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In the Spirit of Eid

EBRU KESKİN

EBRU KESKİN

It isn’t the favourite religious celebration for the animal rights activists I guess but Eid is here and I am particularly excited about it. Eid will be four delightful days of visiting friends, family and other acquaintances. It is also an opportunity to forgive those whom you want to forgive as people are more receptive to forgiveness at this time of the year.

It unites us all much like any other religious holiday which is why I try to celebrate them all. Chinese New Year? Love it! Christmas? Love love love it! Divali? Adore it! I embrace all religions, cultures and festivities as they enrich my life at frequent intervals during the year.

I spent majority of my life as a vegetarian and only recently discovered what I had been missing out on when shunning meat as nutrition. My personal trainer tells me I am what I eat and he asked me what I wanted to be; a mushy piece of broccoli or a lean piece of meat? Hmmm yes that’s what I want to be; a lean piece of juicy meat! This is why it is essential to eat protein and obviously meat and fish is the main source of it. In fact a lot of my friends (mostly male) tell me that humans are meant to be carnivores...

It is simply not natural to eat vegetables. As someone who truly loves the Mediterranean cuisine I won’t go as far as to say that vegetables are not great but now I have to agree that meat is the way forward. So this brings me to Eid which begins this Thursday the 25th October. This year I decided that the tradition of meeting at mum’s house should change and I should host the Eid dinner. The only way to celebrate Eid is with red meat of course and I will be serving a roasted leg of a lamb to my family and making a huge fuss about Eid.

Why the fuss?

Because my teenage brother and sister and my older sisters children need to learn, understand and grasp our traditions in order to appreciate their inheritance. It is necessary for the new generations to carry on good traditions and understand its origins.

This particular Eid is called *Kurban Bayrami in Turkey which translates as Feast of the Sacrifice. Whilst some western cultures find this tradition ghastly and abhor it, I think that it is a beautiful occasion. This is a time when people who are more fortunate help out those who aren’t. It is a time when Turkish people and the rest of the Islamic world focus on the true values in our lives such as family and friendships.

During Eid (*Bayram) we stop to appreciate what we have in life and to also share it with those around us. Each year Turkish people send money back home to get sacrifices made in their name and handed out to the less fortunate in their own home towns. This is a good tradition and should be kept alive. Islam has not had much positive light recently but let’s not all forget the beauty that is within all religions and cultures.  This particular Eid is a celebration of the ultimate act of sacrifice; it is about Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to give up his only son and therefore happiness for the good of the world and others. This Eid should perhaps remind us that we not only live for ourselves but should consider others well being as well.

So go for it, fish for an invite if you are not Turkish and have some Turkish or other Muslim friends, you will surely be treated to a world of amazing food and hospitality this week. Invite round some friends, cook a big dinner that night, in fact just go ahead and make some roast lamb. You can always email me for a recipe.

All festivities should be embraced and Feast of the sacrifice is a particularly glorious one to get involved in. As Mevlana said ‘Come whatever religion or culture you are; we will be united with love’. Happy Eid everybody!

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