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NEMA Eid Night

Yasmin Aminuddin

Several families braved the wintry weather to join in the Eid celebrations hosted by New England Malayalee Association. As it was the first time an Eid cultural night was being held, adults and children looked forward to it with enthusiasm.  The location was Wayland church. The program began with a welcome speech by Dr. Omprakash Pillai. Zarouk Mohamed Jaleel, gave a talk on the story of Eid.  Eid ul Adha or Bakrid is celebrated by Muslims all over the world. It falls on the 10th of Dhul Hajj, according to the lunar calendar. This year, it was on Jan.21st.  Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) was asked by God to sacrifice his beloved son Ismail. Both father and son agreed to follow God’s command. With a heavy laden heart, Abraham was about to sacrifice his beloved son. At that moment, God spoke to Abraham and said that he was pleased with Abraham & Ismail’s readiness and a ram appeared ready for sacrifice.  To commemorate this act, Muslims all over the world sacrifice a ram and distribute part of it to the needy. 

Wajida Syed, then regaled the audience to a humorous take of different accents and everyone enjoyed the hilarious performance of the diversity that exists in many an Indian language. Sarah Kuruvilla, Muneeba Syed, Shruthi Karnani, Kavya  Bharathidasan dressed in colorful costumes  danced to the tune of ‘Mehndi Hai Rachnewalle’ from the film ‘Zubeidaa’ . Excellently choreographed by Sapna Ashok, children tapped their feet  and jingled their bracelets to the lilting rhythm.

An Oppana followed. Dressed in authentic, colorful costumes, Veena Pillai and her bevy of damsels performed a unique combination of  Kolkali, Oppana, and Daffu Muttu Oppana is a popular dance among the Muslims of Malabar and is usually performed on wedding eves and includes a lot of clapping of hands. The bride is seated in the midst. Rani Umesan was the bride. The dancers were Veena Pillai, Ambily Abraham, Priya Nair and Rinu Joseph. Kolkali uses sticks and follows a steady rhythmic beat. The Daffu Muttu so called because it is accompanied by a drum or ‘daff’ made of goat- skin or leather. It can trace its origins back to prophetic times.  All these elements of tradition were well blended and choreographed to perfection by Veena Pillai.

           Then there was a  fashion show  in which children dressed in dazzling costumes that spanned lehengas, ghagra cholis, salwars, sherwanis, bridal dress and the penkuppaayam and kaachi stole the hearts of the audience as they walked in to share the lime light. For some of the participants who were hardly 4 years , it was perhaps their first performance. The participants were  Nadha & Hana Mashood, Nikita & Amy Shalab, Adiba Ubaid , Afreen Mohamed Jaleel, Isha Harris, Azmina Ilyas, Samuel and Saviol Sunny.  Ranging from the traditional to the contemporary, some included a veil which is part of the Muslim woman’s identity and the ‘thoppi’ or cap worn by boys and men. A violin recital by Zarouk Jaleel was the finale to the cultural part.

         Food that followed was enjoyed by all the guests and got rave reviews. Hot Pakoras,  Biryani, a traditional dish of rice and chicken in layers  The organizers had taken special trouble by catering Halaal food . Vegetarians had fluffy Naan and Mixed Veggies Kurma and a dessert to wash it all down.  After which children queued up as a couple of adults patiently adorned their little hands with mehendi.  The warm and cozy atmosphere and the camaraderie among the guests attending made it a nice and wonderful experience for all. 

       "Eid Night" Comunity Methodist Church, Wayland,

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