So, Back on Jan 11 there was another holiday here; Tabaski. Tabaski celebrates Abraham nearly sacrificing his son - Ishmael (Judeo-Christian beliefis that it was his other son Isaac). The story goes that at the last second, God stopped Abraham from slaughtering his son and provided aram instead. Yeah, so the tradition here is for each family to slaughter a sheep so there has been an influx of adult, male sheep here in town the past couple weeks. For me, seeing these guys is like 'dead sheep walking,' its a weird feeling, *knowing* that these animals that I'm looking at right now will all be dead and lunch in a few days. So I decided to write a poem, enjoy.
"Something Strange is Happening"
(Written from the point of view of a male sheep, before Tabaski)
Something strange is happening,I don't know if I should be alarmed.
My boss has sent me and all the other males my age to the city.
There are many others like us here, thousands.
We're being herded to crowded marketplaces.
I see some being strapped to the roofs of cars.
I see some being lead, struggling, by a rope around the neck.
I see some being being taken in twos and threes.
I don't see any females or young ones.
I don't see any goats,
I don't see any cows.
Just myself and others like me,
and the people, herding, buying, taking home.
In the market people are preparing for something.
They buy new clothes, they buy lots of food, they buy others like me,and the they buy me.
Now, I am lead by a rope around my neck.
Now, I am put in a rice sack and tied to the top of a car.
I am taken off the car and tied up in a strange yard.
There are lots of smiling faces here.
There are lots of happy sounds in this yard.
It seems no one here needs to sacrifice.
I too am given all the food I can eat, and I eat.
They speak of tomorrow with great anticipation and send strange looks my way.
Something strange is happening, I don't know if I should be alarmed.
**End of Poem**
So as with the other holidays here, everyone gets fancy new clotheswhether they can afford it or not, the women all get new hair (I'm still getting used to the idea of everyone and their mother having giant hair extensions), and an animal is killed and eaten. Even I was sucked in this time, I had henna put on my hands and fingertips and I had my hair braided (it looked pretty silly, you can see photos at www.lespritdebecca.shutterfly.com). Tabaski is also the Muslim new year I guess, so Happy NewYear...again!