When Masood forwarded me an email (from the Dubai Internet City people) that said “you are cordially invited to celebrate the 38th National Day of the United Arab Emirates”, I insisted that we go and see how the locals celebrated. Actually, the National Day is on December 2, but since that’s a holiday they decided to celebrate today – last working day before the long weekend.
And it was my first time to see the men in white perform – live.
Isn’t their traditional dress pretty? It’s known by several names, like thawb or thobe, or dishdasha, or kandura, or khameez, or suriyah (in Libya). A cousin of mine call it, lassi ka glass.
Anyway, I’ve also asked Masood to record a small clip of their performance. I felt shy to do it myself. Personally, I think their folk dance is too slow and repetitive.
Brief history of the traditional dance here.
In the picture above, Masood signed an Eid postcard. This was provided by the organizers for free. Notice the fishbowl full of cards? All of these will be delivered to the president of the UAE. They even put their thumbprints there.
I didn’t send out a card. I was busy eating chocolates.
As you can see, lunch was free. There was biryani, fried chana dal (or yellow dried split peas), and al harees. Food was good, alhumdulillah, but too bland for our desi taste buds. There were also two kinds of sweets, which we didn’t feel like trying. Two women wearing the tradition golden face veil were sitting in a tent making them.
There also was traditional coffee and tea, and lots of chocolates wrapped in papers the color of the flag.
Oh, and there was also this mandatory man with a falcon. That’s a must in every Emirati celebration. I didn’t take his picture though. He was already surrounded by photographers, and was acting like some celebrity.
It was a fun day.