We all know that Eid 2020 will not be the same. Not being able to go to mosque, visit our loved ones, eat lunch with extended family and see those who we often only get to see on these special occasions, will leave many of us heartbroken. However, if you’re blessed enough to have access to mobile devices, laptops, data, and internet - all is not lost. Technology is a great way to connect with those that you care about and to keep a sense of normality.
Being a digital communications expert, I’ve found many ways over the years to use technology & social media to achieve to my goals. My goal for Eid, is to feel closer to those that I care about, as I’m sure it is for you too. So, in the spirit of sharing, I’ve put together six quick tips to help guide you in hosting your first (and hopefully our last) digital Eid ul-Fitr.
1. Your options for connecting
My go-to recommendations would be WhatsApp call and Zoom. WhatsApp call is great and easy access for those family members who might not be as technologically savvy, many of us already have WhatsApp on our phones and so it doesn’t require any further download. You can have up to four devices/people on one call which means you can bring other family members into the call with you. Example, if 3 grandkids wanted to speak to their grandparent at the same time, they could all join the same call.
Zoom is probably the best and easiest platform to host more than 4 people on a call. If you wanted to have a group hangout or family dhikr, Zoom is a great platform to do this on as you can host up to 1000 people, which means all your family and extended family could join in. Note, in order to use Zoom, you must have an account so take the time to create your account before the time, and on the free Zoom account, you can only have a gathering for up to 45 minutes. Find out more about Zoom here.
2. Plan your day and create a schedule
I know this may seem a little over the top but Eid is always a busy day and even though we’ll all be at home, I can guarantee that it will still feel a bit chaotic.
As you would normally plan your usual Eid visits and trips to various family members, you want to do that with all your calls too - to ensure that you’re not leaving anyone out or having to ignore calls because you’re busy on the phone with someone else. Give each call a decent amount of time and make room for chit chat, catch ups and duahs.
Having a schedule will give you peace of mind and ensure that you’ve carved time for every single person in your day – rather than scrambling at the end of the day because you forgot to phone aunty so-and-so and boeta so-and-so.
If you’d like to have one big group hangout, schedule a time where everyone is available and can all join the call.
3. Arrange one call per house-hold
This is a great way to recreate the feeling of a normal Eid visit and it will help you save time and data. While you’re setting a time with your friends and family, ask them to ensure that everyone is in the room when you call so that you can all kuier lekker and have a good chat, as you would if you were in the lounge at their house. It will become extremely time consuming to call each person in a household, and sometimes you may forget to send your salaams to certain people but this way, you ensure that you get to see and greet everyone you care for.
If possible, and if you have access to the tech required, connect your laptop or phone to your TV or a bigger screen where you can see everyone and everyone can see you.
4. Have cake and tea ready.
We’re all feeling a little lonely, missing the important people in our lives and perhaps experiencing some cabin fever. To really make this Eid feel as normal as possible, have your cake, tea, coffee or juice ready before you get on the call and enjoy it together. Everyone eating and drinking together will once again make the experience feel one step closer to the real thing. There’s even the possibility to lay the table and have Eid lunch or supper together this way.
5. Capture the moments!
Take and share videos, photos and voice notes with those that you care about. On social media, via WhatsApp or email. Capturing the moments that matter and continuously sharing them throughout the day will help create a vibe and make you feel closer to each other.
6. Don’t run out of data.
Having access to data and wifi in South Africa is an extreme privilege and these are all quite data heavy activities. Make sure you stock up before hand so that you don’t run out in the middle of a catch-up session with your favourite cousin. If you’re blessed enough to have some extra money, make your Niyyah and buy some data for a loved one, so that they can also be connected and perhaps it will help ease their heart during this during this difficult time.
I hope these tips help you to have a wonderful and blessed day, May Allah accept the duahs you made during this holy month and grant your family with abundance and care. Eid Mubarak.