LOS ANGELES: For Arabs and Muslims living in the United States, this Eid Al-Adha marks another holy day that must be celebrated at home.
But for some families, this gives parents the opportunity to use crafts and activities to keep their children entertained and teach them about their cultural heritage.
Arab News spoke with Nour Tonbakji to find out how her family held on to Eid Al-Adha traditions while living in Los Angeles.
“The hardest thing about alienation is getting away from family and the feeling of loneliness and missing the atmosphere and the warmth of your own country and the beautiful gatherings,” Tonbakji told us.
An expert in handicrafts, Tonbakji used crafting as a way to engage her children and connecting them to their heritage.
“Whenever I have any religious event or a point that I’d like to highlight to my kids, I try to use social media to find things I can print that can support the action I have in mind,” she said. “So we do lanterns and crescent in Ramadan, during Eid Al-Fitr we do decorations & we do coloring or now in Eid Al-Adha we decorate sheep and a model for Kaaba.”
Families like the Tonbakjis are also sharing their traditions with their new neighbors. And during the coronavirus pandemic even small gestures are going a long way toward building a community.
“Kids share in everything of course so that they feel the happiness and that there is an occasion happening now and we do the same thing during Ramadan or during any occasion that relates to us,” said Tonbakji.
“We usually prepare small bags gifts that include delicious meals and gifts and we distribute them to the neighbors and we tell them that we are passing through a religious event that’s related to us and we add a small card that explains the event.”
With Ramadan and now Adha overlapping with the pandemic, the Muslim community has faced exceptional circumstances this year. But the safety of the people remains the most important, as Eid will come again next year with better conditions.