Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Ramadan and Eid Memories, Early 90s - Y2K


There was this wonderful phenomenon around the early-mid 90s in the middle-Belt region of Nigeria and maybe some northern states of Nigeria. It involved little children who go from street to street and house to house performing various musical shows for residents and business owners. The kids involved are of Yoruba and Hausa origin. They divide their selves into groups forming bands with some groups being more talented than others.

The Yoruba boys normally Performed Fuji music and Drama while the Hausas do the Dan-Maraya style of music and acrobatic dramas as well. Those were really wonderful days because these guys most of whom are of my age performed from the time to break fast till very late in the night. Most adults usually reward them for their performance with money or snacks depending on how entertaining their performance was. I always looked forward to this anytime news is out that Ramadan starts soon.

Now, i only got to know there are different types of Muslims when i moved to Malaysia. I got to know the Sunni, Shiite, Sufi, Salafi etc. Though i knew we have Izala, Ansa-rudeen etc in Nigeria. Please, what part of Islam did or encourage the singing and celebration in Nigeria around the early-mid 90s during Ramadan in Nigeria because the trend apparently disappeared right around the Atlanta 96 Olympics games.

This brings me to the most awesome memories of Ramadan I have. The part where Muslim dads in the neighbourhood buy fruits after closing from work and shares it with every child at sight. Back then, Both Christian and Muslim children break fast together even though the Christian children were not fasting.

Then The Sallah (Eid) day, the awesome day, my Mum's freezer is filled different types of food from various families, but the part i love most is the raw meat. The freezer is always full of it, its the same experience for every non-Muslim family in the neighbour hood. After receiving several baskets from neighbours then we visit family friends.

Another highlight of Ramadan i enjoyed back then is when the Rams and Cows are being slaughtered. We, the kids go from street to street to watch the butchers wrestle with the animals before they are finally over powered. But the entertainers are the stubborn aggressive Bulls who fight the butchers so much that they are left for last. Everyone in the neighbourhood both Christian and Muslims concentrates on the aggressive bulls. The elders standby to give orders and suggestions, we the kids scream in excitement anytime a Bull charges and our parents and other young adults do the butchering job.

Those were great days in the Middle Belt. Do neighbourhoods like that still exist in Nigeria? P.S My Dad got a little change around 1998, he built a bigger House and my family moved before most Middle-Belt states started experiencing constant Religious crises. As i type this, My former neighbourhood is a death trap for non-Muslims. You'll only wander into or try to live there if you have a death wish same goes for Muslims in the new neighbourhood we moved to.

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