Eid in Seoul

So unsurprisingly this Eid was very different from form the last 19 years of Eid that I’ve experienced. For starters, unlike every other Eid, I woke up extremely depressed, whereas in previous years I would wake up early because I was so excited. But I did find ways to uphold some traditions, one being that you short start your Eid morning with a shower and a breakfast with something sweet. So I made sure to wake up around 7 and showered and didn’t eat anything until I was able to go to the café and buy something sweet. Something about keeping some tradition felt very comforting in a foreign country.

I think one of the two most upsetting parts about missing Eid at home this year was that I did not have any new dresses to wear. Usually every year for Eid I tend to go all out to buy a new dress and accessories Since I can remember my family has celebrated Eid in the most extravagant way possible. Not upholding that tradition this year took quite a toll on my heart. Though I think the main reason for my depression was the fact that I was very very lonely, because I don’t have any Muslim friends here, and so there isn’t much I can associate with Eid. The friends I do have here did make an extra effort to make sure I didn’t feel too lonely. The night before three of German friends, (they are all graduate students so I’m like a little sister to them), came to meet me outside of my dorm and gave me a whole bag full of spicy candy and an album that I really wanted but didn’t buy because it was expensive, and they stayed with me for 2 hours that night.

But I guess some things are hard to forget, because Eid morning, I woke up still upset about missing it. I had one class that morning then I got ready to go out, and me and my friend decided to visit two really well-known universities here in Seoul: Ehwa Women University and Yonsei University, and then we planned to go to Namsan Tower. It was a fun day but felt a lot like normal days where I would spend the day visiting popular attractions. And the fact that I was wearing something that I wore before, instead of a brand new dress really did hurt my soul more than I would like to admit. I spent the entire night talking to my family back in the U.S, which definitely improved my mood, but I didn’t realize how much I held onto these traditions and how ingrained they were into my memory. 

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The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.

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