Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Sunday 6th November Our Wedding Anniversary, and Fiddlesticking at Eid Celebrations.

Up early, to get the 9.52 to Leeds, in order to get the 10.45 replacement bus to Batley.  However, the 9.52 stopping train was late, and I was told that the 10.15 express would arrive 2 minutes earlier than the late stopper, so I waited and got into Leeds with less than 5 minutes to spare before the bus.

But I enjoyed this bus journey and at 11.20 I was delivered to Batley station, my unicycles and juggling stuff disgorged from the boot of the bus. I only had to wait a few minutes for Priya, my hostess, to arrive, and take me to the mosque and meeting space, which the Shia Muslims call a Jama'at-Khana.

I was given a tour of the Jama'at-Khana by a confident teen girl, whom I think was the daughter of one of the leaders of the community. She told me about the Ismaili community, who certainly came across as very friendly.  They are from Uganda, India and Afghanistan, and consider themselves as modern and forward-looking compared to some of the more traditional Muslims.  In this country there is fortunately little or no conflict between the Shia and Sunni Muslim groups. The Ismailis also do a lot of charitable work, and give 1/8th of their income to charity.

My role today was to help them celebrate Eid, one of their holy days, when they have a feast and entertainment.  They invited me to have some food, which was lovely, and then I got changed and did my Professor Fiddlesticks circus show for them.  This was followed by various performances by many of the children, which I enjoyed watching... and I did some balloons after this.  It all went really well.

This was a really enjoyable day, as I love learning about different cultures, and these people were most welcoming and easy to get along with.

I had an easy journey back, the trains had resumed normal service and I got back to a happy house.  Gill and I did acknowledge that we'd been married 12 years, and that we've been 'romantically entangled' for 18.  Ah, lovely!

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