As many of you know from your own experience, living in a foreign country is not an easy path. Especially in the beginning, when everything seems so different and strange: language, people, culture.
You miss your family, friends, you miss your country’s traditions and the feeling of being united and understood; and on holidays when your loved ones are celebrating, you feel as lonely as you’ve never felt before.
But it’s not always that bad. On the contrary, it turns into something really good. With time you meet new people, you create new traditions with them, you find a new way to enjoy your holidays. You have new experience which you wouldn’t have had if you stayed within your comfort zone. And with time this new way of celebrating becomes your usual way.
You still miss the old days, obviously, but there is no doubt that when you move on you’ll miss these days as well. That’s a part of our nature.
A student from North China University of Science & Technology (NCUST), Ariful Haque, shared his story with us. A story about Eid celebration in China. His experience might be very useful for those Muslim people who have doubts about coming to China and for those people who are afraid of leaving home and being all alone in another country.
A Foreigner’s EID DAY
Today is the Eid al-Adha here at China. It is the 4th eid of my life without being with my family who are staying in Bangladesh. Eid al-Adha is a major religious festival celebrated by Muslims worldwide. It is also called Festival of Sacrifice. Muslims observe this day to reminisce about the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son. Ismail as an act of submission to Allah’s command, before Allah then intervened to provide Ibrahim with a lamb to sacrifice instead.
It is well known in the Muslim community that Allah (SWT) has sanctioned two main celebrations for the Muslim ummah, and traditionally, the two Eids are celebrated with excitement and enthusiasm within the family unit.
Seeing as the “family” transcends more than just the nucleus family, Muslims often end up visiting uncles, aunts, cousins, and even distant relatives. Neighbors and friends also join in the fray, and Eid is a big blow-out when it hits the Muslim community.
Living in the another country is slightly different, especially when extended family members are often seen over Skype or in still motion pictures on Facebook, but nonetheless, Eid is still Eid, and if the nucleus family is still together (especially when children are little), it is important to still emphasize the importance of Eid-ul Adha.
I came to china about almost 2 year before to study bachelor of medicine,bachelor of surgery(MBBS). I have been okay in controlling my emotions as I am staying here alone without my family and my relatives. But it’s always difficult to control your emotions on these occasions. I have been flooded with emotions today as I remember the joy I had on Eid days back in Bangladesh.
I woke up in the morning and wore traditional dress (Panjabi) to go to say the Eid prayer together with fellow Muslim brothers and sisters. I went to a place where the prayer was arranged by chinese people, so almost all Bangladeshi,Pakistani,Indian muslims staying in Tangshan came to this place. It was a wonderful gathering as I saw faces of hundreds of my fellow Muslim. After finishing the prayer we greeted each others and gossiped for a while with friends.
After coming back to my dorm, We had cooked a lot of foods (all of them were cooked in Bangladeshi style!) and we savored them until our stomach could stretch anymore but I miss my mother and her delicious cooking.Then I took rest and also talked to my parents and friends over Viber to share our moments.
Afternoon me and some of my friends went to a beautiful place Cao Xueqin park, Fengrun claims to be the birthplace of the famous writer Cao Xueqin, most well-known for his work ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’. Within the park is a statue of Cao Xueqin, a large, newly constructed palace, a river where have paddleboat, and a square for dancing. At night we came back to our dorm.
Lastly, I want to say that my Eid day in China was a great one although I am thousands miles away from home! It’s because of the wonderful friends I have here with me.
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