Bajram

How could I not lead off with a picture like that? Bajram has been a day of eating a LOT of sugar (by my estimation, my final count was: 3 pieces of baklava, 3 pieces of cake, untold pieces of chocolate/candy/cookies) and a LOT of food (more on that later). But it was also a day in which I got to partake in something really important to my host family. That part was wonderful. It was fun letting my host mom braid my hair after she finished teasing Mejreme’s into the bouffant seen above, it was fun helping to prepare the Bajram breakfast and documenting Fatijma’s preparation of paqe, baklava, the rice and chicken dish I wrote about in my Iftar post, and the sarma; hell, it was even fun visiting some of the neighbors and consuming more sugar than I would normally allow myself even on Christmas day. And I had it pretty easy! We only went to three neighbors’ houses and although one of them was kind of a stiff, awkward affair the other two were relatives back from Switzerland so it was pretty chill, other than the multiple sets of greetings which I have yet to truly master or even accomplish without mildly embarrassing myself.

As an outsider I give this holiday a 10/10, would celebrate again. But definitely, if you aren’t invited to the early-morning mosque activities as some of us female-gendered outsiders weren’t, consider getting in a run before the festivities. I feel a lot better for having done that then I might have otherwise.

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