Eat, drink…enjoy it all…
It has been a long week, we have worked much
And we sang songs to see us through the demands of it all.
A typical Lebanese restaurant anywhere you go in Lebanon looks more or less the same. Big wooden tables prepared to seat a minimum of 10 people, waiters dressed in a black and white outfit whizz around the restaurant holding multiple small dishes of mezze, as another man dressed in traditional outfit passes around on a slower pace then the rest moving from one table to the next, carrying arguiles (hookahs) around to customers.
In Lebanon, on Sundays we share our passions with those we love. Our passions might be simple but they are the staple of this country’s way of life as it encompasses all that it means to be Lebanese. Our passions mainly consisting of li2meh taybe, keiss a3rak, wo jaw helo (a glass of arak, a good bite, and good vibes), mirror the fabric of this society that binds us together.
Family and friends gather together on Sunday over an array of dishes like the great supper in order to share a good time together. The purpose of a Sunday lunch is not to go out, nor to eat. It’s a combo of things, it’s the long ride, the food, the coming together of loved ones to share a laugh and live a joyful moment in this fast speeding life of ours. Lebanese lunches take around a full day. Imagine booking a table in any restaurant in the world for a full day! Well yes that’s what we do here.
A certain cheerfulness fills the air, as music starts to become livelier. As the arak is being poured left and right, people start getting jubilant and they stand up all of a sudden and start dancing and singing to the tunes of the live band or the music that’s being played loudly. After all those years, it is still a scene that fills my heart with joy and makes me laugh out loud. Imagine people sitting in France on Sunday having lunch when all of a sudden groups of people start to get up from their tables and dance? Or in England? Or japan? I truly wholeheartedly love our craziness and I am proud of it.
So let us all drink noisily if need be,
Eat heartily for we are the deserving.
Let us not forget the music and spirit of life
And the sounds of laughter that carry through high and shrill.
This spirit that flows between us all jubilantly is there to remind us that Sundays are meant for admiring one another’s presence until the day drifts off and takes us with it.
A small clip I took this Sunday: