Ode to Bibiks

This year’s Eid was a busy one for me. The usual waiting game was exciting, as half of Vancouver celebrated Eid on Tuesday, following the global-sighting method (when the crescent is sighted in another location, often in Saudi). The rest of us, who followed the local-sighting method (that is, when the crescent is sighted in Vancouver) celebrated on Wednesday.

I recalled how that Tuesday evening was. I on my laptop, right after iftar – twiddling my thumb. DH was on the sofa in the study with me, twidding HIS thumb on his cell. He was texting his cousin and asking when, when when, while I was refreshing the www.bcmuslims.com every 2 seconds. Yes, we were anxious. Why? Because we had invited about 15 friends over to our place on Eid night for some feasting – and we NEED to know when Eid is.

So when the news came in that Eid fell on Wednesday, I was literally jumping for joy! I did. And we even broke into some awfully dreadful Raya songs. I was just too happy to switch the lampu lap-lip on, which by the way had me driving to FOUR blinking stores ALL over Richmond to find, only to have me find them in a little store in Kerrisdale near where we live! Should have known better. Sigh.

Anyway, the Eid party at our place was wonderful. We really had a great time and lots of feasting. The only thing I did not do was to take a lot of pictures:(

But the most pertinent experience for me this Eid is actually in memory of the Bibiks. I was breaking my back cooking a feast, and I suddenly recalled how convenient and easy it was for me in SG during Eid – when all the Bibiks help with the preps.They peel the onions, cut the meat, clean the house, iron the curtains, get the Eid outfits ready, serve the guests…it goes on and on. I realised that I am now somewhat a Bibik during Eid – missing family AND having to cook and clean at the same time. I was somewhat in their boat, and could really feel how it must have been for them.

I really respect their toil for a better life, slogging their way in a tiny, affluent island called Singapore. I had a new appreciation for all the Bibiks in my life, I was very fortunate to have them. It is strange that this year’s Eid they were so much in my memory – and I hope my nieces and nephews who are lurkers here (yes I KNOW you guys are reading this!) appreciate all the hard work their Bibiks put up for them during Eid (and all the other days).

During Eid especially, they are missing their family and crying quietly.Yet still serve their duties. Now that’s what I call sacrifice.I have so much to learn from them.

NB : “Bibik” is a term of endearment that most Malay families in SG used to address their domestic helpers, who are mostly Indonesians.

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