|ilona's channa chaat|
ramazan (the month of fasting) concludes this weekend. around the world, muslims will celebrate the festival of eid. in pakistan, the country of my birth and early adulthood, a committee of old men with compromised eyesight will be tasked with sighting the crescent moon that heralds the celebration. the politics of the sighting of the moon are such that celebrations will vary, with some parts of the country celebrating a few days later.
choti eid always makes me miss my family palpably. i find that its festive nature and tradition of giving is much like christmas in the christian calendar. in pakistan, the nation stirs into jubilation after of a month of austerity and fasting. celebrations begin on chaand raat (literally moon night). even the buildings wear garlands of lights. families rush to the bazaars which remain open late into the night. there are bangles to be bought and clothes to be collected from the tailor along with the last minute rush to stock up on ingredients such as milk, bread, cream and yoghurt since most of the shops will be shut over the holiday.