The weather has played a great role in making this holiday season an active one for the Pakistani Community. While a number of families have gone out of town on vacation, some out of the country too, many have stayed in Austin to enjoy moderate temperatures of a so far mild winter.
The biggest and most loved activity in the community is to host each other for meals. Often the guest lists have been so large that families have hosted dinners in restaurants. The choices of restaurants have increased, as Halal options are now available in a variety of places. Omer and Kirin Dossani hosted thirty-three families in Silver Café on Parmer Lane. It was their son’s sixteenth birthday and they wanted to celebrate it in a big way with friends who have been around from the beginning of their life in Austin.
Salomi and Zahid Pasha hosted an equally huge lunch in Saffron Indian Fusion on Farwest Boulevard. It was their grand daughter’s first birthday. The whole restaurant was closed for their private party and the family went to great detail to make their guests and loved ones comfortable.
Many homes had Christmas Trees even though they don’t officially celebrate Christmas. The whole idea of having the festivities in their homes brought together children of all ages. Some families hosted Holiday and Christmas parties and most exchanged gifts.
Two couples, Dr. Junaid and Yasmeen Siddiqui and Adnan and Hawama Sattar continued to be invited for meals at their friends’ homes as they have recently returned from Hajj, a farz on Muslims who can afford it once in their lifetime. It is a tradition in the Pakistani community to host the ‘Hajis’ and celebrate with them.
While all the dinners were going on, funds drive for the Syrian Refugees was inititated by Dr. Zarmeena Vendal to help Muslim Community Support Services meet their monthly expenses for the increasing number of refugee families dependant on them.
On the movie scene, Star Wars was a big taker in the Pakistani Austinite kids. Many kids went to see the movie and agreed that it was totally worth it. Some girls dressed up as Princess Leia when they went to watch the movie.
Sabiha and Akif Sultan have regularly hosted Antakshri at their home and will do so again on January 1st to celebrate the arrival of the New Year.
Every family tries its best to be all-inclusive and so generates good will from all. The Austin South Asian is honored to be a part of the lives of such generous people.