We live in Jackson Heights Queens – in a predominantly Indian neighborhood. For this reason we get ‘Season’s Greetings’ lights hung over our street in the middle of August. I guess this was installed for the ‘end of Eid’ festival that happened on Aug 30th this year. It’s the end of Ramadan, when everyone breaks fast and can go out and eat and party. I had to ask a man standing in the street what all the Christmas lights were for – and he kept saying ‘end of Eid’. I then had to get to a computer and google ‘Eid’. I love that we get to expose our kids to a Muslim holiday that normally we wouldn’t hear much about. I went to India in the late 90s and always thought it would be a great trip for kids. While I cannot yet afford to get back to India with my family, we can at least live in the middle of the liveliest Indian community on the east coast. The restaurants under our apartment serve vegetarian food (and crazy sticky sweets) and even boast that they are certified kosher. We are at times shocked by an occasional truck of slaughtered lamb in front of our building, and there is an endless array of sari and bangle shops. And check out our access to produce (bumpy cucumbers called karala?) – strange and wonderful produce everywhere! Fruits and vegetables that we do not recognize – I can’t wait to try another new one. Jackfruit? Durian?
At least our holiday street lights can double as decoration for the upcoming Diwali; a Hindu festival of lights in October.
Read more about our fabulous ‘hood here.