Visiting relatives has always been an integral part of Eid holidays. With Covid dampening the festivities of the last couple of years’ Eids, this year the country celebrated Eid with all its joys. People from all spectrums celebrated the holidays with kin and kith. While millennial and working individuals yearned for the Eids to spend more wholeheartedly in their childhood, this Eid refreshed them with the comfort of family and friends.
Muntasir Mahir, a ninth grader finds Eid dawaats extremely interesting. He says often due to school and tuition, he is unable to spend much time with cousins and extended family. Hanging out with cousins, and indulging in shenanigans is his favourite part of Eid, he says. Moreover, such get-togethers refresh him and inspire him for the rest of the year.
For working individuals, the nostalgia of childhood Eids overcast the present. Elmee Tabassum, currently working with UNFPA, says she still visits relatives and extended family during Eid.
However, the feelings are just not the same. As a child, she used to be very excited for Eid. The best part for her was going to her village home, an event she used to wait all year. Buying cards for all my friends and cousins, receiving Salami and running to the nearest fair to buy toys were her favourite part of Eid. Nowadays, celebration feels more like a chore to her. But Elmee expresses her gratitude for being able to spend this day with family.
Aubhik Rehman, currently working as a copywriter, says though he visits relatives round the year, Eid is a different ballgame. With the presence of extended family and celebrations, the house gets its life back. However, he misses his childhood Eids. It used to be massively different, he explains. He used to buy books, clothes and meet friends from his village home. But nowadays, going to village feels like a hassle. He usually prefers spending Eid in Dhaka and meeting relatives, most of who have shifted to the capital now.
Hasina Jahan, a housewife living in the capital, says entertaining guests has always been her favourite part of the holidays. In the previous two years, the isolation made the holidays boring and tiresome. This year she visited her relatives and arranged Dawaats or get-togethers for them. When asked if the responsibility of hosting falls disproportionately on women in brown households, she explains that the norm has been like that so far. However, she argues that all members of the family should help in household chores which will in fact increase the amount of happiness.
With celebrations and warmth, visiting relatives has been the highlight of yet another Eid.
The writer is an Economics sophomore at the University of Dhaka.