Saturday, July 31, 2021 | Dhu al-hijjah 21, 1442 H
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Nostalgic for a traditional Eid
Eid al Adha of 2021 has been oriented towards the nuclear family. Far from the Eid of yesteryears, Eid al Adha of this year has been challenging for some, but creative for others

The celebration of Eid al Adha traditionally brings together not only family members but also the community from the joint Eid prayer to cooking shuwa to sharing the sacrificial meat as well as gathering at the village Sabla to folklore singing and traditional dancing by the members of the community.

“Yes, traditionally people in Sur and other places perform folk dances and songs immediately after the Eid prayer in the morning even before they return to their houses to perform the sacrifice of Eid al Adha,” said Shakir al Araimi from Sur.

“In Sur we cook the meet in the pit from the previous day around 5 pm and take it out at midday on the first day of Eid and is called Muthby. It is one of the main ingredients of Eid festivities. In other parts of Oman, it is known as shuwa. In some places, the meat is taken out on the third day. Even during the lockdown, some people could prepare shuwa because they have farms,” added Shakir.

Eid al Adha of 2021, however, has been oriented towards the nuclear family. Far from the Eid of yesteryears, Eid al Adha has been challenging for some, but creative for others.

There have been nostalgia, yet acceptance of practicality and the bigger cause -- break the chain and fight the pandemic.

Ahmed Othman said, “Everything is okay, but it is not real Eid. Everyone is just stuck in their houses.”

Mohammed al Kindy reflected, “Eid is a special, joyful event and a celebration for all people around the Islamic and Arab world especially for the elderly and the young. It is an event where all get-together and spend time meeting families and friends. The real charm of this traditional event is the happiness from the gatherings.”

But the meetings and gatherings are all in conflict with the protocol of the pandemic, and hence the lockdown to maintain social distancing.

“For the previous and recent four Eids back we had really bad and heavy gust which ruined all the ritual beauty and charm of our traditional moments. It brings a lot of sorrow and worry and not to forget the loss of the young and the elderly amongst us due to Covid-19,” said Mohammed.

This would have an impact on the behaviour, opines Mohammed. “it might have an impact on our values even some concepts which reflect through our social habits and bring in changes in our identity and sense of belonging.”

According to Mohammed, Eid is now looked upon with a sense of fear when it comes to visiting others and attending family gatherings, kids going out to buy toys at the Eid Market and asking for (eidiya), and enjoying Omani traditional food and songs.

“This has been really challenging but we need to stick to our traditions once we overcome the pandemic. No matter what, we need to believe that this period will pass and I hope these few words will give a good vision of happy Eid yet to come. Please enjoy to the maximum and remember the technology is really helping to get us connected even in different times and locations,” explained Mohammed.

When asked about the emotions attached to traditional celebrations and why some people could not cope with the change in the scenario from a psychological perspective, Dr. Hamed al Sinawi, the senior psychiatrist said, “Yes, but many managed to have a good time. It is a state of mind. Most people are resilient. I see people on Instagram posting their activities, almost like previous Eids. The good news is that the number of cases is dropping, so it's worth it.”

So what is ‘state of mind’?

“State of mind is your emotional state at a certain time and how you decide to deal with them. We all know we can't change certain things in life but we can change how we react to them. For example, if you lose a close person (separation or death) you are bound to feel upset.

You can't bring them back but you can work on your feelings of loss,” explained Dr. Hamad.

And the good thing is one can look forward to Eids in the future celebrating traditions.

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