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   Volume 5 | Issue 43| November 06, 2011 |


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The Young 'Tails'!

Rakibul Hasan

Photo: Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

Herds of cattle in the city streets, the unmistakable stench of manure from every other corner and the relentless mooing and bleating of cows and goats clearly state that Eid-ul-Adha is upon us. It is the time of the year when the human population of Dhaka gets outnumbered by the newly arrived bovine immigrants. We welcome these newcomers with much aplomb and festivity and adorn them with all kinds of embellishments. When they pass through the streets we admire their physique and discuss their worth. Finally when the day arrives we get ready for the feast!

Students fancy a visit to the cattle market before Eid-ul-Adha.

Sacrificial animals have to be of perfect physique.

The festival of Eid ul Adha may be considered a source of great fun and merriment to us but it is obviously not a happy occasion for our bovine friends. As we gulp down the chunky portions of their body parts, do we ever think how these cows and goats relate to our lives? Especially during our student life we have to play the same role as these bovine creatures from time to time. For example, do you remember throughout your schooldays how many times your teachers had refereed you as 'Goru' or 'Chagol' because of your abysmal performance in maths or some other subject? In fact many veteran teachers take pride in fixing these humane Goru or Chagol's dispositions by punishing them. The tedious hours of memorising all through the night before the exam often make us feel like 'kolur bolod' (a metaphor for fruitless effort) as we become quite sure that we are not going to remember half of what we memorisied. After getting the question paper during an exam we often feel like crying out 'holy cow' as we would discover that there is hardly any question which we could answer properly! And finally there come numerous times during our stay on campus when we end up being a 'bakra' as our buddies never get tired of pulling weird pranks on us.

Students love to take care of the cattle.

So we can see that how sometimes our actions resemble the characteristics of the bovine animals. The festival of Eid-ul-Adha provides us with an opportunity to revaluate this age old relation between these useful animals and human beings. Eid-ul-Adha being one of the biggest festivals in the country occupies a special place in our hearts from a very early age. Students get very excited about this festival as 'Qurbani Eid' always means a long vacation.

The priciest cattle at the haat draw the attention of everybody.

Besides celebrating the usual delights of a Bangladeshi festival such as buying new outfits and going to the village home, the involvement of a sacrificial animal adds a different 'taste' to this Eid. The purchasing of the animal from the haat (cattle market) and taking care of it for a few days before Eid always leave us with memories to remember. Students most of the time being the youngest members of the family enjoy this time of cows and goats thoroughly. Mithila, a Dhaka University student says, “From a very young age I have always been very excited about Eid-ul-Adha. Every year I accompany my father and uncles to the haat to ensure that we are purchasing the most good looking animal of the lot. Just like the new Eid-wears, I used to be very protective about the newly bought animal as well. There was this one time when our neighbour's cow bought to be sacrificed was stolen on the day before Eid. This is why I was very protective of the goats we had bought and moved them to the rooftop. Everyone was shocked to see the goats the next morning on the rooftop of our twelve-storied apartment building!"

Saif a student from North South University says, ”Eid-ul-Adha is my favourite time of the year. I love beef and contrary to many others I love feeling like a butcher for one day! In fact I earned for the first time from my father during 'Qurbani Eid' as I assisted the butcher to skin the slaughtered animal .”

Sometimes students' actions resemble the characteristics of the bovine animals!

However, there are many people who do not appreciate open slaughtering of animals in every available corner of the city. Salima, an A level student says, “I never get out from my home during the day of Eid-ul-Adha. I do not even look out through the window as I cannot stand the hideous scene of slaughtering animals. I admit that I am not a vegetarian but I think there should be a separate place to carry out the slaughter and following butcheries. Otherwise the whole scene gets really messy."

'Qurbani Eid' always leaves us with funny and sometimes rather bizarre memories to remember.
Camels have been a recent subject of attraction.
It's a part of the culture, to ask the price of cattle on its way home.
Cattle are adorned with embellishments on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha.

In spite of being a religious festival, the Eid-ul-Adha has the attention of people from every community with all its hullabaloo and celebrations. Ashutosh, a BBA student from Dhaka university says, “Although we follow different faiths, us friends enjoy a lot during Eid-ul-Adha every year. I can still remember a funny incident when on the eve of a Qurbani Eid I along with some friends went to the famous Gabtoli cattle market to see the camels. Suddenly there was much uproar around us and we got scared on the outbreak of such chaos. My immediate apprehension was that maybe some angry bull had gotten loose and went on a rampage. As we were about to flee from the scene suddenly we discovered that it was actually a small group of people who were making vociferous noises to make way in a crowded market place for their newly bought medium sized goat!”

Be it a visit to the cattle markets, or rearing the sacrificial animal for a few days, or even playing the role of a butcher for one day, Eid-ul-Adha always makes us experience funny and sometimes rather bizarre series of events. Come this 'Qurbani Eid' no matter what cattle we sacrifice, we should never forget that the true spirit of sacrifice does not lie in uncouth fun and gourmandise, but it refers to our willingness to submit our selfish ego for the greater good of humankind. The endeavour of Qurbani becomes meaningful only when it is performed with a sense of piety and compassion. For the sake of our civic duty; we should always remember to get rid of wastes after slaughtering the animals. animals in an appropriate way. Hope you enjoy this Eid in a befitting manner by sharing the fun and festivity with everyone in society irrespective of their backgrounds, in addition to that we also wish very happy feasting to everybody!

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