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Remembering Eid celebrations of our young age

21 April 2023

Dr. Md. Shamsul Arefin :
In our young age, we would eagerly wait for the new moon to be sighted, signaling the end of the holy month of Ramadan and the start of this joyous festival. In those days, we would wake up early in the morning, put on our new clothes, and head to the mosque with male members of our family. The mosque is filled with people, all dressed in their finest clothes, and the atmosphere is excitement with happiness. After the Eid prayers, we would exchange greetings with friends and family, hugging and wishing each other a happy Eid. We would then head back home, where our mother prepared a delicious sweet like vermicelli and other spicy foods.  As children, we looked forward to Eid ul Fitr with great excitement. It was a time of joy, happiness, and togetherness. We would spend hours playing with our cousins, laughing and enjoying each other's company. Looking back on those days, I realize how fortunate we were to have experienced such happiness and love. As we grow older, we tend to lose some of that innocence and wonder what a golden time we spent. The memories of those Eid celebrations remain imprinted in our minds forever, reminding us of the joy and happiness that comes with this beautiful festival.
Eid is basically a celebration where people meet and greet each other, young children used to visit each other's houses and get Eidi wherever they went. Nowadays, not many people are aware who their next door neighbours are, so kids can hardly experience the joy of going to friends and visiting neighbour.
Some people celebrate Eid just like a common day, some even spending the day in bed. But some are busy to take photos and upload in Facebook. The excitement of chand raat is no more a crazy thing now. I questioned few young children; what Eid is basically for them and how the celebration of Eid has changed. Their answer is after coming back from prayer place; actually they do nothing just gossiping with mobile. We should be more generous, friendlier as we taught from religion such as visiting relatives and friends house and arranging a discussion meeting on the historical background of Islam and purelifestyle of our great Prophet Hazrat Muhammad SM (peace be upon him) at religious places or in zoom platform in between prayers.   
One of the most important aspects of Eid is to share happiness and blessings with others. Eid is a time for forgiveness, reconciliation, purity, fit and unity, cleanliness and a responsible behavior to the poor and the society. Celebrating Eid in an eco-friendly way by reducing waste, using sustainable materials, and avoiding activities that harm the environmentcan be one of the most important aspectsof celebrating Eid now a days when environment pollution has become a great concern.If we look at the Eid day celebration, our total consumption is obviously higher than regular day consumption of the society. At home we consume more meat, more chicken, and more sweets and at the afternoon while going outside with family members we take coke cane, water bottle, chips packets and after consuming those just drop here and there. Eid is a joyous occasion that brings together family and friends to celebrate. However, it is important to remember that our actions on this day can have an impact on the environment. We should be aware and responsible in keeping the environment clean during Eid. Using eco-friendly decorations means avoid using non-biodegradable materials such as plastic, and opt for eco-friendly decorations such as paper or cloth banners and flowers may help us in pollution free Eid celebration.Disposing of waste properly such as make sure to dispose of waste in designated bins or containers and avoid littering or leaving trash on the streets or in public areas should be strictly prohibited and followed in this holy day.
There is often a lot of water usage particularly during cleaning. We should be cautious in conserving water as much as possible by turning off taps when not in use. Instead of using disposable plates and cutlery, we may use reusable dishes and cutlery to reduce waste.Food waste is common in Eid day. If we just a bit conscious about cooking food on the basis of requirement and prepare just food for the number of guests and avoid preparing excess food may help produce less waste. As a gesture of gratitude planting a tree in our garden or a nearby park could be a great respect to our environment, ecology and biodiversity.  As we know, usually the people who have land, have no interest to plant a tree, but the people have no land of his own; have a great interest to plant trees. Thus, planting trees should be a religious and social responsibility and Eid day can be a best day to utilize the social responsibility of planting trees. Form Eid day diary, we find morning bath and get ready for Namaz, going to Eid prayer place after eating some sweets, coming back home and then complete free time to enjoy. If it could be included as a practice to visit neighbor and then friend and relatives and organizing a tree-planting event on Eid day, this could be a great contributing event to the environment.
There are many refugees and displaced persons who are struggling to celebrate Eid due to their financial circumstances, extension a helping hand towards them could be a meaningful activity in Eid day.  Celebrating Eid in a more humanitarian way involves showing compassion, generosity, and empathy towards others. Compassion towards those who may be struggling and offer help wherever possible and by incorporating these practices, an Eid festival can be turned in to a more joyous and humanitarian event which could spread love, compassion, and joy throughout the community.
Eid ul-Fitr taught us the importance of gratitude, generosity, and compassion. It reminded us of the values that we as Muslims hold value of friendship. Today,though not all, most of the holy rituals remained unchanged, but one is missingthat is humanitarian touch. Now machine grasped all.I hope that we can continue to pass on these holy traditions and values to future generations, so that they too can experience the joy and meaning of this special day with humanitarian touch.
Eid Mubarak to all!

(The writer is Adjunct Faculty, Bangladesh Institute of Governance and Management).

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