Eid al- Fitr a reason to love one another

Urmila Chanam
Posted June 5, 2019 from India
With my northeastern friends enjoying delicacies in Ramadan Food Festival on the eve of Eid a-Fitr in Mosque road in Bengaluru, India
With my northeastern friends enjoying delicacies in Ramadan Food Festival on the eve of Eid a-Fitr in Mosque road in Bengaluru, India
Biryani stalls in the Ramadan Food Festival in Mosque road in Bengaluru
Biryani stalls in the Ramadan Food Festival in Mosque road in Bengaluru (1/3)

The door bell rang several times. I was not surprised to find very little children aged 8 and not more than 4 standing grinning up at me. Only children ring the doorbell like that. I did not recognize them but it was evident they lived in the same building as me. The little boy who was accompanied by a tiny girl brought steel tiffins 'dabbas'  filled with mutton biryaniand sweets and said, "Mummy sent these for you aunty. Eid Mubarak( Eid Mubarak or Arabic: عيد مبارك‎ is an Arabic term that means Happy Festival) ." The spirit with which the children came to my door was different from any other day and I could sense joy and love from their smiling faces and giving gesture. I had no gift handy to give to the children but my thanks. 

I had just finished eating the generous lunch gifted to me and was  getting drowsy when another neighbour brought me more food including meals made up of biryani, curries, salads, kebabs, sweets freshly made at home. I asked the good samaritan salwar kameez clad young woman, " Where have I seen you before? ," to which she replied that she was my next door neighbor's sister and lived in another locaility after marriage. "Eid mubarak," she said with a warm broad smile. 

I had so much food given to me that not only did I have a sumptous lunch but I would have an interesting dinner as well. The smiles, love, joy were also lingering all throughout the day, making my day a happy one.

I remember how many people had asked me if I was not apprehensive moving into a muslim dominated locality being a Christian wnen I shifted into my new house a little over two years ago. It took me just a couple of days to realize my house was right in the middle of several mosques with loud microphones to relay the namaz, the periodic prayers. I also faced a busy market street making it even more noisy most parts of the day, even late nights. But gradually over time I got used to the noise and way of life and nothing manages to disturb my sleep or work anymore.

Today I felt blessed to be here living in a muslim locality among them. Pampered. Loved. Included.My neighbor made my day special. Its a life changing gesture that deserves to be paid in kind. There is nothing like love to spiral how we feel about others and life in general.

Last night I was with my close friends on the eve of Eid at Mosque Road in Frazer Town, Bengaluru( India) for the Ramadan Food Festival that happens every year with stalls spilling into the streets with the most delicious meat preparations including fish, chicken, mutton, camel meat and so on. Thankfully it was a cool evening with some breeze to neutralise the effect of the barbeques and kebabs being cooked out in the street and the huge crowd of people which had gathered. I enjoyed different arabic delicacies with my northeastern friends Rini Ralte and Mamawii Boitlung. Among all the things we ate, worth mentioning are Pita, yeast leavened round flat breads, one of the tastiest bread I have eaten with Hummus  a chutney made of chick peas, onions and olive oil, all Arabic delicacies. We walked back home talking about the festival, people, their customs and food.

From what I have experienced, I know one thing for sure that if we can live among people who are different from us, celebrate their festivals like our own, eat and enjoy their food and beverages, accept, accomodate, appreciate their worship and accomodate and celebrate our uniqueness, there would be no scope for divisive forces to create misunderstandings between people and use one another to create hate around the word. Eid al-Fitr is a reason to love one another. 

Eid mubarak to you. 

 

 

This story was submitted in response to Moments of Hope.

Comments 22

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Eid Mubarak, Sister Urmila!

I love your reflection. It’s a holiday in our country today intended for this Muslim Festival.

The food given to you are mouth-watering. You’re blessed with generous neighbors.

It takes maturity to respect other people’s beliefs. If we come to think of it, without those walls of division built by religion, we find ourselves all the same: all needing love and acceptance.

At the end of the day, we are all humans capable of loving and respecting one another.

Thank you for sharing your community’s joyous celebration!

Urmila Chanam
Jun 05
Jun 05

I agree with all you pointed out sister. We are capable of overlooking differences and deliberating on love and respect if we want. Eid mubarak to you too.

Amen. Hope you have a great day!

Marie Abanga
Jun 06
Jun 06

Dear Karen,

Your comment says it all, I don't know what to add again. I am so apolitical and non religious or denominational, I don't even know the tribes of all my numerous friends, acquaintances and all. I mean, I am FREEDOM & LOVE PERIOD. All these divisiveness based on all those criteria just make me sick lol

Hello, Marie,

Thank you so much! Yes, I guess that's the way forward if we want to live in harmony in a diverse world. May you mentor more women to be like you. We need a lot of Marie Ayo Abangas in this world for sure. Hope you have a great day!

Olutosin
Jun 05
Jun 05

This is a piece that must be published in Nigeria. Sometimes we need to rub it.in our face. Diversity should be celebrated, we see each other daily, we work with one another, so what stops us from celebrating one another!
We serve God that lives in heaven. We love God so much, yet we haven't seen him before, but our fellows, that we see daily, we do not.love, we do not trust. We fight daily. People in Nigeria kill thousands of their neighbor's because of God.

Yet the highest law says love thy neighbor. How can we love God that we dont see but hate our fellows that we see daily????
I'm happy that you enjoyed the meal. Please eat to.your heart's delight. We are one.

Urmila Chanam
Jun 05
Jun 05

My precious, I love the question you raised on God who we love without seeing and people we live with who we have no time to understand. I am going to ensure I too reach out to my neighbors going forward with loving and supportive gestures. Its time to change.

Marie Abanga
Jun 06
Jun 06

You Sis,

In my country we are still good as far as religious wars are concerned - that doesn't mean they don't have issues meh. Well in my household we don't even think about not loving our neighbour for any such reason be it village, religion, gender etc. Indeed yesterday my last son Gaby was with our Moslem neigbour's girl and some other kids going around wishing happy Eid and they were giving some money and ended up at a sort of fun fair and had a good time.

Urmila Chanam
Jun 08
Jun 08

Dear Marie,
I am so happy to hear about peaceful co-habitation in your country of residence. I cannot say that in my country India especially with respect to our history and independence from the British colonial way back in 1947 when the country was divided on religious lines. Muslim part became to be known as Pakistan and Hindu part came to be known as India. That is the trauma of our past but I hope we with love and tolerance we can find what we once used to be- one.

Love and prayers
Urmila Chanam
India

Corine Milano
Jun 05
Jun 05

How lovely, Urmila! Thank you for sharing this story - I can feel the lively celebration around you, and am so happy that you are surrounded in warmth and love by your neighbors! Eid mubarak to you!

Urmila Chanam
Jun 05
Jun 05

It's a big festival in India especially where I live. All the shops even medical shops are closed and even today a day after Eid streets are deserted and everyone is home. A little act of kindness compels people to think and realign their feelings to others like it happened to me. Eid Mubarak sister Corine!

Lisbeth
Jun 05
Jun 05

Hi dear,
My sisters have said a lot already, all I add is have a great day and take care of yourself out there.
Regards

Urmila Chanam
Jun 05
Jun 05

Thanks sister. I am having a wonderful day here and going out for a movie and lunch with a friend. You too have a great day ahead xoxo

Marie Abanga
Jun 06
Jun 06

Happy Eid sis,

Here we live so intertwined it is a holiday for us all o lol. The sharing and merry is same for everyone like during Christmas for example.
Loads of love

Urmila Chanam
Jun 08
Jun 08

Its like Christmas alright. They say Christmas is the time to love sister.

Jill Langhus
Jun 06
Jun 06

Hello Dear Urmila:-)

What a lovely, and inspiring post. The food sounds so good, and what generous neighbors you have:-) It's so inspiring to me to hear about different cultures merging, being not only tolerant, but loving toward one another. This is the way it could, and should, be! Have you finished off all the delicacies now?! I could almost taste the hummus and biryani...yum:-)

Hope you have a great day, sister!

Urmila Chanam
Jun 08
Jun 08

My sister Jill,
The food was eaten by few of us and we relished it. I have also made friends with the children. I am very happy nowadays. I feel I am at home after 2 years in the real sense.
Love and hugs
Urmila Chanam
India

Jill Langhus
Jun 08
Jun 08

Hello dear,

I bet:-) It sounded like a sumptuous feast! Aw. Sweet:-)

Glad to hear!

Hope you have a great weekend!

XX

Tamarack Verrall
Jun 06
Jun 06

Dear Urmila,
This story gives me such hope. I am happy for you that you are being so welcomed into your new home by your neighbours, and that they would reach out to you on a day that is of such great religious importance to them. So much intolerance of others and disrespect for others' religions is taught by many religious leaders. You are blessed to have people as neighbours and community who understand the true meaning of spiritual grace - love and inclusion. How hopeful for us all!
Much love,
Tam

Urmila Chanam
Jun 08
Jun 08

Dear Tamarack,
India has gone through high instances of intolerance in the last few years over meat eating, religious beliefs, opinions and expressions of these opinions. Little acts of kindness go a long way to defy these occurrences and etch a new path of love and hope. Thank you for keeping the fire of hope on.
Love you Tam

Michelle Aslan
Jun 08
Jun 08

Eid Mubarak

Phinnie
Jun 18
Jun 18

Urmila-- What a touching story of hope and joy! I know here in the U.S. we hear mostly about stories of intolerance and violence and the media rarely focuses on the human interest stories of connection despite our different backgrounds...We need more stories like yours to remind us of the hope and love that can blossom between neighbors and strangers. Thanks for sharing and may all corners of our world experience more of these lovely connections!