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Tradition in Transience

A closer look at the modern day Eid experience; tradition, culture, attire and the symbolism of the Eid photograph


Eid in coloured Muslim communities and the way in which this joyous day is celebrated has, in many ways, been built off tradition. The intention behind the celebration is to strengthen family connections and foster a sense of togetherness within the community. However, the way in which this auspicious day is expressed has evolved beyond just tradition. Young people within the coloured Muslim community know Eid to be a day of dressing up, constant movement around the suburbs, hours of stillness at obscure family members houses and most importantly for some, the Eid family portrait.


The Eid family photograph whether it be with parents, cousins, aunts or siblings is an intergenerational experience that immortalizes the day and acts as a timestamp for Muslim families and communities alike. Parents will have sepia toned images in ornate frames dating back to their childhood. Grandparents will dig out dusty boxes of printed images that all come with a strung-out story about family members you've never heard of on old photographs you've never seen before. All of them posed rigidly into the camera, expressionless, but always dressed to the 9’s.


Today the Eid family photo can be found on social media profiles of young Muslim people, all posed outside family homes, on distant uncles’ couches or in nearby parks and fields. The production team comprises of your teenage cousin, little brother and young aunty directing her team as if they just stepped off a Hollywood film set. The Eid photograph has transcended through decades and although it’s form and function may have changed, the memories it holds will remain timeless.


Despite all the glamour and showmanship that forms part of the modern-day Eid experience, at the root of it all remains the same sense of togetherness, celebration and a transience through tradition.


An evolution of Muslim culture.

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