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Ethnography is a methodical research which its main aim is to study and explore the culture of different people and societies. The researcher is obligated to observe the community in the subject at the various view depending on the subject. Carry out will involve the researcher to participate or to get close to the group of people he/she decide to study. By so doing the chances of correct data and information to be gathered are increased. Ethnography study like any other research the data collected is presented in the form of writing. Hence, a researcher can share the information on how the particularly studied group carry out its cultural behaviors. For a successful ethnography research, one can decide to major on one main topic rather than study the whole culture of the society in the matter. Through the splitting, one can able to collect enough and secure data involving the study. A researcher can base his sub-topic on either, religious culture, marriage or any other topic concerning the people being studied. In this case study, a short and precise ethnography exercise is conducted to explore and observe the culture of the Muslims during the ‘Eid food festival.
A food festival is an occasion held annually. It will mainly involve the ordinary food or dishes in the particular society or group of people, in this case, the Muslims. The main aim being to celebrate and unite, some of the food festivals will also be occasioned to celebrate the great harvest and other successes that have been achieved by the particular society. In any society carrying out a food festival, food tradition will apply greatly. Food tradition is mainly the culture that the community held in certain foods and beverages. The custom foods which has dominated in a particular society will be involved in any food festival.
‘Eid is a feasting celebration carried in the Muslims religion. The festival is held globally to mark the end of a fasting period Ramadan. ‘Eid is initiated by Muslims living in any area around the world. In honor of Ibrahim who was to sacrifice a son, but later intervened and instead he sacrifices an animal. The food festival by Muslims is based on the aspect of sacrifice before the festival. The adults in the Muslim society play the bigger part in this festival. Since it involves feasting, preparation of the main dishes is done. It is clear that before the event begins, prayers are held to act as a pledge of goodwill from Allah. The prayer intends to create a zone of forgiveness between the attendances so as they enjoy every bit of the moment spent during the food festival. A sermon also follows after the prayer. All the attendants are expected to participate in the address as an honor of their gods.
At a friend home in Saudi, I experienced several occasions held during the ‘Eid food festival. Homes are decorated by the juniors of the particular family. The head of the household is responsible for funding the event as the rest of the members make the invitation to relatives, neighbors and also friends. Meals are the main issues of the celebration and preparation of them are done by the members of the family hosting the festival. ‘Eid is a celebration based on generosity and hospitality, and anybody who is to appear is always welcomed and served with same generosity like any other. The family members, relative and friend, were all present on occasion. One unusual occurrence I realized. Is that child are most recognized during this food festival, before having the special meal, children will line up before the family members and will receive gifts from the visitors in attendance. The gifts are well decorated mainly containing candies. The festivals get to the extent of where even the business owner like shopkeepers will display their generosity by offering free gifts during the food festival. Chocolate shops will provide an extra chocolate to anyone who will purchase during this period.
It is evident the during this time many Saudi will go out of their way to display generosity to even total strangers and also to those who don’t belong to the Muslim religion. The culture states that the Saudi men are to buy large quantities of rice and other cultural foods which they go dropping in the door steps of those who are not well-off. In the streets, just after the ‘Eid prayers, people in Saudi will gather and prepare large communal meals as a sign of unity. Household also cook large meals which are distributed among the neighbors, family, relatives and friends. Different meals prepared by various people is always gathered together and shared among anyone who avails in the area. During this time of ‘Eid, all activities are on hold so as the family can participate fully in the in this food ceremony. Hospitality and generosity are the controlling aspects of this important food festival. Sharing and offering to others is evident during the ceremony.
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