Reflections on Eid, one year on from lockdown
Farhina Islam, a member of our community shared her experiences of Eid, last year in lockdown, and as a carer. We asked Farhina if she would like to reflect on the last year and how Eid will be different again this year - both with lockdown restrictions easing and with being a carer. What is fascinating is that Farhina has found many benefits from both sharing her story last year but also how in some strange way, isolation has brought people together more and in new ways. You can read Farhina's previous blog here.
Ramadan one year on what happened?
So much is similar and much has changed since the last blog. I remember that after sharing the blog, my mother and I received offers of help the very same day. From carer friends who had no idea of our struggles to get desi/ ethnic groceries.
One friend took pictures of the green bay leaves and fragrant spices she could drop by, another tried to find Bottled gourd at Sainsburys. Another drove across the city with the Moori etc (puffed rice). We were utterly overwhelmed with the kindness.
My elderly father instead of one week, got stuck for 6 months as international flights were cancelled. He cried when he read the reference to him. He said “it made me determined to stay healthy and get back”.
As I write this, we pray for so many in India, Bangladesh, Brazil and beyond who are rapidly losing many family members.
A few friends realised that the caring they did out of duty as a son or daughter was “actually being a carer” and started their own learning of blue badges and carers credit. No one had previously told them they were carers or mentioned they were eligible for support.
A deaf friend is a teacher at a deaf Islamic school, they have embraced the zooms this year with lectures each week in Ramadan. She sends out thought-provoking comments and links to classes and in her status updates, which I have enjoyed and would never have been part of.
Caring for two in these times has its own challenges. Juggling my time, and adapting to many video hospital appointments. It has been wonderful helping my mother with the crispy golden courgette pakoras though.
I realised I had not adjusted to seeing people whilst since I've been caring in isolation for so long. My granddaughter (in Asian terms) or my first cousin twice removed (in English terms) is 4 years old was so pleased to see me, that she ran around outside giggling in circles, and then rushed over and gave me a clamping hug around my legs. It made me jump!
Last year I organised two family Eid zooms one on my father's side and one on my mother's side spanning the time zones, almost all of us were in lockdown which made it possible. From Canada, USA, UK, Belgium, Bangladesh, Australia and New Zealand. It was adorable seeing the children pointing to people they had never seen. Amazed to have family across the globe over 50 zoom windows.
"Eid brought us together"
For Eid this year, there are socially distanced congregation prayers in parks. Many festivals have been cancelled again which may resume after the 17th of May. And of course, we can all meet outside in the wind.
However you celebrate Eid this week, extending the invitation out to all with kindness, food, laughter and gratitude to bring us all together. Eid Mubarak