Category Archives: Eid

Aloha Dinajpur, North Bengal


Dinajpur Bazar

Beautiful eleven hour train ride up to Dinajpur, close to the India border. It was nice to get “off the road” from the blasting horns and watch the landscape of green and yellow mustard fields go by. At the train station a man waits for me with a flower. It’s Siful, the driver who takes me back to NGO where I’ll be staying for five days. Mesbah is a student at IUB and his mother’s family runs Aloha Social Services of Bangladesh. She has been a woman’s activist for over twenty years.  The name of the NGO was inspired by some of the doctors who come over from Hawaii every year to provide medical care. They also partner with a German NGO called Shanti. This region is one of the poorest parts of the country.


‘Local” buses in North Bengal

I wasn’t planning to be in Bangladesh for all of the cow sacrifices but ended up celebrating Eid-Ul-Azha. with Mesbah and family. We took a few side trips to Thakurgaon and Saidpur and there learnt the important meaning of  the word “gate lock”. The only problem was that all of the buses in the area were not “gate locked” so they stopped every other mile to pick up and stuff in as many passengers as possible.

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Clothes Shopping for Eid

Eid ul-Fitr, often abbreviated as Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Eid is an Arabic word meaning “festivity”, while Fiṭr means “to break the fast”  and so symbolizes the breaking of the fasting period. The days leading up to Eid are not unlike Christmas in the USA. Shops are filled with people buying new clothes. Last night one of my photography students took me to Old Dhaka to visit some of the bazars. Rumor has it that Dhaka empty’s out as people return to their towns and villages to visit with family. I’ll believe it when I see it.