Eid Mubarak to you and yours!

Our local Pakistani association (PAFA) [Pakistani American Friends Association] held an Eid dinner at a Pakistani restaurant. DH was already telling me that his mother always cooks milky pasta (can’t remember its name) on Eid. I realize that I am still self conscious about my cooking, but have decided that we will start some Eid traditions of our own. OK, too late for this year, but just in time for the baby, next year. I think that I have been hesitant because I am not certain how to proceed. 1. Do I try to immulate the old traditions that his family has perfected? If I do this, it still won’t be like his mother’s cooking or Pakistani traditions. After all, there is no lamb to lead home, no sounds/smells of slaughter, no tight community that we belong to, no milky pasta and no constant streams of Urdu — at least not from me. But, memicking the old traditions would probably feel most familiar to DH and make him feel more at home. — or
2. Should I try to blend the celebration with a compromising feast of food and traditions? I think that these questions for Goris are always present… how much to blend and how much to preserve. Is Blending watering down the tradition?
In any case, for now, we have decided to start some traditions of our own. i am hoping that he can draw on his childhood to help me make them similar to those from home. i want a way to preserve his old traditions without mangling them too much. No, I don’t want to learn to cook Payaya from a newly slaughtered goat’s feet! But i do want some type of culture and tradition to be preserved. I want our Eid celebration, in some ways, to resemble that of his childhood. Anyway, the invitation said that the Eid celebration would be from 5:00–8:00. Transportation picked us up at 4:30 (their only available time slot — or so they said), and although the location was quite close to our work (or we would have had to travel about the same distance), they got us to the restaurant within 30minutes. thus, we were ready to eat at 5:02 PM. The food was not ready until 6:45. An acquaintance of ours, (Curious beautition), (whom we have not talked to in about three months) also showed up. She loves indian food and called us out of the blue the night before.. We told her about the event and she came. At least we had someone to talk to. Conversation was good and so was the food. It usually takes Dh a while to warm up to other people — or rather, it takes people a while to warm up to us. DH asked about the ratio of Americans in the group and the friend and I were two of three Americans in attendance. There were about fifty Pakistanis or South Asians. Obviously the “American” part of the PAFA organization leaves a bit to be desired. (smile) It does not bother me, though because if I was not almost the only American, I would certainly be one of two blind individuals; so I don’t even think about it much.
There was vegetable biryani (which I skipped – rice rice rice), Channa masala, Kibabs, salad and fresh naan. If I could make channa masala and kibabs like they do, I’d make them more often. I think I had three kibabs and thought about taking a couple for the road! (Can I use the “pregnant card?”)! They were just a tad spicey for me, and DH thought that they were just :”OK,” but I really liked them. [I’m going to have to put meat grinder on my list]. The rice and nuts for the kheer was ground more finely than I had tasted before. There is a name for ground rice, I just can’t remember it. It was also more milky than I make it. The meal was delicious, though. OK, we were a bit
disappointed that they did not have some good spiced tea, aloo teeki, pakoras, chicken tikkah, halwa poori, katoris or mango lassi. [Is it obvious that we had time to fantasize about the food selections before the buffet was actually set out???] And I know that DH’s mouth was watering because he kept asking: “what are others doing, is it time to eat yet?” Even though they did not have some of our favorites, , I wanted to stock up on those kibabs and channa masala.
After dinner, the women moved to one side of the room. I did not realize this until the curious friend pointed it out to us. We (the friend and I) were on the “men’s side,” [but no man or woman stared or seemed to take notice]. Although we did not get a personal invitation to join them, when we did join them, a woman brought chairs for us to sit on. we moved to the other side of the room and listened to women play the dhoolki and sing. I wanted to see the dhoolki. But, I am not that assertive and there were at least two layers of women to penetrate before I could actually put my hands on the drum. The dhoolki was on the floor and a circle of women sat around it. They took turns playing it and passing the microphone to sing Punjabi wedding songs. DH was not in the mood to translate. there was at least one outer circle of women on chairs. Our curious beautition friend described what the women were wearing and any other differences. She could not explain the drum because she could hardly see it, herself. I keep saying to DH that when I go to Pakistan, I am buying a Bansuri, Dhoolki and any other instrument that I can’t find in the USA. I’ll learn how to play – or our son will!!!!
We listened a while. For the most part, people were polite, but reserved. Our friend actually saw one Pakistani woman physician who is also a client of hers at the salon. They talked about her hair. Sometimes, DH throws me for a loop. He does something totally out of character. Some men were sitting around telling jokes in Punjabi. Without an invitation, he moved closer to them and just joined in. He is never usually this assertive. He was standing, so we took that as our cue to leave, but honestly, he was enjoying the fellowship of the men. Whoops, nonverbal cues can be so deceptive.
All in all, we had a good time. And, like so many times before, DH was glad that he went, although he second-guessed the decision a few times before actually arriving at the restaurant. i wonder how different it will be after i have the baby. I’ll analyze next year’s Eid.

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2 Responses to “Eid Mubarak to you and yours!”

  1. Cris en la India Says:

    Hi!,

    I think ground rice is called “rava” but I’m not sure if they have a different word in Urdu :).

  2. д§mд Says:

    do you mean kheer? thats what this whole milk rice thing is called and feerni as well. But in one ground rice is used , in other whole rice.

    as for ground rice, in urdu they are simply pissay chawal 🙂

    And the milk pasta is basically sewiyaan which are freakingly easy to make .. do tell if you want recipe; i.e., if you havent mastered it already 🙂

    BTW stumbled upon your blogs today and have read lots of random posts on both blogs. its great to read how you perceive pakistani relations and living 🙂

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