From Bahrain this week: a mid-Ramadan celebration, great happiness to be at university, a description of some dating practices, and a packet of rice that just doesn't make sense!
We start this week with some special mid-Ramadan festivities, called Girgaoun. Shaima Al Watani explains what Girgaoun is:
وسأجيبكم أن هذه الكلمة مرتبطة بالتراث الخليجي والتراث البحريني على وجه الخصوص …
ففي الليلة الخامسة عشرة أي ليلة منتصف شهر رمضان الكريم يخرج الأطفال في البحرين ، لزيارة منازل وبيوت الجيران للحصول على القرقاعون .
والقرقاعون عبارة عن حلويات ومكسرات يتم توزيعها من قبل الأهالي على الأطفال الذين يطوفون الحواري وهم يرتدون الملابس الشعبية والفلكلورية القديمة ، مرددين الأغاني التراثية القديمة والأهازيج.
And I will answer that this word is connected to the cultural heritage of the Gulf, and of Bahrain in particular.
On the fifteenth night, that is the middle of the holy month of Ramadan, children go out in Bahrain, to visit their neighbours’ houses to get ‘Girgaoun’.
Girgaoun means the sweets and nuts distributed by people to the children who go round the streets dressed in traditional clothes, singing old songs.
Butterfly has posted a slideshow of the Girgaoun festivities in one area, which you can see here.
Picture credit: Butterfly
Another much more recent tradition is that of watching the special Ramadan serials on television – but Matchless is not impressed:
What’s going on the TV.
I am fed up with their programs.
Yes all of them in addition of the NONSENSICAL.
I wish that western people care about RAMADAN and try to produce something worth watching.
Ammar describes a scene of great anthropological interest:
His lane of traffic was at a standstill, but it was normal on a weekend night such as this. He glanced at the cars cruising slowly past him on the opposite lane; the fancy Benz with its triple-digit plate, the beaten down 80's Cressida, the shiny Cadillac with the polished wheels. “What are they all doing here?” he thought, as the car in front of him etched a few inches forward.
The traffic light turned red, and the cars came to a stand-still. A golden Honda passed by, and stopped in the traffic right next to him, two pretty ladies adorning its interior. He glanced with the corner of his eye, and although he didn't make it too obvious, they knew he was looking at them. “This is ridiculous” he thought; he wants to communicate with them, exchange a few words, maybe a number, but it wasn't possible. In the ‘rules’ of this engagement, he has to drive around a few times up and down this road, find his prey, follow her to a dark alleyway or somewhere unfilled with people, and then make a move. That's just the way it was done here.
The light turned green, and as she moved her car he forced the gas pedal down turning the steering wheel, twisting the car through the traffic; it was a scene of tire smoke and a thundering engine, landing himself directly behind the two girls. They watched in amusement through their rear-view and giggled, not so innocently, as they pondered making their way through a side street. They decided to, eventually, and drove into a dark alley, with him on their tail.
He smiled. Something to ease the stress for tonight, at least.
Layal posts about a change in direction:
ولكن وجدت ان الدراسه التخصصيه لا تسمن ولا تغني من جوع, ان لم تكن معها دراسه اكاديميه فهي تعامل كطفل غير شرعي
مع العلم ان الاجانب يتخذونها سبيلا للوصول لارقي المناصب بدون الحاجه الي صك الغفران الاكاديمي
Another student, Al 7urra has just started at the University of Bahrain:
A booklover disappointed
Butterfly has been to a well-known annual bookfair for the first time, but discovered she hasn't been missing anything:
We end with Redbelt, who has noticed something strange on a packet of rice:
Picture credit: Redbelt
More from Bahrain next week…