Michael P

all things ramadan
October 2, 2008, 11:30 pm
Filed under: culture, food | Tags: , , , , , ,

since i arrived in Bangladesh a month ago today, it’s been ramadan.  That means that the majority of the country has been fasting from sunrise until about 6 pm.  In most cases this didn’t hinder my eating.  The meal when you break the fast in the evening is called iftar.  It usually includes high protein foods and lots of sweets.  usually its different food than the normal Bangladeshi rice and daal.  The picture below is a spicy fried vegetable thing and some sweet fried dough things.  I know, i’m super specific with the names.

And these next two picture are of a guy making a special fried iftar treat.  He uses a rag as a pastry bag of sorts and squeezes the dough into some hot oil.

Then, when those are all fried up he drops them in a container full of sweet liquid.  The doughnut like thing absorbs the liquid so when you bite into it, the liquid runs out and gets all over the place.  it’s a little too sweet for my taste.  The little sweet things in the first picture are kind of like this, but not quite so sweet.

Today is Eid, which means that now everyone can start eating normally.  The tradition is that you get all dressed up and go around to various family and friends houses to eat.  Clothing stores do the majority of their sales leading up to Eid.  The women were really pretty, colorful saris and salwar kameez and the men wear either an all wite salwar kameez or just the top part of a salwar kamiz in various colors.  I just wore black pants and a brown polo.  I went out with the Pastor Ayub’s wife and son to their friends’ houses to have two eid meals.

The first house was most his son’s friend’s.  After eating our meal we played guitar hero then took a bunch of pictures with me that they are going to put on facebook.  I kind of felt like a spectacle.  They asked me if i liked metal and i said i didn’t.  Then his friends tried to figure out what kind of music i listened to if i didn’t like metal and i didn’t like pop.  They didn’t seem to have any notion of something in between.  They told me that some people think that Scorpious is the best band ever and then they started plaing “Rock You Like a Hurricane.”  I chuckled inside.

The next house was quite different.  this was a family that lived in a less lavish part of Uttara.  The son of the family reminded me of Dirk from Rushmore.  And by remind i mean his voice and way he talked was like him.  he didn’t look like dirk calloway at all.  We had more of the same food as at the other house.  More rice and beef and chicken.  While we ate we watched the mask on HBO.  I appreciated not having to talk about metal though.

I came back to the center then waited (slept) until my Eid dinner at 6:30 with some teachers from the main British school here in dhaka.  Once i got there we had savory and sweet crepes.  it wasn’t a typical eid  dinner all, but i still enjoyed it.  Afterwards we played uno and learned that every country has very specific and sometimes weird rules.


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