Eid’adha in Lappeenranta

8 Dec

Contemplating whether or not to go for Eid prayers, i decided to go. Recent events made things alot more complicated, or perhaps simpler. I cant decide.

I jumped out of bed when the door bell rang. A friend was already downstairs waiting to bring me to the mosque. I always shower before i leave home even though i would be running really late. It was the first time in Finland that i left my room in a mess because i was running late.

Reached the mosque in time but it was not opened yet, unfortunately. I was indeed glad though to meet my friend, Sister S. I saw some other muslim sisters but we had no common language to communicate.

Soon, we were all praying in congregation. In Finland, in a mosque, praying with Tanzanian, Somalian, Finnish, Turkish…Interesting…After that, the sermon was in Arabic and Finnish. I kind of got the idea that he was talking about the story behind Eid’adha.

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We heard that one of the Somalian sister just gave birth to a baby and we decided to visit her. No proper planning but we went anyway.

Our friend, he spoke to this guy to ferry us to Sammonlathi to visit the sister. He was so nice and agreed to do so. I thought he was a Finnish guy because he looked like that.

It was so quiet in the car and it felt weird to me if we didnt speak at all so:

I asked,” are you Finnish?” I wanted to satisfy my curiousity. I know curiousisty killed the cat but… He said, in his Finnish shyness (Finnish guys are really shy), ” No i am from Palestine. Actually from ______but i live in Palestine,” he said.

“And how long have you been here?” I asked again. I love shoting the questions!

“eleven years,” he replied.

He lives here with his family, close to the mosque and guess what???

My itchy mouth cant keep still, ” Are you studying?” He looks rather young.

He said, with a hint of a smile, “Yes, i study in the same school as you”

 I was surprise indeed, ” how did you know i study there?”

“I’ve seen you a few times in school.”

I guess he kind of blends in with the rest of the Finnish guys and i stand out like a sore thumb in school. In Europe generally, i stand out.

I asked him,” is it not difficult to be Muslim here?”

He gave me a very strong-willed reply,” Europe dosent change me.” (something along those lines)

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I met another guy from Africa, oops, i didnt find out which part. He assumed i was from Pakistan or India. People mistake me from Uthopia as well.

But you MUST see the expression on their faces when i say with pride,” I’m from Singapore.”

Some look at me in awe,

some look pleased,

some continue to praise the country.

The little country which has gained recognition, throughout the world, despite it’s size. No one ever ask me, where is that? I am indeed proud to call myself a Singaporean. I think i mentioned, I will sing the national anthem with pride when i get back. Travelling does change one’s perspective more than anything.

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Sister S and me didnt know exactly where they lived so we just went from house to house. They have this names at the door so, if it is muslim name, we knock. Got it after several attempts.

Ohhh the baby was so cute. I dont think i ever carried an 8 days old baby. Her mother in law, she came and she gave us hatar, one each. Mine was unfortunately an empty box. I just didnt say anything.

They seved us halwa, it was nice and hot. With biscuits and drinks. Even though we were not having any conversation, the audio tape playing some surah of the Quran made the atmosphere so wonderful. I would like my house to be like that.

Abdul Rahman was sleeping.

Abdul Rahman was sleeping.

Poor little boy, he was hungry...so cute!!!

Poor little boy, he was hungry...so cute!!!

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