Thursday, May 17, 2018

Cultural Exchange

 Ramadan started today.
This means a lot of things, but for our family last night, it meant the osh exchange.
The kids on the street were buzzing about it a couple days prior.

"Don't forget the osh exchange!"
Zadie brought the news. 
Ah, yes, every year the day before Ramadan, neighbors make the national rice dish and exchange bowlfuls with each other.
The why escapes me.  I'm not sure they know either.  But you'd have thought it was Christmas, so great was the expectation amongst the youngest three Americans in Jbad.
Every time the doorbell rang, Theo and Zadie competed for the rush to the gate.
Nial was excited because he really likes rice.  He did not rush to the gate.
Most neighbors adorn their osh with some sort of fresh veggies.  But our favorite garnishes are the steamed grape leaf mini-pockets of meat and rice that our sheep-tending neighbor concocts.  There are two in the bowl above.  We carefully divided and devoured them.  I'm going to ask her to teach me how to make them.  After Ramadan.
I don't attempt to make the Uzbek and Kyrgyz signature dish.  I am not stupid.  If I did try to duplicate traditional osh, I'm certain it would be the topic of gossip on the street for months to come.  I do make some kind of rice dish though.  Last year it was cheesy broccoli chicken pilaf.  We introduced it as "American Osh."
She ran all the deliveries too.  In the rain. 
I've never seen anyone so thrilled to run in and out, kicking off her shoes every time.
This year we made stir-fried zucchini and other veggies plus chicken over rice.  It probably rocked some boats, but variety is the spice of life, right?  Or is that just an American value?  I don't know anymore.

Tip o' the Day:  Get your "osh" out there early.  That way you don't have to remember which bowl needs to be returned where.  The neighbors just transfer your osh, and return your bowl with their osh in it.
 Especially if you're a rice fan.


Susan said...

What handsome and king young men you have!!! You all are an inspiration!!!!

Susan said...

I mean kind!!!!

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