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Festivals of Our Lives Mrs Ramzan
I was born in Lahore, Pakistan in 1946. My father worked for the railway as a station master. My mother did not work, she stayed at home to take care of the house.
My early recollection of Eid was very pleasant. As a child I cant remember how old I was, but I can remember the shops being decorated and very busy with people buying new clothes in the anticipation of the big day. Mosques were decorated on the inside and out with electric lights, a bit like Christmas in this country.
The day before Eid I would make sure that mum had ironed my clothes for the next day and I would lay these out in my room with my new shoes. My mother would decorate my hands with henna. On the eve of the big day I would be sleepless, yet excited, wondering who would pop around on the day and how much money I would make from people who would give us presents, and of course the lovely food my mum made, she was a very good cook.
In 1966 I came to live with my husband in England, we moved in with my brother-in-law and his family. We lived with them for about a year and saved up our money and bought our own house in Winson Green.
My first Eid here was very lonely because I missed my family back in Pakistan. In those days my husband had to go to work so he could not take time off like people do these days.
A lot of people in those days did not get the chance to say their prayers which had to be read in the Mosque. Later on as the years went by my husband was able to take time off for Eid and go to the Mosque to say his prayers. My day would start with getting the children up and washed and dressed in their new clothes. Then I would be cooking all the different dishes like pilloa rice, chicken curry, and sweet rice for dessert. We would have lots of visitors that would come around as this was something that we did in the evening. We as a family would go around to other family and friends houses too.
Eid is very enjoyable here now. I do prefer it here with my children around me, as I lost my husband in 2006, so Eid isn't the same. I'm sure as time goes by it will get better, but not as good as it was when my husband was alive.
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