Vicky Zhuang Yi-Yin
Today is Eid in Pakistan. Eid is like a fun celebration for the Muslims who have fasted a whole 29 or 30 days before in the holy month of Ramadan (That depends on the lunar Islamic Calendar). Friends and family usually get together. It's a three day holiday all over the country. Women dress up in bright colors, paint their hands with intricate designs of mehndi, and create sweet, sweet desserts. Men go pray, meet other guys, hug it out. Kids gather around the adults for the eidi. Who doesn't want Eidi? Gimme some!
Eid is a time to just be happy and to count blessings. Kind of like Christmas. Kind of like Chinese New Year. That's the point of every celebration. Happiness, togetherness and gratitude.
I am not a Muslim. But I celebrate Eid with my friends. There is nothing wrong with doing that. My friends are happy, and that makes me happy. In fact a lot of my friends involve me in their traditions too. I would love to talk about how I celebrate, but maybe for some other time.
Eid is a time for celebration and reflection. And today, that's what I want to do.
Pakistan's Eid is supposed to be a time of happiness, but I think this year, the whole country is struck by tragedy. We are in the middle of a pandemic. As of writing this over 1,000 people have lost their lives to Covid-19 and thousands being infected. With that happening, just on Friday, a plane crashed in Karachi, and 97 people lost their lives. It's not just the deaths that makes it difficult, but imagine the families having to deal with the news of losing their loved ones. Each human is connected to so many others, whether they know it or not.
The year is not going so well. But let's reflect. Let's take a minute or two, and pray for the lives lost unnecessarily. Let's not talk about what happened, who to blame, and all the other what ifs. But sincerely wish peace for their souls and for their families to find peace and strength through these difficult times.
Tragedy striking just a few days before a celebratory day is a reminder of how we need to not take life for granted. It is scary. It is terrifying. It is heartbreaking. The news channels don't help either. I know for many, life is just going to keep going on. But remember, we must. Remember those who were once alive and breathing and a part of the society, who have left memories that may later unlock key lessons or evoke emotions that may give you strength.
That being said, the virus is also still out there. So please, take the extra precaution to protect those who love you. Wear a mask, stay 3 ft away from the other person when you are outside. Spread love this year from your heart, knowing that you are a hero not just to yourself, but for your loved ones.
On this Eid ul Fitr, I want to wish peace. I want to wish safety. I want to wish love. I want to wish health for everyone. I want to extend my prayers to those who have gone. I want to extend strength to whomever needs it; even if it is through words. Even if they don't know me.
Eid Mubarak to everyone. Virtual hugs, and elbow bumps to all!