Raising a child in a Western country has its challenges, none more so than passing on our rich Bengali heritage and Islamic traditions. In a land saturated by Christmas and Easter events, how do I make Eid relevant and fun for my pre-schooler? How do I instil in him the same joy and excitement I would feel upon spotting the crescent moon that signals the start of Ramadan or Eid? What can I do to create warm, fuzzy memories that he can fondly look back upon and associate with Eid, the same way I do? And more importantly, how do I weave in the moral lessons of kindness, generosity and gratitude that are the cornerstones upon which these festivals, and our culture, are based upon?
I write about Eid and Ramadan related activities I’ve introduced in our house over the past few years.
Writing his obituary reminded me of what a wholesome life he’d had. It also reminded me of the smaller, every day moments that make up life, the moments that define human relationships and provide a window into one’s personality. Moments that generally don’t get written about. Moments like our trips to Dhaka Club to pick out a video of my choice – a regular little indulgence that would often be prefaced by lunch or dinner at the club restaurant, where he’d always introduce me as his youngest daughter. Or the times when I’d barge into the air-conditioned confines of his office and unbeknownst to my khala, we’d indulge in a cheeky shingara, food that was generally forbidden given his cholesterol friendly diet.