Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Day I: Imsaharchi, or the drum-guy

This April, I will be participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, writing about the A to Z of Iraqi Culture. Do give in your own two cents in the comments below and let me know if you have anything to add or something similar to share from your own culture.

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The month of Ramadan is something everyone waits for eagerly in Iraq. With the no food and drink rule from dawn to sunset, Ramadan calls for a specific life-style, a break from the monotony of the regular routine throughout the year, and many other trends that are unique to this month.

One of the Ramadan-y traditions is the Imsaharchi- the man whose job is to wake all the houses up for a meal before dawn in preparation for the next day's fast, also known in Iraq as Abul Tabul (The guy with the drum)

The man is usually a volunteer who gets no pay other than the reward of helping the people of his city fast. He walks around in the very early hours of the morning, carrying a drum around his neck which he hits with his stick at every home, singing funny rhymes telling people to stop sleeping and get up to eat.

Although time has changed and people can always set their phones and alarm clocks to get up, the Imsaharchi will remain an important and exiting part of the Ramadan culture that people are reluctant to do away with.

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13 comments:

  1. My opinion is that the drummer should be paid for his work. It sounds like a big job, after all.

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  2. Interesting, Is he only in Iraq, or is this custom carried it out through the Arab world/

    Rhonda @Laugh-Quotes.com
    Visiting from AtoZ #41

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    Replies
    1. I think there are other Arab countries who have a form of this too!

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  3. :O That is so COOL. I honestly wish every Muslim community had one of them. I think it's way better than a phone alarm or something, and in a way it would make Ramadan... how do you say it? Well, less than a mindless process, more... 'homey'. I donno how to explain it. But that's awesome :)

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  4. Very cool, and thank you for the education.

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  5. I can imagine that the Imsaharchi needs to be very fit.

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  6. Your post brings back so many good memories of my childhood. an elderly man we used to call "The Fakeer" used to wake us up for "Sehri" the breakfast before dawn in Ramadan.He used to sing Taiba Mustafa in a very melodious voice.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  7. What an interesting alarm clock. I am learning so much.
    Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

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  8. HOW FUN! Thanks for teaching me that! Enjoy the rest of A-Z
    http://diamondvilleclarksdennisroberta.blogspot.com

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  9. What an interesting contribution to the community!

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  10. This is the first time I've read of someone looking forward to Ramadan.
    It's good to know it is a JOY . . .
    Again, Thank You!
    -g-

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    1. Hi!
      For the ones who are not used to it may see Ramadan as something .. something which is not beautifull. Because who wants to spend a day without eating or drinking? No one. But for use muslims, in spite of all the effort we have to make to stop eating and drinking ( especially the first days as the rest of the month we get used to it) it is actually a great and beautiful month. If you ask, most of the muslims are waiting for this month, they may even have a countdown. Because for us this month is a blessed one, a very espciall month.

      xx

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  11. MashaAllah, his job has to be really beautiful and most of all, rewarde by Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala.

    xx

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