Eid is a beautiful occasion to spend time with friends and family, whilst devouring delicious foods and a chance to reflect on the month that was and the year ahead. But before all this occurs there’s the small matter of Eid prayer that takes place in the early morning. Upon completion, the mosque becomes handshaking central. It’s a jam-packed sandwich of people, well wishing and greetings. Whilst of course an undoubtedly joyous atmosphere, it’s not without its minor struggles. Here are my top ten…
1- The left/right dilemma
If the handshake doesn’t come with a great big hug are you even doing it right?! But whether you should hug to the left or right first can lead many to awkwardly hit into the other person. A symbol of friendliness can instantly turn to an uncalled for cringe.
As the people flow around you, and you find yourself greeting every Tom, Dick and Harry (or shall I say Mohamed, Ahmed and Abdullah) it’s not long before you see someone and start doubting whether you’ve already met them. ‘I definitely have’ you ponder to yourself and move on.
You’ll be wandering round and boom you see your old Islamic teacher. But he’s talking to someone. He’ll surely be done in a few seconds right? Right???
It’s been too long and some are starting to leave the vicinity. You can’t be standing around here forever, so decide to meet others and pop by later. You guessed it, they’ll have left by then.
5- The Repetitive Mutterings
If you had a dollar for every ‘Eid Mubarak’ you’ve said, you could literally afford to paint the walls gold. If it’s not that, it’s the bog-standard ‘how are you I’m fine what about you [they reply saying they’re fine too] that’s good’ you end it with a bland ‘take care’. Oh the linguistic variety…
They’re a family friend. You actually KNOW their name for once so you expect a few seconds of chatter. Apparently they don’t. It’s a quick wish and they’ve moved on to person 307.
Like I know you. Kinda. You may know me (depending on what mood you’re in). You may only recognise me with my dad present, so should I bother coming towards you?
You obviously don’t. But you obviously should. They’re obviously your dad’s cousin’s uncle’s husband’s grandson or some other equally arbitrary relation. Just laugh it along, answer quietly and move on.
They’re a mate. Perhaps a close mate. They’re definitely in the mosque. You categorically have to meet them, I mean why else have you opted for these brand new Ray Bans. There is absolutely no point calling, texting or whatsapping. There’s too much bustle for them to be checking their phone.