RDS_190611 Readers_The importance of preserving family values during Eid1-1560171663960
Young Indian Muslims offer prayers on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr at the Khairuddin Mosque in Amritsar on June 5, 2019. Muslims around the world are celebrating the Eid al-Fitr festival, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. / AFP / NARINDER NANU Image Credit: AFP

What you need to know:

  • Eid traditions have changed over time. A reader urges parents to teach children about values, manners, and things that matter.

Being a part of these vastly different, yet connected communities living in UAE, we all know how welcoming Eid celebrations are here. The whole country takes part in and marks the end of Ramadan with prayers for peace, prosperity and love. People celebrate the occasion of Eid and post pictures and messages on social media.

From flashes from my youth, Eid has always been the most joyful and wonderful time of the year. We celebrate with family, relatives and friends. However, with technology pushing the barriers each year, Eid celebrations have changed over time and we must be cautious in preserving our core values.

The preparation for Eid used to start well in advance, during the month of Ramadan. We would follow certain rituals like giving charity, buying gifts and visiting our favourite places. We were happier playing simpler and cheaper games, unlike the toys you see today. eidiya, which is money given during Eid, taught us the value of sharing happiness with others. Additionally, we would buy greeting cards for relatives

Today, things are a little different. As we cherish the technology the world has to offer us, Eid celebrations in the modern time have changed the norms a little. Today, websites allow people to send digital cards to each other. They have taken away the personal touch of the past. The planning and effort we used to put in for the occasion has reduced drastically. The depth of the human touch has been replaced with costlier, high definition touchscreen toys and applications. With more nuclear families mushroomed up, I think this takes away from being a part of a larger family, living close by.

The lack of family bonding, slowly breeds selfishness. Paralysing effects of gadgets leads to the mind wandering and unconsciously developing self-destructive habits. We must make an effort to preserve our values. We need to develop the habit of reading our spiritual book. We need to ensure children are taught the values of justice. We should encourage them to make a note of three good events of the day, to encourage compassion and gratitude. Let’s make a promise this Eid to practise values of altruism, generosity and charity. Let’s ensure we don’t miss out on small pockets of happiness in our daily lives.

- The reader is an insurance professional based in Abu Dhabi.