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Linking Young Minds Together
 Volume 5 | Issue 34 | August 28, 2011 |


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Young Voices

Blessings in Disguise!

Abedin Tayebur Rafique
Photo : Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

We look forward to Eid for several reasons. It is a day of celebration, going to the morning namaaz with our families and putting on new clothes and accessories. For the young members of the family though, the ritual of greeting elders to receive their blessings is often the most interesting part of the day. Of course, those blessings take the form of clean, crispy notes on Eid, and hence the tradition of 'Eidi' or 'Salami'.

“I don't remember who told me to greet elders by touching their feet, but I remember the insane excitement that overwhelmed me when my father handed down a 100 Taka note for the first time. Unfortunately, it was a further couple of years before my mother let me keep the money with myself-- it felt even better to be using a leather wallet of my own!” says Zaied, who just completed his HSC examinations. That is why Eidi is so amazing-- it makes everybody feel all grown up, proudly counting their earnings and even giving some to the younger siblings.

Highlight of the Eid day: receiving Eidi

Unlike many other things, the tradition of Eidi has never been restricted to the higher-income groups. The amounts may vary, but this small gift is received by youngsters belonging to most social backgrounds. It is hard to say how this tradition came into existence, considering what the size of most families in Bangladesh used to be. Nevertheless, Eidi is one of the most important parts of Eid, not only for children but for young adults as well.

While the ones receiving have a wonderful time, those on the donating end are faced with a completely different situation. The newly employed bhaiyas and apus produce a few hundred for their closest siblings or cousins and strongly claim to still belong to the 'young' group throughout the day, hoping to at least collect back the amount they paid. “Giving out Eidi while watching the sweet smile from your sister is fun. But it's not possible to make everyone smile, so I need to be very careful on Eid so that nobody touches my feet!” says Abidul, a young teacher. The elders take it easier, and they enjoy it, too. “I try to give Eidi to all my siblings, children and their cousins. It is not painful at all in fact, I see this as an opportunity to strengthen family bonds and show appreciation to others,” says Dr Salam.

“Back when we were kids, I used to save every penny I received on Eid. Now, at 22, I am usually done spending all my Eidi at an ice-cream parlour before dusk. However, the excitement of Eidi hasn't gone down a bit. I still run after my chachas and phupus and khalus all morning asking for Eidi, and then go back asking for more in the afternoon. It's probably childish, but it's fun!” says Farha. For these people, it is not the amount of the Eidi that matters. The sweet trip back to childhood and love from the close ones make them feel young, pampered and loved again. Surprisingly enough, even those experiencing a crisis in their pockets love Eidi too. That is the beauty of Eid and families-- they always make us smile.

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