I grew up in a conservative Muslim family in the United States. Except for my early years as a child, we did not celebrate
birthdays. We never celebrated Christmas. We didn’t do anything special for Thanksgiving. New Year’s Eve was never a proper big deal. But we always went all out on Eid. Eid was our special day as Muslims, my father taught us. The house was decorated and we received loads of presents. My mother made special foods and desserts. We had lots of people visiting and the Muslims in our town all gathered for a special Eid celebration.
As I grew older, and later as I became a mother myself, I had no issue with continuing my own family life this way. It was the lifestyle I knew. What one knows is one’s norm. My birthday, for example, would pass and I wouldn’t even remember it. That has always been perfectly fine with me. I feel uncomfortable when too much attention is placed on me. Age, to me, has always been nothing more than a number. It is how I feel about myself inside that counts.
But also, as the years moved on, I began to recognize that I had a need to be acknowledged every now and then by the people I love.
Is it religious or cultural?
Several times a year, the Muslim community worldwide rises in an uproar about the un-Islamic nature of the many special days the mainly Western cultures of the world celebrate: New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, and the list goes on. Bid`ah (innovation)! many shout. A long rant may follow about the pagan origins of this holiday or the Christian origins of that.
Read the rest of my article where it was originally published on OnIslam.
STAND UP COME UP FOR YOUR HAPPY LIFE .. YOUR REAL LIFE WHY U R AFRAID SINCE
YOU DON’T TOUCH THE FREEDOM OF OTHERS AND YOU DON’T FALL ON SINS OR SILLY
MISTAKES .. KEEP TRACK OF THE WAY WHICH MAKES LIFE BETTER AND FULL OF HAPPINESS
I think it would be nice if the diffusion of cultural celebrations was a bit more of a two way street, and then westerners such as myself, could benefit as you seem to have done by embracing the positives from both worlds.Having moved from the UK to Hong Kong, I have really enjoyed partaking in Chinese celebrations. I don’t know why but sometimes sadly in the West we seem to export more cultural practices than we take in….