First EID in foreign land without family!!!

Today is the Eid al-Adha here at Sweden. It is the first 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.

I came to Sweden about one month before to study Masters in public health epidemiology. I have been okay in controlling my emotions as I am staying here alone without my family and my wife. 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.

It’s very different environment of Eid here. There is no sight of cows or goats to be sacrificed in the name of Allah. In Bangladesh buying cows from the market is a very adventurous and thrilling job. People on the road always ask price of the animal as you bring it to your home and it’s viral; they keep asking again and again! We also take care of the animal before the eid day and by doing so we grow soft feelings for that animal. Here at Sweden, I didn’t find any sign of Eid al Adha as it’s strictly prohibited to slaughter animals anywhere outside the designated slaughter houses.

Our cow in Bangladesh to be sacrificed this year

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 Bangladeshi people, so almost all Bangladeshi muslims staying in Stockholm came to this place. It was a wonderful gathering as I saw faces of  hundreds of my countrymen. After finishing the prayer we greeted each others and gossiped for a while with friends.

After Eid prayer
Post eid-prayer picture with friends (7 are from cadet college!!!)

Then I attended an invitation from a senior brother from my medical school (Dhaka medical college)  who is now working as a research coordinator at Karolinska Institutet. We had a lot of foods (all of them were cooked in Bangladeshi style!) and we savored them until our stomach could stretch anymore! We also talked about issues in Bangladesh and also on future career prospects in Sweden as researchers. After coming back to my dorm, I went to run with my running buddies. It was the best thing to do to burn all those extra calories to stay healthy. I also talked to my parents and wife over Viber to share our moments.

At Dr. Farhad vai’s house
Food carnival at Dr. Farhad’s house.

At night, Leeoza (another masters student from Bangladesh) came to visit me, Ridwan and Shafiq with lots of cooked foods. We ate and had fun time together! Our friends from Africa also joined us in the dinner. There was a breach in our fun as the fire alarm rang and we had to leave the building. Thanks to Allah as it was a false alarm and no fire was detected! We took lot of Selfies to post on Facebook.

Eid Selfie night
Eid Selfie night

Lastly, I want to say that my first Eid day in Sweden is a great one though I am thousands miles away from home! It’s because of the wonderful friends I have here with me. I prayed to Allah so that I can make my times here worth of these immense sacrifices….



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