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Feature: Spending Koriteh Afar

Jul 26, 2016, 11:07 AM | Article By: Yaya B. Baldeh

I can’t imagine being distances away from my family, friends and country on the very fateful day of the Muslim feast, Eid-ul Fitr or koriteh as known by some people.

On the second day of the Koriteh 2016, I felt bored I don’t know what to do or where to go to.  Knowing fully well that my current environment totally differs from the one I am used to (The Gambia) when it comes to the format of feast celebration, the ambiance at displayed, friendly-bond, and sense of excitement. 

At this moment, I was left contemplating what to do and what not to do.

I decided to take to the social media, Facebook, to get in touch with the happenings back home, The Gambia, my native land. Thanks to the digital age which enables us to be in the same wavelength with people as far as America, Europe and Africa.  And this pays well, especially in my case in this crucial day. Even though my host country, Turkey, is majority Muslim people. Still the koriteh syndrome was in me. Only what I felt was to be closer to my people to dine and wine with them.

Surely, with the expectation that even though I am lonely in my room. The only alternative available for me was to listen to a line-up song by legendary Bob Marley among the tracks ‘Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds!’

And my second best Lucky Dube sensational track dubbed ‘Different Colours, One People’. These moments really takes me home. Totally feels nostalgia. I start remembering back a days, especially the ambiance at the centre of Serekunda, Westfield Junction, and the corners of Latrikunda German and its environs. How it looks like in this special day. More so, putting into consideration the teeming number of youngsters on ‘saliboo’ mission and the middle and elderly age rocking the streets of Greater Banjul Areas to exchange greetings (siyaree) with families, work mates and loved ones.   The same moods cut across the length and breathe of the country.

Luckily for me, while I am getting the music vibration of Father Bob, I was glued to my Facebook.  At this very widely use medium, I came across a photo on my Facebook wall posted by a Gambian journalist who beautifully dressed in an African ‘haftan’.  Interesting enough, in curiosity mood for me to unearth who was pictured on this very, very nicely looking long pink ‘haftan’ sitting in the recording studio of GRTS TV, as display by the photo background.

Of course, after having a view on the photo, I knew that is journalist Famara Fofana of GRTS commonly known as Sultan.  A friend of mine in the journalism arena. He (Sultan) doubles as my own Pulaar Language (Fula) student.  There comes a pouring of messages from every nook and cranny of the globe. Showering praises on his well-dressed African ‘haftan’. This is capable of attracting any citizen of the World to emulate the journalist’s Koriteh dress cloth.

Commenting on Journalist Sultan’s (Famara Fofana) photo. I pressed the ‘Like’ bottom initially. Yet, I felt uncomfortable and finally join the commenters; my comment: “Mighty Sultan Koriteh swag thing. Nice naa”.

Shortly, Sultan responded to my comment. And his came on this fashion and it reads “National Sanseh Day” hahahaha.  At this moment, I felt nostalgia even more.  I recall my own days back home on this fateful day with my ‘haftan’ and the sense of joy I derived from spending the moment with family members and friends. The Koriteh indeed is a remembrance moment in one’s lifetime. With all its goodies.

Sultan refereed to the Koriteh as ‘National Sanseh Day’ and other people called it ‘Goudi Sanseh’.   I spent that night deeply reflecting on these terms and the shared love and togetherness people continues to showcase among themselves during the Koriteh.   From the morning Eid prayers, afternoon ‘Attayaa’ vous, ‘Saliboo’ moments to clubbing time, etc. This is just amazing.

I wish I spend 2016 Koriteh day together with my family, friends and love ones in The Gambia.

Happy belated Koriteh 2016. On Jaarama muusibe Gambia. Alaa baraka baadin Gambiayakoloo.