Chitral in the past – 4
Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig
As Muslims we celebrate two Eids each year but in the past, people of my age, will remember that three days before Eid there used to be a noticeable hustle and bustle in the village such as the male children used to visit each house asking an egg and would thus collect half a dozen or more eggs which they boiled hard with dry soot from the timber of the old houses, believed to harden the egg shell, and be able to break the rival’s egg and get it. The Children went out during day time but the young men went in the evenings with ‘DUF’ and singing at the door of each house asking for eggs.
The last three days of Ramazan passed in this way and the parties received one egg from each house and the more houses they visited the more was their achievement. Then they distributed the whole lot and visited another village the next night and so on.
On the day of Eid they brought their boiled eggs and a game began. The eggs were struck against each other and the broken one was lost i.e. the owner lost his broken egg. The one who broke more eggs was considered to have an egg called’ Miamburi’ that means fortified but how it was done is not known to me. Now these have become a thing of the past. No such visits by children or youth. It was an activity or pastime of the old days.
Another interesting feature of each Eid was sending gifts i.e. cooked food and usually big size bread to the female relatives such as daughters, aunts and nieces and with the big bread there used to be small ones as many as there were kids in that house. The bread was called ‘rochio pondi’ – gift of fasting- and the small size cakes called ‘shiriki’. All this package was ‘ Buzhs’… It was cooked before the Eid and carried by one male member of the family concerned and thus many people travelled up and down the valleys to hand over the gift and the gift carrier was given some small gift if he was a youth but elders did not expect it but often there was an exchange of gifts from both sides. Now this gift sending to female heirs of the family has been cut off.
This gift on Eid was given to daughters and aunts on the ground that they had a share in the property of their fathers and deserved it so were given this gift at least twice but in many villages a third batch of gift was also sent to them on reaping each new crop of the year especially when the crop of wheat was threshed. This was regarded as their due right in the legacy of their fathers. Now such exchange on the base of blood relationship has been forgotten and the past has become a past and relationships weakened.