Today it is the third day of Eid – it is meant to be Three Days as far as I know. No doubt many of you have consumed meat in various quantities and styles, with curried, biryani and kebabs featuring prominently. (Part of my feels we sometimes eat like its Eid everyday)
My most memorable Eid-ul-Adha was when I was around nine, and the younger children and my mother were on our legendary Grand Tour of The East Coast of the USA.
In the middle of our tour, it happened to be Eid-ul-Adha, but this had already been factored in. We were staying at a large house in the outskirts of a small town in Maryland. The end of the garden had many trees, and we could not see the next house. When living in an inner-city redbrick terrace in Leicester, this was a new experience for us.
Our uncles had arranged for two goats to be tethered at the end of the garden, and had dug a deep hole near them. We were encouraged in the weeks preceding Eid to feed these two little cute goats. We named them Ateeq and Irfan, the masculine versions of Aatika and Erfana, my younger sisters. We all loved little Ateeq and Irfan, the cutey little goats at the end of the big garden.
So on the day of Eid, we dressed up, went to the local mosque to pray, then came home and did general Eid stuff, which, when one is aged nine, involves mainly eating and accepting gifts of one sort or another. During the morning, we went to the garden, where we saw the uncles quite happily putting rubber aprons on and sharpening knives. We were fed, and full of money, so we didn’t care: everything was fun.
The uncles went about the business of slaughtering the goats, and the blood, hygienically, went into the pit (ohhhh that’s what it was for!) whilst another uncle quite happily used his new-fangled video camera (VHS not betamax).
The afternoon was spent with the Aunties cooking, and us children playing. We didn’t notice Irfan and Ateeq were not about, as our pockets were still heavy with money. * It was only until the evening time that we were told that Ateeq and Irfan had been killed. We were told this just before the food – goat curry.
While we were eating, one of the uncles put the video on of the actual slaughter. It was quite graphic, but we thought it was normal.
Me: “Oh who is being slaughtered”
Me: …Who are we eating?
Auntie (from the kitchen) – Irfan – Ateeq we have packed in the fridge**
The moral – if you are going to slaughter a goat and record the process on video, make sure children, haven’t bonded with the goats first.
*(note to self, when giving money to baby-moo, I must start off with lots of heavy change as at that age, money is judged by weight)
** Its uncanny how Aunties can have superhuman hearing when it counts and be stone-deaf when they feel like it. All the Aunties I know still have this skill.