Sunday, September 3, 2017

Eid lights up myriad lives

Mariecar Jara-Puyod,

SHARJAH: Time to look back to one’s origins tightly held by age-old traditions this Eid Al Adha (Sept. 1), the Day of Sacrifice, when Ibrahim willingly submitted to Allah’s command to sacrifice his son, Ishmail.

It is also “Quadruple F Day” for fare, family, friends and fun.

For this year, homemaker and mother of two daughters Noraisa Tamano from Sharjah, had been pre-occupied on two accounts.

She had been taking charge of buying new items as well as packing furnishings and decors for the new home family is shifting to on Eid itself.

She had been preparing big for the menu of Pizasali (falafel-like delicacy), Beef Randang, and Manok Piaparin (a special Maranao dish wherein the chicken is sauteed and then cooked in coconut-turmeric mixture) not only for kin and kith, but to everyone involved in the house shifting, as well.

It is going to be a feast, definitely.

She and husband Roy had planned long time back to change residence on this special day for convenience purposes.

Both too, believe that “doing a major event for the family on a very significant day becomes more meaningful.”

“Having a new place on a very important occasion is a blessing.”

Tamano linked up their decision with the ancient practice among the Maranaos, the Filipino Muslims in the Lanao Provinces, in Central Mindanao.

“Whatever major changes a family has decided upon such as buying or transferring to a new house must coincide with festivals such as the Eid Al Adha for more blessings and peace.

She however pointed out that there is “no religious connotation to it.”

As reared back home, Al Qasimia University Islamic Studies students Faisol Yusoh and Abdul Alim Samae will sincerely ask for forgiveness for both past conscious and unconscious misdeeds from those they would be fellowshipping on Arafat Day, which will also be spent for prayers and fasting.

Sophomore Yusoh plans to attend the barbecue party organised by the university at the courtyard near his dormitory on Eid: “Some of my countrymen will pick us up to spend the day with them.”

It is the first Eid away from home for freshman Samae: “The night before the Eid Al Adha or Hari Raya as we call it in my country, I will prepare the best clothes because the Eid is the day of happiness, celebrations and family gatherings so I want to be in my best before my Muslim brothers and sisters in Sharjah.” 

For the Eid, Yusoh will prepare and share with friends Kao Mok Kai (the Thai version of chicken biryani with Thai jasmine rice served with sweet chilli sauce).

Samae will invite his multi-cultural classmates to try his Thai Chicken Noodle, a favourite since childhood because of its tasty soup, “a result of the many hours of braising chicken parts with spring onions and herbs.

For the ninth year in a row, Malaysians in Dubai and the Northern Emirates shall be gathering for prayers, potluck and posterity at the Malaysian Trade Centre Hall in Karama, Dubai from daybreak.

Malaysian Trade Commissioner Remee Yaakub, designated by Consul General Yubazlan Yusof to be event-in-charge, told The Gulf Today: “The tradition to gather and to pray has been a practice since 2008 as part of our public diplomacy engagement.”

The proceedings shall be conducted in the Bahasa Malaysia national language with the takbir and the khutbah to be delivered by Vice Consul for Education Ustaz Mohammad Norsyam Abdul Rahman.”

The simple reception shall be a display of mouth-watering fare such as Nasi Lemak (a popular Malaysian breakfast item), Murtabak, Lemang (sticky rice in bamboo), and Rendang.

For housewife/entrepreneur Zaini Wardani, Arafat Day will be the usual day for fasting.

The normal chore of spring cleaning and house re-decoration shall be done as well in order that all will be spic-and-span come Eid Al Adha.

Prior to the usual visit at the Consulate General of Indonesia in Al Hudaiba, Dubai and after their family time with Allah, the Wardanis are going to break their fast and relish company in the midst of a menu of three traditional dishes from their homeland.

The main spotlight is on the Opor Ayam (traditional chicken in coconut milk dish) served on special occasion like the Eid Al Adha and Indonesian Independence Day.

Rendang Daging (spicy meat dish from Minangkabau, West Sumatra), Lontong Sayur Medan (rice cake served with shredded chayote, tempe, tofu, hard-boiled egg, sambal and krupuk) complete the family bonding.

The lady of the house is looking forward to the visits with relatives the rest of the day.

The kitchen of former teacher-housewife-mother of three Rozaini Abu Mansor will be ambrosial at least a day prior to the Eid for the following Malaysian dishes: Nasi Impit (rice with peanut sauce), Randang, Nasi Lemak (rice with coconut sauce to be eaten with spicy anchovies, and Satay.

As their home has become an open house for any sojourner, Eid Al Adha 2017 for the family will again be a joyous occasion with friends from their motherland as well as their children’s classmates from Sharjah University, the Wellington Academy in Dubai and direct from New Zealand where a son is taking up post-graduate studies in Auckland.

Abu Mansor volunteered: “It is our practice to buy new clothes especially for the kids. We do this every year because we want to encourage the next generation to adhere to our Malaysian customs and Muslim tradition.”

Jumar Taurac and his wife Inshira will also be buying new clothes—kandura and abaya—for themselves and a new dress for their four-month old daughter on the eve of Eid.

The Dubai Health Authority employee turned nostalgic when asked about the Arafat Day and the Eid Al Adha, saying that as an expatriate, “it is not easy to be away from our families and the comfort of our own home.

“However, during Eid, we do our best to make the most of it. The day is not only about fun, food and gifts. We should not forget our prayers and helping others.”

Taurac explained that as Arafat Day is dedicated to prayers and fasting, Eid Al Adha will both be a day for prayers and feasting with fellow Muslims and non-Muslims.

“We arrange a potluck party. Being Maranaos, we usually prepare our special dishes of Manok Piaparan and Beef Randang. These bring us memories of our Eids back home in the Philippines, particularly in Marawi City which is now a war zone, unfortunately.”

He raised the red flag though for their authentic “very spicy” appetizer Palapa: “For the non-Maranaos please be careful when you eat this.”

Of course, there will be the variety of rice cakes from all over the Philippines aside from the seemingly unceasing conversations and games like the tug-of-war, hataw sa palayok (break the pot), basketball and sack race.

“We have exchange gifts as a sign of love and Sunnah (practice) of the Prophet Mohammad; may peace and blessings be upon him.”

1 comment:

Paul Rockower said...

Yes, I got to experience Eid al-Adha, aka Eid al-Kabir (the big sacrifice) in a most interesting way. Here in Morocco, everyone sacrifices sheep. On the day of the sacrifice, the streets are filled with burning sheep heads. They carve up a whole sheep and eat it as a family (not all at once). I have eaten a lot of sheep guts of late, as a gesture of kind hospitality. Sheep guts cooked in olive oil, garlic and cumin is quite a delicacy.

Years ago, I got to be experience Eid al-Kabir with my Moroccan host family. We had a sheep living in our apartment for 2 days. The first day, I wondered how I could be party to the slaughter--then the sheep kept me up all night with its bleating, and I was ready for the sacrifice.

My host family cured the sheep skin and gave it to me as a fluffy rug present. When I arrived back in NY to customs, the customs agent asked me about the rug:

"What is this?"

"I ate him."

"Um....ok, you can go."