Friday, December 17, 2010
The last ten days have been marked by the arrival of the Islamic new year (Muharram) and the ever-progressing arrival of Ashura, which is the 10th day after Muharram (ahsura means ‘10’).
On the eve of Ashura, bands of children from every neighborhood gather together to play music. They beat drums and tambourines and blow into long horns that make a single, bleating note. Sometimes they sing. If you are lucky enough to live in a neighborhood where some of the older boys lead the children in learning rhythms, you are treated to some great sounds. Of course the kids ‘practice’ all week long and parade up and down the derbs in raucous good humor.
My street has tons of children and their numbers steadily increased as they banded together the other night to symbolically mourn the end of a year and celebrate the beginning of a new year. They probably don’t know that is what they were doing, but the idea of drumming out the old and heralding in the new gave me the wherewithal to deal with their learning curve and a great appreciation for the steady progress they made in producing the traditional rhythms.
I thoroughly enjoyed Ashura this year … perhaps it’s because I took the time to learn what it’s all about.
Posted by Water Dragon at 1:14 AM