Produced by Hussein
BA Hons Multimedia Journalism
“I really appreciate you bringing me and showing me your culture.” I received this text from my friend shortly after my Eid event and it lit up my day.
Eid Al-Fitr has just shortly passed, it is the celebration that followed the month of Ramadan where Muslims around the world fast for a month. As much as Ramadan gave its blessings and challenges, it dawned on me that Eid itself is going to be entirely different this year.
Religiously and culturally, Eid has always been a time where family and friends would come together. To cook, converse, laugh, and enjoy our accomplishments for the month. However, this was the first Eid that I had in Bournemouth. Which means this was the first Eid I had to spend it by myself and away from the familiar feelings of my culture, of family, and of a community that has participated in Ramadan.
But, the day of Eid this year is everything but different or lonely. My friends has taken the time out of their day to come around to celebrate the day with me. Both in Bournemouth and away. They showed up and brought memories to that cooking, conversing, and laughing moments.
The night before Eid, I put on traditional Malay Eid music and got to work for preparation. I have invited my friends around for a potluck-style lunch, where people will come around and bring a dish with them. It was 7.00pm and I got to cooking. I spent five hours in the kitchen cooking up traditional Malay cuisines and desserts while my friends helped out while opening conversations about Eid. Moreover, I was able to reuse a banner for Eid decorations and set up some fairy lights.
By the next morning, following the warm feelings of Eid prayer with a large Muslim community in town, I came home to prepare my flat for arriving guests. My friends trickled in slowly in the afternoon. It was a time spent eating, sharing my culture, and having a laugh. I felt warm and comforting knowing although this is my first Eid alone, it is the first Eid experience for all of my friends. It was something new, but something new to love.
Eid like most celebrations, can have a change in familiarity each year. As an international student and growing into adulthood Eid is different from the usual childhood feelings of what it was like in Malaysia. This year was entirely different to what I have done, but somehow my friends were able to fill up that feeling of community and support. The celebration was sweet and easy and I was happy to have shared this side of my culture and religion to my friends.
I would like to wish you an Eid Mubarak!