Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Happy Hate

Today was Korban Heyt (pronounced hate), the Muslim holiday made famous for its slaughtering of sheep. Early this morning my roommate and I made our way towards one of the largest Mosques in town. The Uyghur people treat this holiday the same way many North Americans treat Christmas… even if they don’t believe in God, they might be able to find to a Christmas service of some sort… in the same way Korban is the holiday on which even the most nominal of Islam followers will find the time to practice their religion. There were literally thousands of men lining the streets, blocking traffic and participating in prayer time. Even where we stood on the bridge above the street was getting crowded with men and women and their prayer rugs.

Off to the side of the street are the sheep for sale.

The first day of the holiday is often reserved for family. They gather at the oldest family members house and eat the meat of the sheep that was sacrificed on their behalf. Today instead of going to a bunch of my friends homes, and eating food till I burst, I went to the hospital. I remember as a kid when I was in hospital right up until the 24th of December, it wasn’t fun to feel like I was missing out on the celebration. My teacher’s sister-in-law is currently in the hospital struggling with cancer. My classmate and I spent the afternoon visiting her and some of the other patients in that ward. We had packed a dozen small bags filled with bread, dried fruit, nuts and other goodies, all things you would normally find on a Uyghur table during the holiday season.


~ Amanda ~ said...

thanks for posting all the pix and a little description of this holiday. i'm glad you were able to encourage some of the people in the hospital there.

Anonymous said...

poor sheep!!!