Sunday, August 16, 2009

Islamic Cultural Festival

Hey, sorry for not getting back to anyone, finishing half-finished posts, or getting back to the comments with questions in them, but I got distracted by the Islamic Cultural Festival that we went to on the weekend:

Yeah, it was alot of cultural (the Saudis had a HUGE section), with dances and stuff (Indonesian little girls, Saudi men from different provinces) but there was Qu'ran recitation, and alot of dawah materials, henna, and a calligraphy/henna area. My purse weighed sooooooo much with the free Qu'rans in different languages. The husband and I always end up with lots of converts/reverts or people inquiring about Islam so I took the oppurtunity to stock up on some dawah materials. MashaAllah the dawah committty managed to help me get a brother and sister a Chinese translation of the Qu'ran, and the only one they were short on was Spanish. Which I needed but... hey. But I forgot to grab a Korean one. So at least I got the group's email so I can order one for one woman asking in the Masjid who has trouble following the arabic/english khutbah.

What I ABSOLUTELY LOVED is that whenever the Qu'ran was recited the clouds did part and it was sunny. Serriously. Ask anyone that was there, subhanAllah. I also found it hilarious that just before the dancers from Saudi were about to preform their tribal dances (they had Mekkah and Medina with their stick dance with a video available here
, the interior represented with a very dull sword waving dance, and the South with a very enthusiastic jumping hand-waving dance [this is my husband's and it always makes me laugh but it isn't that elegant] , a dog walked by homeless people decided to urinate on their preformance place. They announced to the crowd that they were having technical difficulties until a brother bought a water bottle and poured it over the cement:D. Yeah, hear a dog bark and watch a predominately Muslim crowd freak out:D

They had henna to draw in people, and snakes you could hold, and lots of little booths to tell you about different Islamic countries. We spent about four hours there, and then went out for lunch after dhuhr. We happened to run into a sister we had lost contact with, and alhamdulilah she is well. I was also happy to see the brothers dressed in their Islamic clothing. I wish the ones from my city did not feel they had to take it off, returning on the ferry. To all the brothers out there, I am proud of you for your thobes and your beards and your long tunic shirts, and your loose pants, and your kufis. We are supposed to dress as believers and that is not just the women, so mashaAllah to the brothers that came out visibly as Muslim men. You made me proud to wear my niqab:p

For more on the Van. festival, check out their webpage


Aalia of Abu Dhabi said...

OMG my husband and I went to this same Festival when we first got married. But he didn't like it because the Arab countries were more about their CULTURE than Islam. The only country that seemed to wanna show ISLAMIC stuff was the Tunisian tent and that places was dead compared to the Saudi tent -- where visitors could dress in a thobe or `abaya and have their picture taken in a traditional Saudi scene.

Then there was the performances. Girls dancing to men rapping. My husband was not impressed *lol* I was like "oooookay????" but this was 3 years ago... Maybe they cleaned the act up a bit since then??

I am glad that they had a dawah section :-D

Boxie said...

Oh i have the korean book, I forgot to give it to you sorry. I'll upload the cell vids really really soon.

Pixie said...

Aalia: Yeah, they had a dawah section which was nice. Also one about Islamic contributions to science, and one about women in Islam. Then everything else was purely cultural. One palestinian woman asked us to make dua for her to wear hijab, and she was just so sweet. We didn't see any grown women dancing, alhamdulilah, but there was music in the nasheeds and stuff, and only little girls (I mean just past kindergarten) danced so I didn't think that was bad.

firdous said...

tha dancing might not be smooth or elegant. but i LOVE culture !!!!
all cultures it is aamzing ma sha Allah

monalisa said...

wow sounds fun!!!
we have similiar festivals here in saudi arabia called junadrayah which is held anually in riyadh, it's loads of fun to go to on women only days with your friends or on mixed -men+women- days with your family, they have booths about everything; from culture in each saudi city or arabic/ muslim country to ramadan tents and cool booths that explain interesting facts about mekkah and madinah and about the history of Islam..

CairoGirl said...

To funny i read your post and on the same day in Egypt this was broadcasted in on Press TV! I was looking for you in the crowds with your niqab! :)Whatever the case good publicity of Islam is always good, if one person walks away with correct info. we have done our jobs as Muslims....Things like this need to be done more often to clear up misconceptions.

Pixie said...

Cairo Girl: You wouldn't have spotted me. LOL, ask Boxie, everytime that camera wove onto my section I pulled the flip part of my niqab over my eyes. LOL, I didn't want to be on TV.