With the rainy season, Fulani herders resume their transhumance ~ #AFP:
Tabaski is a crucial meeting point in Senegal, where almost the entire population is Muslim. But the social pressure that surrounds it is increasingly unbearable for some households.
Now that the Tabaski celebrations have passed, many heads of households woke up this weekend with a new puzzle: how to repay the debt incurred for this unique day.
In fact, year after year, the way of celebrating Tabaski is moving further and further away from religious recommendations. The auspicious side of the celebration is highlighted, thus creating financial tensions among the less fortunate. The latter often feel obliged to ensure astronomical expenses that neither logic nor religion condone.
The heads of families are going through a real ordeal on the occasion of this particularly difficult Eid festival to manage. This year, the situation has been worsened by overpriced sheep, untenable family obligations and an economic situation accentuated by the coronavirus.
“We are forced to buy a sheep, to meet the needs of the family and the pandemic does not suit us because the prices have doubled”, says Pape Ndiaye, a resident of Dakar.
For him, the evolution of society obliges him not to “leave your child on the sidelines” because “seeing all the children get dressed and seeing your child not having the same satisfaction as other children“created a social distancing which is not very good. So for Pope, it will take “do everything to meet the needs of children”.
And to satisfy the wishes of the children, the mothers also go out of their way.
This is the case with Fatou Seck, who believes that the worst social pressure for a parent is the feeling of not being able to satisfy his child during this kind of party.
“When you are a mother of a family, your dearest wish is to see your child well dressed like the others, to see his father bring a beautiful ram home because, if necessary, the little ones are frustrated”, she explains.
This is why mothers no longer wait for fathers to do everything.
Fatou says they are also trying to “to ensure that all the needs of the family are met even if times are hard, very hard “.
Loans to party
Yet this pressure could be avoided if people limited themselves to religious recommendations.
This is the analysis of Imam Ibrahima Aïdara, who asserts that the excessiveness of Senegalese society is at the base of the social pressure surrounding Eid. “It is not recommended to go to make loans or to shoulder unsustainable expenses which could have unfortunate consequences after the party”, he slices.
The imam says Muslims even celebrate festivals that have no connection with the culture or religions practiced in the country. To conclude, he reminds us that tabaski is a celebration that must be “imprint of sobriety“and calls on the Senegalese to”avoid rude expenses, overpriced sheep“and be strictly limited to the principles decreed by Islam “who ban all that”.