Manners: Eidi etiquettes

September 19, 2009


I remember during my childhood, I would wake up early in the morning on Eid and start getting ready. After offering my Eid prayers I would run down to greet and wish my father on his return from the mosque. After all of us young ones would be dressed and ready, it would be eidi time! Mom and dad would hand over our eidi and the exhilaration and excitement we felt on receiving an envelope with nice printed flowers with money inside it, remains unmatched even today.

Now, as an adult, I miss those priceless childhood moments and the joys of Eid that can be felt only as a child. Now I am looking from the opposite side of the glass, handing out flowery envelopes containing the all-so-precious eidi to children and enjoy seeing their faces light up. However, while receiving this gift, sometimes children react in a way that is amusing and even embarrassing. Even some adults don't handle this gesture of love and celebration with grace.

So in order to be a graceful giver and a courteous receiver, let us look into some basic tips to be kept in mind by children, youngsters and elders while giving and recieveing eidi.

Eid is a time to celebrate and appreciate the quality time one gets to spend with parents, relatives and friends. Relatives and friends visit each other and congregate for lunch or dinner. Sometimes we get to meet people we don't see the whole year round, so the first and foremost thought in our minds should be to spend time together and enjoy ourselves. Getting eidi in the process is a bonus, not the real purpose of meeting people on this happy occasion.

One should always remember to say “Thank you” while receiving eidi. In some cultures, appreciation and respect is shown by kissing the elder's hand, or hugging the other person. When you receive eidi from someone, in all spontaneity and excitement, you may start counting the money as and when it comes into your hands. Don't do that.

Always count your fortune in privacy. And you can simply put all the envelopes and money you get together and count it at the end of the day.

Another instinctive gesture you should guard against is to flaunt your eidi in front of family and friends, especially the servants. Even though everyone is given some amount of money as eidi, one should always avoid making others feel any less important on having received less than you have. Besides, it's all yours, no one else really cares how much you've got except for yourself, so save the joy and energy for yourself that later on can be converted into gifts, video games, new toys, etc., that you were anxiously waiting to purchase.

As the eidi is the most exhilarating aspect of Eid for children, they, in all innocence, forget that it is not polite to ask for eidi, especially from every person/guest who visits your home or you visit theirs. Choose your eidi givers wisely!

Also, remember to respect and appreciate even the ten rupee that you receive. It is the love and good will of the eidi giver that matters not the amount. And in these hard economic times when everything is so expensive, don't be disappointed if you don't receive any thing at all.

It is important that children should be very careful with their money as they are not used to handling it. Girls can either carry a bag or a small pouch and boys can have a wallet in their pocket. But the best and easiest option is to give all your eidi to your mom, dad or grandmother.

Eidi collection is also an art, an art of saving, especially for the young, who learn to use their money wisely later on as well. Sometimes elders too become children with the little ones, and in between the Eid fever they forget that eidi should preferably be given in a closed envelope.

By keeping these few basic things in mind, everyone can enjoy a heart warming and cheerful Eid, with all its traditional flavours. Have a blessed and enjoyable Eid.