I have been in Bangladesh for 3 weeks now, but haven’t had much of a chance to post some updates from here (haven’t had access to internet). So this post is a little outdated, but anyhow just wanted to share with you guys.
So first of all yes a delayed blessed Eid. From 6th to 9th of November we celebrated Eid al-Adha (festival of sacrifice). This is where the family purchases an animal (typical a bull or a goat) and sacrifices it by halal slaughter. It was a very special experience. We went shopping for the bull (lots of bargaining), we walked it for 6 km to take it home, we fed it for some days, we went to the mosque for prayers, and then finally the sacrifice (this is the abridged version of 3 days events :).
Now the sacrifice is NOT for the fainthearted – this is done the halal way and it can be quite gruesome to watch. But there is such a special feeling in the air – a special energy. Some cows you feel have come to terms with their destiny and are very calm, and others are very aggressive. After the prayers at the mosque a bull came crashing through the crowd and we had to jump for our lives. This was one bull that was not going to go down easy.
The bull that we had purchased was very calm though, but of course at the actual sacrifice it was not particular happy – fair deal 🙂
After the sacrifice the bull was slaughtered, and divided into seven portions – for the different family members. From each portion the individual family member would give one third to the poor, and one third to friends and family, and the last part was to keep.
In the following days we ate sooo much beef. Deliciously cooked by experienced Bangladeshi women. I cannot describe the taste – it was simply amazing. And probably the freshest beef I will ever eat. Hours after the sacrifice we had our first meal. One thing that I enjoyed in particular, was the fact everything of the bull was consumed. The beef itself, the brain (sooo tasty!), the tongue, the spare parts, the bone marrow. Everything was used – nothing was wasted.
Eid was a unique experience, and I feel very happy to have had the chance to partake in it. Not many people get this opportunity, and I really appreciate it. As I mentioned, there is such a special energy in the air, and it is really an exciting thing to see the closeness of the family and the community during these days. I think you can probably compare it to the excitement that many of the Christians feel during Christmas, spending time with their family, cooking traditional food etc (and the presents for the children hehehe).
Throughout my whole stay the people here have been amazingly hospitable, but that deserves a post on its own. More on that topic on another day, when I catch up with my blogging 🙂