Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Hamida Makes Me Cry
December 9, 2008

Today is Eid ul-Azha, the biggest holiday in Islam. It is a day when Bangladeshis celebrate Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Issac by sacrificing an animal - usually a cow or goat. One third of the meat goes to the poor, one third to neighbors, and one third to friends and family.

In the days leading up to Eid ul-Azha the streets of Dhaka are filled with animals in the markets and tethered outside of people's homes. I normally prefer to stay inside on this day because while I respect the cultural practices of the Bangladeshis I don't like to see the actual slaughtering.

This morning Hamida came into my office and excitedly told me that I can see cows from my window. I thought she meant that there were a bunch of cows tied outside in my neighbor's yard, so I followed her to the balcony to see. Sadly, what she really meant was that all of my neighbors were slaughtering animals in the yard! I was quite disturbed by the scene and yelped and ran back inside. Hamida started rolling on the ground she was laughing so hard...

I guess cultural differences can be entertaining from both sides of the fence...

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