So, here we are then – almost there! The last day of Ramazan. The end of the (at this time of year) long hours of abstinence; of food, drink, smoking and sexual relations.
The end of trying to sleep away the gnawing pangs in the stomach; the end of desperately searching for something to do to take the mind off thoughts of food and water and the craving for nicotine; the end of feeling the need to hang around my house with a shotgun, blasting the life out of anything that moves rather than picking on wives or neighbours!
Tonight, as the cannons boom out from our nearby towns signalling the downing of the sun and the sighting of the new moon, they will mark the end of this final day of fasting and the start of Şeker Bayram (Sugar Holiday). Three days spent indulging children and stuffing them full of every sort of sweet, sugary confection imaginable – it’s a bit like ‘Trick or Treat’ without the tricks – everyone is trying to ramp up the blood-sugars of every, already hyperactive, chavvy. These dear little souls wander about the neighbourhood in small gangs; school rucksacks on their backs (to carry the kilos of sweets); smiling sweetly at any adult they come across until another fist-full of sickly bon-bons is handed over. Do I begrudge these young mafiosi their loot? Not at all! J and I are happy to cough up the ‘protection’ because we don’t have to live with them when the tooth rot sets in and anyway, I for one, don’t want them spreading malicious, ‘Scrooge’ rumours behind my back.
To my Muslim friends and neighbours who have observed the 28 days of Ramazan; upholding one of the Seven Pillars of their Faith – ‘Congratulations!’ To the children – ‘Şeker Bayram, kutlu olsun!’ To the rest of us heathens – ‘Sweet Dreams!’; we’ll get to sleep the night through without drums or loudspeakers blaring out at some un-godly hour! ‘Kutlu olsun’ to you too!
Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü
ps how wonderful – it’s started to rain; time to go lie out in the garden and soak it up !