Happy Eid to all. This being the “bigger” Eid culminating the holy pilgrimage. I had meant to write up a post on the Hajj but, uh, never got around to it. Instead, here is a decent write up of the ritual [and a visual one]. This Eid isn’t all fun and games like the first one. Largely because of the animal sacrifice. You gotta buy the animal, care for it, sacrifice it, cut and distribute the meat, fight off the many claimants of the skin. It makes me a vegetarian every year for at least 10 months. I understand that the act symbolizes Abraham and God engaged in the high-stake game of chicken but still I, for one, cannot wait for the time when this really does enter the symbolic realm. The animal prices go up every year. The meat distribution matrix slims down every year. It’s just a downward spiral. Let me crib my point from two bloggers on the scene in Karachi.
I hope Danial doesn’t mind that I translate a portion of his wonderful post on Eid:
The price of meat is so high that a poor man can hardly ever eat it. For the poor, this Eid is their only chance to eat all the meat they can. But is the meat distributed equitably to the needy? I had a conversation with Bablo’s mom on this topic. She said, “Look bhai, we only sacrifice one goat. And one leg goes to the future in-laws of my eldest daughter. One goes to my brother’s house. Since Babli is getting older and I have to maintain relations with my brother. And on top of that, all my relatives sacrifice cows and send me tons and tons of meat so don’t I have to send them more than two bites?”
Now you can guess for yourself how much and what cut of meat is left for the needy.
Sin puts the matter in a blunt, yet poetic manner:
In other news, Eid is coming up (AGAIN). Islam and it’s two Eids, known, affectionately and in literal translation, as “Big Eid” and “Little Eid”, are really beginning to get my goat. No pun intended, since this is the Eid during which all good Muslims are supposed to go nuts and slaughter livestock at home in order to symbolise√ñwell, slaughter and sacrifice. Quite frankly, the smell and sight of raw goat/cow/camel intestines and offal cooling slowly on the back lawn, next to my orchids, and the resultant hours spent in the kitchen trying desperately to package and distribute said meat to friends, family members and the “deserving”, is all rather abhorrent. Not to mention unhygienic. Sadly though, my family refuses to adopt our otherwise-tried-and-true technique of dealing with most matters; namely, throw money at the problem until it goes away. I don’t see why we don’t. The damn mounds of tripe and flesh reek, they taste awful, and it’d just be much more convenient to pay out the cost of the fucking livestock to a charity that may actually do some good with it. Poor people who can’t afford housing, or medical care, will, I suspect, not benefit greatly from being given five kilos of raw goat/cow/camel.
Have a good weekend, gentle readers. and have a cow.
update:Here is a beautifully imagined take on Eid by Bridal Beer whose blog world I am sinking in, post by post.
update 2:Thanks to new CM reader Rehan, here is an excellent gallery of the big Eid in Islamabad.