Zehra Naqvi

My Dad was born in India, and so were his parents. My Mum was born in Australia, but her parents were born in England. I was born in Australia, so that makes me an Australian girl of English and Indian origin.

My Name is Zehra and I love celebrations. I love Christmas and birthdays and Eid.

In Hobart, where i live, most people celebrate Christmas in one way or another. All the shops are decorated, and at school we have Christmas parties. Everyone in Hobart knows about Christmas.

But not everyone in Hobart knows about Eid. My Family celebrates it, and so do some of our friends. It?s great; I get new clothes and money to spend – and i eat a lot!

The full name of the Eid celebration is Eid-ul-Fitar. But my family just calls it Eid. Like Christmas, Eid happens once a year, but it isn?t on the same date each year. It comes at the end of a special month called Ramazan. During Ramazan my Dad and a lot of our friends in Hobart don?t eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. Fasting can be very hard, specially if the weather is hot.

At this Time my Dad always loses weight, and he gets pleased about that. Although Eid always comes at the end of Ramadan, the exact date depends on the phase of the moon. I can tell when it?s just about Eid, because the moon looks like a very thin crescent.

We get lots of cards in the mail to wish us “Happy Eid”. They come from our friends in Hobart and relatives in India.

Eid is fun for me. I can remember that i have always had fun on Eid day, even when i was little. But sometimes at Eid time in Hobart, my Dad says, “I feel a bit homesick today”. And i ask him, “How can you feel homesick when you are at home?”

One year My parents, my brother an sister and I went to India to visit my grandparents and uncles and aunts, and i came to understand and important part of what makes me…….me. And I also began to understand why my Dad sometimes feels homesick at home in Hobart, especially on Eid day.

One night when i was in India staying at my grandfather?s house, he told me that he thought the next day would be Eid. My grandfather?s house is in the North of India in a small town called Amroha east of New Dehli, the capital of India. My Dad used to live there before he come to Hobart. Not everyone there celebrates Eid, but lots of people do.

We were pretty sure that the next day would be Eid. But my grandfather said that to be really sure we would have to wait up to see whether the new moon would appear.

It was cool and still that night, and I sat outside the house with my grandfather. As we watched the dark sky hy told me stories about our ancestors who had come to India from Persia 800 years before. After a while I began to feel sleepy because he was talking in Urdu, and i had to concentrate to keep up with what he was saying, and it was getting very late. Suddenly he shouted, “Daykha, Eid ka chand wahan hay”. That made me pay attention.

I knew that meant “Look, there’s the Eid moon”. The sky began to glitter with all sorts of flashing colours – fireworks! Everyone came rushing outside and we watched the fireworks. People clapped their hands, and some danced and sang songs. Some people preparations for the next day – talking food out of large storage bins, and sewing new clothes. I suddenly felt sleepy again, but I was still excited as i went to bed. Tomorrow was definitely going to be Eid.

The next morning I awoke early. Dad and my brother were just leaving to the mosque to pray. When they came back, they brought with them lots of uncles and cousins. Then lots of aunts and more cousins arrived. When my youngest cousin came she was dressed in bright new clothes, and she looked very pleased about her first Eid. Everyone hugged each other and said, “Eid Mubarak!” which means “Happy Eid”.

My grandparents sat down and everyone lined up. We went first to our grandmother and said “Eid Adaab”. Then we went to our grandfather and said “Eid Adaab” and he gave us some coins called Rupees. After that it was Dad?s turn to give rupees to everyone who was younger than they were. When my turn came I said, “Eid Adaab” and they hugged me, laughed and gave me some rupees. I felt quite rich, but my youngest cousin was the richest of all.

After that my aunt took me shopping and bought me some new clothes and bangles. She let me spend my own Eid rupees on anything I wanted. It was a bit like choosing your own Christmas presents. When we got back to my grandfather?s house, two of my cousins were getting dressed in their new clothes. Their mother was doing their hair and brushing it really hard to make it shine. Later that day we had such a feast!