Thursday, August 16, 2012

*Childhood Memoirs ~ Zanzibar Ramadan*

Posted by M.S. at 1:00 AM

The innocence of my childhood continues to be mothballed in my memory of the many Ramadan’s of decades ago in Zanzibar.

The memory of my childhood Ramadan will always be…

…responding to the question ‘You mean you can’t even have a glass of water?’ for the 87th time in a fortnight
…the soft shaft of kitchen light in the bedroom, telling us that shucks, mom was up at 2.30am and that meant that only a few more minutes of sleep before a soft voice would beckon us out of the blankets with “chalo beta, sihori…”
....the vendor who every night sang in his melodious voice "UTHO YAARO MUSALMANO" waking all for Sehri. I was always curious to see who this person was, but was a scare crow at that time & would peep from the window and see him carying a lantern and a stick and singing and walking on everyday rain or shine he will do his duty. People would throw from windows or give him some money.  Those were the days which were very different than now.
…the memories of Khima curry, Malaai (fresh cream), gustavo, samosas/kababs etc left over of the night for sihori (now progressively replaced by
butter/jam, cereals or eggs and bread.… sending gifts by our parents to friends and relatives as “Ramadan Mubarak! Please pray for us during this holy month”
… Taking food trays for iftar from one household to another and saying Ma has said Salwaat Parjo
… The trail of anonymous faithful walking past our Mkhunazini residence in their pehran at 4am to be in time for the muezzin’s morning call until they were such a predictability that we knew each by gait and shape to actually discuss over the iftar table: “I didn’t see that fat uncle last morning… must be unwell”
… The substitution of the standard “How are you?” conversation-starter
with “Dua ma yaad karjo” (remember us in your prayers) and “Roza thaai
chhey? (are you able to fast?)”
...the ritual of the neighborly morning exchanges as living in Zanzibar was like everyone was family
…our mamma's commitment to have new prayer clothes stitched for Lailatul-Qadr
(Night of Power) and then soaking them in the aroma of bukhur (Yemeni
incense) for half a day so that you went to commune with your Maker on that special night feeling distinctively spiritual

... Oh ues and how can i forget thePARIKAS (bag) of sweets and chocolates for Lailatul_Qadr (as we used to eat more and pray little), not knowing much of the significance at that age.
… The sihori buzz on the streets as the vendors spread out their mouth watering tit-bits and khana on the table with the light from the fanas (lantern) hanging, for you to buy

...To see the group of children reciting verses from Al-Quran at the time of Iftar at your doorstep and me clutching the money to give them when they finish - shillings (zanzibar money), so that they can buy the Iftaris
…The darjees (tailors) having no time to attend to their customers as they will say "You know it is time for Eid and we are busy"

…The trend of obsessive parents wanting to know how many rozas the other one’s child did as an index of staying ahead
… The desolation of having added 2.5kg in a month when we had promised peers that this time we would emerge lighter
… The everlasting memory of going to "Furda" (Forodhani - at the beachside) where all the hussle and bustle of people and food are to be found with people and eating stalls.  My fav was sugarcane juice and mix (zanzibar mix very famous till today and my fav todate)

..... Running around in the small streets (gully)...playing hide/seek in my pajamas (not shy at all).  To think of it now day’s kids won’t even show up in them outside the perimeter of their homes

.... Waiting for Eid so that we can go to the Mela (gathering for celebration of Eid) and eating Kulfi, buya etc.
....isn't these memoirs the best part of my life of growing up in such beautiful place..
— Just the kind of Ramadan memory that makes me grateful for being a ZANZIBARI.😊😍


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Always Dream

I want to curl up here and enjoy my leisure time with a book and cup of hot chocolate /coffee late and relax whilst the Sunshine warms me and the breeze plays through my hair.

My Dreams:)