is especially special, cousins enjoy and catch up. Moms, daughters and aunts talk about the kids and school and how quickly the month went ๐Ÿ˜‰ Banter between everyone is a must. Then someone asks for a photo, which triggers a whole series of photos to be taken, LOL!

In our community on the day there are people all over the place visiting each other, greeting with warm hugs and big smiles. Cars will drive past and people will randomly stop and talk animatedly wishing each other well, before driving off to their actual destination. The food options are endless on the day, we are spoilt for choice, with a variety of favourite dishes that our moms and aunts prepare. We are so fortunate to have access to our families on a day like Eid to appreciate each other, and just share in this special time together. You will see family members that you haven’t seen in a long time. An old Aunt might still pinch your cheeks and plant a wet kiss on it :/ Every gathering that you attend on the day has a mini photo shoot so everyone can capture the memory to store for later. Social media posts are filled with kids all dressed up, fancy table settings, and menu’s to die for.

But then you think is it too much. It’s like everything we do nowadays is supersized. This year I really noticed the elaborate table settings that people posted. Like really WOW table settings. Some table setting photos posted on Instagram truly blew my mind. Like the queen herself perhaps has not seen cutlery and crockery of this opulence. Under plates, side plates, a glass for everything, and an extra gold-rimmed glass for good measure, a fork for every possible serving. flowers and other trinkets adorning the table like a piece of art. And all this for BREAKFAST. A new more elaborate picture appears later during the day for lunch and then another for dinner.

I mean, I absolutely love a beautiful table, and flowers to match but I was exhausted just looking at the pictures. Like did you really sit and eat at that lovely, elaborately decorated table or did you perhaps set the table three weeks ago and took pictures for the day, perhaps in advance, for your instagram post? I mean, who has firstly the time, secondly the energy and thirdly theย variety of crockery and cutlery for all those different meals during the day!? They did make for beautiful pictures, though, power to you, instagram people ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyways, for me the day is primarily still about family. Sharing meals with as many people as you can, hence the multiple invitations and gatherings during the course of the day, then making a point to visit people who you are not sharing a meal with, a special visit for the sick and families who have a lost a loved one during the year.

When the day is done and you get to put your feet up, you kick those heels off and you sigh in contentment at how lucky you are to be surrounded by loved ones. You also may not move for sometime after that, mainly due to the food coma ๐Ÿ™‚

“Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.” -Rumi


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