Monday, July 2, 2007

My sister's daughter

This is for Elly's nieces...
since Pharaonic times there has been a tradition, still continuing - in Egypt and some other Middle Eastern countries - to celebrate the seventh day after the birth of a new born baby; it is called " EL SEBO'O" (you can see it is almost the same pronunciation as the Jewish SHABAAT which is Sabot in Arabic (the seventh day)
Number seven is a sacred number in old eastern religions.
So when the baby has completed seven days on our earth the family and friends celebrate by putting the baby in a big open basket (remember the story of Moses ?!), surrounded by a lot of sweets and seeds of different plants. A female member of the family (usually the sister or aunt) carries the basket, and moves inside the house from one room to another, followed by other members singing "hergalatek bergalatac" (there is no translation for it; it could be Pharaonic) in order to orientate the baby in his or her family house.
In every room they stoop and distribute the sweets and throw the seeds around. Another female from the family approaches the baby carrying a metal pot (hoon) which is the pot to ground garlic and beats it beside the baby's ears telling the baby to obey them.
For me it is one if the most touching ceremonies for the new born babies.
So what ELLY - the most important aunt of those two beautiful babies - are they expecting her to tell them?

1 comment:

Elly said...

I know this is my blog too, but I want to leave a comment if I may: Raouf, your post almost made me cry. Beautiful and touching. Niece no.1, Safiya, is sleeping surrounded by her beloved sheep in the room next door. Shukran mon ami x