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?