May 25, 2019
Our friend and student, Mahmud, invited us to his family home for the Korban festival also known as Eid-al-Adha, remembering Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son. We began by drinking fragrant tea at a table laden with fruit, pastries, and naan bread. Our hosts offered water separately to the men and women to wash, pouring it over our hands and passing around towels.
Then the eating began! Mahmud’s father ceremoniously broke a naan bread in half and passed pieces to us. We dipped it in vegetable stew, with chunks of roast lamb that were sacrificed earlier that morning. Home-made noodles came next. We thought the meal had ended, but soon pumpkin and meat dumplings were served – making us sorry for eating too much earlier. A few hours later, and worried about overstaying our welcome, the final dish arrived; huge platters of pilaf rice with boiled lamb. Finally, Mahmud’s father gave a sign; Everyone raised their hands while he gave thanks, passed our palms over our faces and said, “Amin”.
Traditional Uighur hospitality is overwhelming. Through food and hospitality, our Uighur hosts express honor and friendship to us. As their guests, we sought to honor and please them by expressing our deepest thanks for their generosity.
Our meal with Mahmud’s family happened several years ago. Today, Uighur culture faces great stress and challenges as a religious minority in a large nation that has cultural and political tensions. Uighurs have to find new ways of preserving their honour and offering their hospitality.
To keep reading and see today’s prayer points, please purchase the 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet (US$ 2.50).
Please note: The annual costs to produce and market this important prayer focus are not covered by foundation grants or major donors gifts, but by our personal funds. In other words, we depend on sales to recoup the money and to be able to continue.