Wonderful Eid

Last night was something else; stopped by forum for a bit to see the shows, the music and of course the Henna. The ladies all had to get theirs done in seperate way. There was a great mood that night, everyone out feeling good about the end of a month of fasting. It was really nice to see such spirit and fun coming from this night.

Then today a friend invited us for food with their family, we ate three rounds before the afternoon was over! Was I ever stuffed. I was even fortunate enough to collect a little Eidi. I plan to return the favour tomorrow by paying it forward.

Back home, when I celebrate Christmas, there is a similar feeling in the city, everyone rushing about to buy gifts for everyone on their lists, the churches are filled with people from all over the community, the lights are up all over the place, there is music and carols being sung. Then on christmas day after opening presents we would visit family relatives for more present opening and then we would feast for dinner like we never feasted before.

Today made me miss home quite a bit. It also got me thinking. I’ve always celebrated Christmas with family, and only with family, sometimes friends. Never have I fasted for a month, or given a zakat to anyone more in need than I. Sure I’ve given money and non-perishable food items to the food bank, but nothing like the spirit of giving here.
The Ramzan experience, a month of family gathering, remembering goodness and giving to those less fortunate. I will remember Iftar every evening when we would get samosas and pakoras and jalebis and eating together as a whole group of friends. I wont forget it, and it sure will add a much deeper meaning to Christmas time for me.

24 Comments so far

  1. wasiq (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 3:22 am

    excuse me…is this post about christmas or….?

  2. SWA (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 4:27 am

    Its a shame that many people dont realize how generous most Pakistanis can be and how selflessly they can contribute to charity at times. Most of the Western countries usually make a big show of their donations and then make it a point to brag about it. They also tend to think that Muslims usually never help anybody.

    Lots of Westerners I have met also seem surprised that we dont celebrate Christmas and you see people making jokes on TV about some area of the world where people dont celebrate Christmas. Maybe they dont realize that people have their own festivals the world over that can be equally as good if not better.

    I wish I could celebrate Eid in Pakistan, cause in the US it just doesnt feel like it.

  3. danny (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 6:33 am

    Excellent post Neoka — appreciate your observations!

    @Wasiq: grow up!

  4. K.A. (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 7:39 am

    Sweet words Neoka. Its always nice to know that these things get noticed. though as SWA said slightly differently.

    Happy Eid to all.

  5. Faisal (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 7:58 am


    I will reiterate what Danny said above.
    Your comment came across as being negative
    and sarcastic. All Neoka was doing was
    making a comparison about the feelings
    felt during these religious holidays…..
    the spirituality, the comradrie, etc.

  6. anon_again (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 8:10 am

    Faisal: you might want to take a look here for ca·ma·ra·der·ie (http://www.answers.com/main/ntquery?s=camaraderie&gwp=13)

  7. Kumail (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 8:41 am

    neoka, i think we have switched places – i am in canada on eid by myself – and christmas always reminds of eid and the need to be amongst family and close childhood friends. Your observations are quite accurate.

  8. Faisal (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 9:16 am


  9. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 10:24 am

    @neoka: I agree with you but I hope people of karachi would give you enough love that you wouldn’t be missing your old friends much on such occasions. Enjoy your time and DO promote the positive things of karachi which normally isn’t discussed in outer world.

  10. MB (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 11:08 am

    Happy EID Neoka, and just ignore those ignorants please.
    May you have a GOOD EID here

  11. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 11:17 am
  12. Jamash (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 1:02 pm

    Wonderful post dear :).

  13. tee (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 1:09 pm

    nice post- just one thing, its not a celebration of the ending of a month of fasting, rather its the celebration of getting the opportunity to have to fast! sadly, not many of us realize that
    have a happy eid! =)

  14. Keep Walking! (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 2:01 pm

    Keep walking Neoka! Best of luck on your work in Karachi. Any website?

  15. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 2:31 pm

    @TEE: well said

  16. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 3:24 pm

    Wonderful post, Noeka. I really appreciate that you had mentioned all the positive things about our behaviour during Ramazan, though you could have easily mentioned about the negative aspects, this shows that you have a good head on your shoulders.

    Have a wonderful Eid and as Adnan Siddiqi had mentioned that please promote all that is good that you have so far observed about our us, our country and our religion to your countrymen on your return…..thanks.

  17. Neoka (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 3:53 pm

    Thank you all!

    I wanted to share a little about my experience and how in fact there are many similarities amongst our cultures.

    Plus, I do not tend to see things through a negative lens. Every country has their share of problems, and none of which are bad – just somethings that are in need of improvment.

    Besides how can one truly have a Ramazan or Eid experience without seeing all the great things that it brings.

    I do take your words with me everywhere I go, and I do share these experiences with my friends and family back home. Thanks Karachi!

  18. True Life (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 6:10 pm

    As Salamualaikum

    Eid Mubarak. May Allah accept our prayers and fasting and strengthen us in his Deen for the rest of the year, too.

    Remember me in your Du’as.

    Wa Salam

  19. al khan (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 9:16 pm

    SAW “Lots of Westerners I have met also seem surprised that we dont celebrate Christmas”

    @SAW – ‘WE’ as in who? If you mean WE as in muslims – then i disagree – whats wrong with celebrating christmas? – Or maybe i’ve misundersood….

  20. wasiq (unregistered) on October 27th, 2006 @ 3:40 am

    Years later……..,thanks Neoka for this wonderful post,it has been great help for me since i was invited by my boss mr ghaffar seth who lives in seattle,for the eid dinner with his family,expecting a raise soon,i was not sure as to what gift should i give him and his family on this happy occasion..having no clue at all…but after reading your wonderful post i come to know its just like christmas so i have bought for them an expensive christmas tree decoration set with mistle-toe and all…..thanks Neoka you are really a life saver….

  21. Moiz Kazmi (unregistered) on October 27th, 2006 @ 3:50 am

    a refreshing post :)
    Thanx Neoka !

  22. ash (unregistered) on October 27th, 2006 @ 11:08 am

    hey neoka,
    I really miss not being in karachi for eid. But i am glad that you got to experiance the really sweet side of being in Pakistan in ramzan and for chand raat. Get a mehndi tattoo to take back with you :)

  23. Ramla A. (unregistered) on October 31st, 2006 @ 10:32 am

    Eid Mubarak, Neoka!

    The way you described Eid is interesting, gives an “out-of-body/culture” experience of a festival we’ve seen since we grew up. The cash Eidi was always the best part, I still enjoy getting some from my father even though he already pays for our essential shopping on Chaand Raat.

    I found the part about Christmas and giving comparison knowledgeable. One of those things that one sort of knows, but it doesn’t “click” until one’s made aware of it. And that’s where intercultural ambassadors like yourself act as catalysts.

    This year, I did share a little more, with more spiritual involvement, sweet-ironically inspired by a Canadian book: Me to We.

    This hugely inspirational, get-out-of-your-cacoon-and-make-a-difference book is recommended to everyone: Me to We. Written by the Canadian activist brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger.

    This book just makes you want to cry! To jump! To run! To take action! For us Muslims, it brings round years of education that we took for granted at times as established faith and values. Virtues, values, and common sense human wisdom are proven by example of the Kielburger brothers’ work as well as the stories of several other activists, leaders, and everyday person change agents – backed by data, research, and real-life examples.

    They ask for the simplest change, for the smallest good, to begin at home, and to practice good old values of sharing, empathy, gratitude, faith…. and being there for OTHERS. COMMUNITY!

    Big word, COMMUNITY. This is why, Neoka, I think it was the perfect reading for Ramadan, right before Eid. It inspired new ideas in me… and reinforced my values.

    Written in a happy, conversational style that makes no one brood. HIGHLY recommended. :)

  24. wasiq (unregistered) on November 11th, 2006 @ 4:00 am

    Why christians of karachi don’t visit churches like they do in the U.S.A not even on a sunday morning…..?
    why hot snacks or sweets are not sold outside the churches like the muslims do at every place of worship….?

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