Friday, November 4, 2011

moutons, moutons, moutons

This coming Monday is the Muslim holiday Tabaski, the most important day of the year in Senegal.   Many things are going to happen on Monday.  Everyone will be dressed in their absolute nicest attire (outfit's made especially for Tabaski this year) families and friends will visit each other's homes throughout the day and night, and every family will kill a sheep as a sacrifice to the prophet Mohammed.  Yes, a sheep is going to be killed at my house, wait not one, but TWO goats. Here they are.....hanging out on the roof

I have been asking my family questions about Tabaski since I learned about it in September.  They know I am nervous since it will be my first time seeing a live animal die, let alone be killed.  However, part of me is also excited because this is going to be a profound cultural experience. Maybe the most cross cultural experience I will have in Senegal.  I will have so much more to tell after Monday!

This week has been insane with everyone getting everything ready for the holiday.  My friend Rachel's host sister is a tailor, and she has basically been working around the clock this week to finish the boubous (traditional outfits) for her clients.  EVERYONE has an outfit made for Tabaski.  Including me.  The market's are a mob scene.  I went with our maid, Nogaye, on Tuesday, and there were so many people it was almost impossible to walk.  Music was blaring over the speakers, vendors were yelling out prices through a loud speaker, I just had to laugh it was so overwhelming.  Nogaye was leading me through the market by the arm.  I felt like a lost little kid.  It was like Black Friday on steroids. 

Also, most of the streets look like this:
Mouton's have crowded the streets for the past two weeks.  Farmers bring their herds to Dakar to make their biggest profit of the year.  It is a strategic act--buying a mouton (which is French for sheep).  You don't want to wait too long because they get too expensive, and you run the risk of not getting one at all. But at the same time, you don't want to buy it too early because it is hard to keep a mouton in your home for a long time.  My family bought our moutons last Saturday.

Monday will be an amazing day.  I look forward to writing about what I see, hear, eat (after killing the mouton we will prepare a delicious feast!), and do.  

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