September 10, 2010

Hamra Festival

The Hamra Festival  started today with a parade. As you may know, I’m an avid Hamra fan . And when they announce on their posters that the parade starts at 5:00 PM, we foreigners come a little earlier; we want to make sure we get a good spot. And so there we are, 5 o’clock sharp, and we look around us, and all we see is foreigners. No Lebanese, and no parade. And we wonder whether we read it right.
Until the organizer rides by on his motorcycle, telling us that the parade actually starts at 6, but because Lebanese are known for their punctuality, they write down 5, so that at 6 the people will have arrived.
The parade started, by the way, at 5:45. It’s all in good spirits though.
We saw the cavalry running by, not sure who they are. Police? In Holland we have the mounted police, ‘bereden politie’,  a task force on heavy horses. These are guys you do not want to mess with. They’re very effective at dispersing a rowdy crowd. Here, with their little itty-bitty Arab horses, they somehow do not instill that same respect. Still, a good show.
There was a line of bugs. I’m glad to see they’re being appreciated over here as well. The next step should be a Lebanese VW Bus Fan Club.
They got all the Harley riders in a row. It’s funny to see how these guys - who all over the world in general are being perceived as your typical Hells Angel – manage to line up so neatly and patiently in a line. Outside it’s your shady character with tattoos and earrings; Here in Lebanon they’re all business men and daddies.
They don't look it, but I tell you, Monday morning and it's all back in suit to the office. And why do they all wear bandanas? Because they have no hair anymore, the average age being 50 and up!!! I know, I'm married to one.
This lady should get a special place. Love it. A Lebanese woman on a Harley. You go girl!!! We need more of your kind.
Some Lebanese policeman also rides around town on Harleys. Theirs are the slightly dilapidated kind. They were all circling around ‘the real deal’, looking with envy. Ahh, if only they could ride a bike like that.
A clown car passed by.
My favorites, the Zaffeh band. A good Lebanese marriage starts with a Zaffeh, a group of drummers and dancers who announce the entrée of the bride. In my husband’s family, they do not like parties, and they have a tradition of secretly disappearing and showing up married; father in-law, brother in-law and husband all did it that way, so no Zaffeh for me when I got married. I am telling you, I don’t care who and how my kids marry, but I’ll be darned if I don’t get to choose the Zaffeh for the party.
And it ended with fireworks over Hamra. The festival runs Saturday and Sunday. Check the program for more info.

1 comment:

Danielle said...

Wow, your photos are wayyyy better than mine! Excellent post..can't wait to read your review for the next couple of days. Great job!