Eid, March 2002

The eve of Eid means last minute shopping.

“Meat for the freezer—in case there is not enough to share from the slaughtering tomorrow.” Hasina marches towards the stall.
It is like seeing a road accident. The meat is hanging from canopy hooks attached to rusty scaffolding, and carcasses crowd the front of the stall like an obstacle course and passing by without getting a slap in the eye from a swaying piece of mutton flank is a laudable feat. Bloody off-cuts—skin, bone, offal, hairy ears, and glassy eyes—litter the floor. Hasina directs this dismemberment and supervises its stuffing into a jumbo-sized polythene bag or six.
It is heaven for the fat flies taking first pick of the goodies. Some settle on the hanging meat, valiantly swatted by a young boy with a witches’ broom, but the majority indulge in an uninterrupted gastronomic experience feasting on the cut pieces, crawling languidly over the diced meat destined for the Hoque family deep freeze like a holiday maker at an all-inclusive resort who cannot resist temptation.
Three fine specimens have been so gluttonous as to die mid-mouthful and are gamely gouged out and flicked away before the butcher slings the meat into a bag. Let’s revise that: two of them are gouged and flicked, the third I’m sure is now somewhere in a 5kg bag ready to be marinated in yoghurt, herbs and spices, and roasted on the barbecue. Luckily, I don’t have time to be sick. I am too morbidly fascinated by the hand of the man brandishing the knife. He has the tips of three fingers completely missing.
(ABBW Ch25)

Eid is a real family occasion, one I was lucky to spend with my adopted family, the Hoques, in Dhaka where we flew from house to house greeting and eating... Everyone kills (or buys) a goat or a cow and shares it amongst themselves, their relatives and anyone in need.  The sentiment is great but the public slaughter is not for the faint-hearted...
Chittagong, February 2002
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Comments 2

 
Guest - Anonymous on Thursday, 14 October 2010 00:46

This account paints a vivid picture allowing the reader to imagine actually being there.

This account paints a vivid picture allowing the reader to imagine actually being there.
Guest - Anonymous on Thursday, 14 October 2010 00:44

Yum, Yaourt de boeuf marinés servis avec un jus mouche. Michelin stardom is sure to follow should a chef choose to place it on a menu.

Yum, Yaourt de boeuf marinés servis avec un jus mouche. Michelin stardom is sure to follow should a chef choose to place it on a menu.
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