Is it just me or is handing out Eidi a fading tradition?

Is it just me or is handing out Eidi a fading tradition?

It used to be that Rs1000 was the norm. Now, not so much.
07 Jul, 2016

Imagine a world without eidi.

Putting it mildly, it’s an inexpressibly depressing thought. But at this rate, it's a world that's inching closer than ever before. Buckle up, friends, the times they are a changin’.

When I woke up yesterday, I wasn’t excited about Eid or eidi. Why? Because I know that come Eid, what I've come to call 'shrinking wallet syndrome' will hit full throttle — unfortunately, it’s inevitable, and there’s nothing we can do about it.

This Eid, my cousins and I were handed money ranging from Rs100 – 300 and we silently accepted it. No protests, no whining, not even bothering to open the envelope, knowing full well from the size and thickness of the envelope how much was contained inside.

And it's not just me — this seems to be a global phenomenon.

But hold on a minute. When did this happen? When did this silent retreat take place? The Eid of yesteryear that I remember was the one time when camaraderie went out the window and it was every man for himself. You went behind your cousin’s back, held dealings with chachas and nani and dada – whoever you knew could easily be emotionally blackmailed for the sake of a few blue notes.

Remember the time when you would go back to school after Eid break and boast about how much money you got?

Or the time you would hide in a corner of your nani’s house just to count how much eidi you had collected, knowing full well that if someone saw you they’d definitely put nazar on it. Oh yeah, eyes lurking all around.

Or the time when you started carrying your own wallet/bag on Eid because you couldn’t trust your mother’s bag any longer? (I’m so sure that my eidi was distributed to my cousins on my parent’s behalf. SO sure).

But where did all of that go? Will the Eid we remember remain a distant memory in the past?

Eidi is tradition. It is our right, but the past couple of years have led us to believe otherwise. The crisp, fresh bank notes bound together by a rubber band seem to be all but a fallacy now.

How did this happen? When did a couple of hundreds, worse, no money at all, make the cut on Eid?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not reducing the holy occasion to monetary value. I love Eid; the endless family bonding sessions, the copious amounts of sugar-laden foods, the excuse to buy countless ‘Eid’ joras, and the chance to actually get a break from work life, are all great…

…but what is Eid ul Fitr without eidi?

Incomplete is the word, my friend.

Like an anda without paratha, like rain without pakoras, like mornings without chai.

It seems like the charm of Eid, i.e. eidi, has officially died, and with it all our hopes of ever trying to mint money from our relatives.

With inflation at an all time high, unfortunately, eidi rates have taken the hardest hit. The only excuse we get now is that everybody’s low on cash and the number of kids keeps increasing. In their words, “Supply kum hai aur demand ziyada.”

Forget under the table agreements, there is barely anything on the table.

It has become such an alarmingly distressing situation, that we should take this matter to the Sindh government. After all, there is no difference between us and politicians; we both love extorting money, the only distinction is they do it all year round and we do it on only three days of the year.

Perhaps a dharna? It seems to work for Imran Khan, but we haven’t won the 1992 World Cup, nor do we own a hospital – we’ll probably have to pay people to join us and unfortunately, supply aj kal thora kum hai.

And now, since eidi has taken a swift turn down south, we've just given up and resorted to other methods: food. We’re not going to deny that food is our only consolation and silent vendetta.

We’ll stuff our faces with those siwayan and nimco (probably grab a few in our hands too before heading to other family members’ houses), how much money can you save now, eh?

I feel you, my friend.


Human Jul 07, 2016 03:47pm
just you
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Ramesh Nakhwa Jul 07, 2016 03:55pm
100 to 300 Pakistani rupees ???? My son takes a Diwali from me nothing less than 5000 - 6000 Indian rupees about USD 100
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hassaan Jul 07, 2016 03:55pm
It was great receiving it when I was younger, but the older I get, its starting to become a job sending gifts to people for buying new home, if they're sick, birthday, eid, new job, anniversary, valentines day etc. Starts to become too much after a while. I don't expect much from others so maybe I think its ok if you don't give gifts for every little thing. Maybe you can do it for close immediate family if you're spending the day with them. Other than that, you can take dessert and go out for dinner and I think that's good enough. So you're not stressing out about how much money to spend on gifts and enjoy quality time with loved ones and enjoy great food.
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sajj Jul 07, 2016 04:27pm
I give Eidi to my children and their cousins. But it can get silly, so I have a rule. Fixed amount for each person, and you get it if you come to the family feast or to visit, if you don't you don't get Eidi. And if you are earning, you don't get any. But also, nowadays you can't just go to the shop to spend it. Ppl put it in savings accounts and stuff. Not like the old days where the whole street was full of children with mullticoloured toys and stuff they just bought with their Eidi. Now kids put it in savings accounts, or even investments. Where's the pleasure in giving it then.
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Sam Mathur Jul 07, 2016 04:50pm
@Ramesh Nakhwa Why make such an idiotic comment? Just enjoy a beautiful piece. I totally enjoyed. Did Mubarek to all !
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Pakistani Jul 07, 2016 05:10pm
Sorry sister, its just you :( I am sorry :(( Its ok, if you start earning this Eidi would lose its charm as well. I still get Eidi, but I miss getting Eid gifts from my cousins which were packets of goodies, bangles etc. Such good traditions.....I don't see younger girls exchanging Eid gifts now.
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Amir Jul 07, 2016 05:13pm
It does seem to be a dying tradition, especially so many people moving around and stuff. Also, don't forget, you're getting older, so less eidi for you to take and more to give. So, the question then becomes, are you cutting back?:) Another thing to realize, in the early 80's when I was little, standard eidi was Rs. 10 by my uncles and aunts. You're talking 1,000's now on the inflation rate and have salaries increased that much and have expenses not increased exponentially? I don't think my children, 7, 6 and 2 will see the same life of eid and edhi. It's a more commercial world now, those were simpler times and my parents claim (and I believe them) their times were even simpler! Nice article though!
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Masood Hussain Jul 07, 2016 06:14pm
My grand children refused to accept what ever paltry sum i dared to offer them..
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Gaurav Jul 07, 2016 08:27pm
@Masood Hussain , give them One ruppee for Eid and thousand ruppees for their "naak" (high headed ness). Vey unfortunate that younger generation do not feel the blessings old people are giving them
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Zack Khan-USA Jul 07, 2016 09:15pm
I think we should keep eidi tradition, with no burden on giver, and if it is 100 rupees or less, should be ok. If you can go eat at a restaurant and watch movie with your eidi, you made it! The purpose of eidi is not to pay off your student loan!
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Zack Khan-USA Jul 07, 2016 09:16pm
@Ramesh Nakhwa you are a rich man! Good for your son!
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Rafay Ali Khan Jul 07, 2016 09:40pm
The second day of Eid is almost over but haven't got any Eidi. #thoughtimes #hardlife
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John Doe Jul 07, 2016 10:30pm
This was the first year in a long time, that I refused to hand out Eidi. Money is tight. Ramadan was very very expensive. Enough is enough.
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Oz Jul 07, 2016 10:59pm
Most of these guys moaning about not getting Eidi are grown ups, who have some how still got a 12 year old crying inside - Go Earn It criers, your parents and relatives have to work hard for the expensive dresses you are probably wearing already. I think once you are out of school, age for Eidi goes.. Eidi is for young kids, bit in elitist or middle class families, it goes on for a few extra years.
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Sultan Baig Jul 07, 2016 11:05pm
I guess its only you. I got 1000 rupees from the family. I guess I am the lucky one. Who know
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Suleman Jul 08, 2016 12:50am
Rs. 1000 was never the norm in Pakistan dear, get off your privileged high horse and when you are talking about something as a tradition look at the realities of normal families from middle and lower income families who can never afford to hand out Rs. 1000 to every child. My point is when talking about the tradition of a particular society one should look at the largest segment of that society. Also you have gotten older and are probably earning money yourself so it doesnt mean that much to you now thats why you are not excited...
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Ali Jul 08, 2016 01:00am
Yes its a fading tradition though but i try my best to keep it alive because its a joy for kids they always remember this innocent joy is eternal : ) Infact now days what i have noticed is that people have become very miser in giving love they like to recieve love but hesitate in giving some of it back : )
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asim Jul 08, 2016 01:12am
We used to have this uncle in our neighborhood who used to hand out bags of candies and a little toy in each bag to all the kids (probably around 100 kids), it probably cost him 5 Rs back then per bag, but it was a very good friendly gesture I think.
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flipflop Jul 08, 2016 02:37am
Given the current economic condition a salaried person who has to pay rent, school and university fees, etc cant just afford this extra expenditure. So yes, the tradition is fading away slowly as many are struggling to meet their ends.
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Sabeen Jul 08, 2016 04:18am
I & my mom in law got eidi from my husband. $100 each :)
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Farrah Jul 08, 2016 12:35pm
Since I have a kid now, all eidi is directed towards him ... and I don't refuse that (haw aunty kya ker rai hein ... Mama dekhein samjhaein aunty ko) ... Nope ... I just take it. It's tradition. BUT i did feel awkward receiving it from my parents. I'm grown up. I earn. I should be GIVING it. But they wouldn't hear any of it. Even my chota bhai gave me eidi :)
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Mukhtiar shah Jul 08, 2016 03:30pm
The problum is not that of fadding ritual of eidhi but actually it has been realized by everyone of us that joy and happiness cant be extract out just only from money. Happiness and charm are depleting day by day from our country. In addition to what a rupee note value was some time before has no longer remains even everything enborsed on a pak curruncy note look like to be proven fallacy
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Pakistan Jul 09, 2016 10:26am
Its just you.
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