September 5, 2009 at 11:53 pm (Diary, Just a thought ..., Qatari culture, Society, traditional celebration)


On the eve of the fifteenth day in Ramadan, we all would go have Fotoor in my grandmother’s house. As soon as we are done, my mom would change our cloths and dress us in old traditional clothes, either Buknag or Thobnashil then accessories us in small gold earings and necklace. The most important object to wear is the bag that hangs from our neck. The bigger the bag is the more candy we would collect. All the kids memorised the special Garanga’oh song and sang it while they are wandering around the neighbourhood collecting candy.  I remember my grandmother had a big plastic bucket that was filled with Garanga’oh candy.  There was always a small plastic bowl in the middle that was used as a scoop to fill the kids bags; each had a scoop.  We used to go to every house in the neighbourhood and didn’t stop till the bag got too heavy for our necks to carry.   All the kids from the neighbourhood used to walk in groups and sing the song together. We used to compete by collecting as much candy as possible.  It was such a joy to walk with random kids and sing so loud. The louder we sang the more candy we got.  You could hear kids chanting in every house; it was such a joyful time.

After we finish going around the neighbourhood, my sisters and I go back to my grandmother’s house and put all the Garanga’oh on the floor and start picking the pieces we like. Sometimes I would exchange my caramel chewing gum with strawberry lollipop. And sometimes my sister would give me her white sugar candy to get my blue ones. The nuts and candy would last for weeks till we finish it all. No wonder we used to have so much tooth decay!

I am no longer a five year old and cannot go “trick or treat”. Yesterday I was at my grandfather house.  I was looking at the kids, and their mothers. The Garnga’oh I know is long gone! I felt like it was a big show.  Most of the clothes were ready made and had a special theme; an Indian dress, a sailor’s uniform … etc. The Garanga’oh in the plastic bucket is gone. The simple carrier bags that used to dangle from kids necks are gone. The songs are gone. The kids that used to go out in groups are gone. Now, we have “tawzee3”. Each mother would prepare a ready made garanga’oh in special glass or basket warped with different kinds of paper and ribbons. What used to cost 30 QR now cost hundreds of ryals. People would buy “Special” Garanga’oh from Albateel and Foushon and Opera. And on the top of the “Special Garanga’oh” item is her children’s picture and their name!  Instead of sending the children to collect candy from neighbours, they would send these special made items to their neighbours! And if the kids will go around, they will go with the maid and the driver!  

I was looking around yesterday, nothing of what I know of Garanga’oh still exists. Even children’s joy is different. I wonder if this is adult’s fault?





  1. B said,

    You hav hit the proverbial nail yet again!

    People hand out money instead of treats..
    Adults can’t be bothered to shop for sweets..
    Few kids pass by nowadays..
    Garangao’h is the equivalent of Valentine’s commercialized!

    Not everything is changing for the better IMHO…what a difference a decade makes!

  2. Saad said,

    Life changed 🙂

    You can sense this in the Garangaoh song. They say we will go engrgah in Albida3 and Rumialah 🙂 I wanted to say them Oh Kids nothing left from these places. They either were wiped out of the map or transformed completely.
    We moved to new house few years ago, and I remember sitting in Al-Majlis with bowl full of candies and waiting for kids to show up, but no one showed up, same thing in Eid. Is it Qatar changing or the people changing?
    Mimi galbti almwag3

    Thanks for saying what was in my heart for so long 🙂

  3. I CARE said,

    Qatar is Qatar, it hasn’t changed.

    It’s the people who changed. Money did this to us. We’re not the loving neighbors anymore.

    It’s all about money. How expensive your car is. How expensive your phone, your house, your phone number, your wedding is.

    People don’t find happiness in simple happy stuff anymore. They want more expensive fluffy things.

    Parents, not all of them, are not role models anymore. Mom is busy shopping at D&G and dad is online looking for the new Bugatti. Kids are raiseb by maids, drivers and TV.


    😦 i miss the old simple Qatar. This wasn’t very long ago. Maybe we can change it back to what it used to be.


  4. mimizwords said,

    B … you seem to be a poet, we are looking for some, are you interested in participating in an event on the 9th?

    Saad … its definatily people changing, I was waiting for kids to show up too. If it wasnt for battan children i wouldnt have seen any kids asking for garangaoh!

    I care … showing off extended to the simplest things, to children’s candy! The only solution is for us to influence those around us and raise our children to know better than to care more about materials than morals.

  5. Saad said,

    I care 🙂

    We can’t change it back to what it used to be. Because time never go back. However, We make it better than what it used to be. If all were aware of the uselessness of our situation today, and the usefulness of changing to better. Materialism won’t take us any where, its products of other civilizations not a civilization it self. You can drive 2009 Ferrari, but you mentality is still of 10th century Bedoin.
    Once we do something kind of update to this mindset to understand that the real good and bad is not in cost of what own, but rather of what of what’s in your brain. We need to change mindsets if we really won’t to survive in today’s world.
    And to be honest with, this need courage and self awareness.

  6. someone said,

    I wont blame a child feelings differently, especially when it is bestowed in them by their parents. it’s not the child’s fault, but the adults of today are worse than before in the sense of unification and sense of belonging. unfortunately, such doesn’t exist with high levels in this country, can anyone tell me what is Qatari Patriotism and where do you see it represented today or whom or how? most of the new generation lives in a bubble, doesn’t know why people back then had to be close to each other.. it wasn’t simply social ties and good deeds for god, it was their way of life and to survive.. but also to make sense of the day to day life they had with such occasions.. are we becoming more shallow and less logical, more material driven, superficial? what’s worse, we inflicted that on the simplest occasions for children..

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