GILGIT: The 10 years old Sabaina looks at the mirror as she puts on bangles and jewellery that she has purchased for Eid.
The preparation for the Eid in terms of dresses across Gilgit – Baltistan [G-B] isn’t much different as compared to other cities of Pakistan. Shopping is at its peak during the last week before Eid particularly at ‘Chand raat’ as men, women flock to bazaars and do the final touches of the shopping. The dresses and other items are mostly what brought from Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi as is the case with rest of the country.
Women and girls wear special dresses and jewellery depending on their financial position on the day. The same goes with men who make the traditional Pakistani dress ‘shalwar Kameez’ on the day.
The Eid is however different when it comes to preparation of food.
While the meat of the slaughtered animals is there with every dish prepared, there are some other items that are specific to this region. This includes Shireks, a traditional bread that has ingredients of flour, egg, yogurt, milk, dry apricot and butter. “We make shirks a day earlier to serve guests as well as families members,” says Shaista, a housewife in Gilgit.
A shirek can be used up to a week as dry food especially in breakfast.
“This requires a lot of hard work initially but once done it helps you sit back tension-free at least for a week if you have it in good quality and in sufficient quantity” she told Outpost.
Shaista has prepared 40 shirks this time around and is sure it will be sufficient for a week for his five-member family.
This traditional bread is made by families living even in valleys but with different names and composition of ingredients depending their financial positions. The quality is better among families living in cities like Gilgit and Skardu while those living in villages for obvious reasons of better facilities and easy access to markets.
“The meat is there all the time in this day but what is unique and loved is this,” says Shaista as she winds up the cooking.