Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Girgian Surprise

The doorbell rang.

No one rings my doorbell. The doorman always calls to let me know if a visitor has arrived.

“Who’s there?” I called out.

“It’s GIRGIAN!” a chorus of voices rang out.

Girgian is a children’s holiday, a little like Hallowe’en, about half way through the month of Ramadan, when costumed children come and ring your bell and are given sweets, sometimes money. If you are really lucky, they sing a song. My understanding is that normally the children go around to their families, like aunts and uncles and cousins, and to close neighbors.

I had had a full day, and I had more to do. I had come home and showered because I was no hot, and then – I had gotten into my lightest nightie so I could continue working in comfort. What to do???

Thank God, there was an abaya hanging in my hallway, and I grabbed it and flung it on as I headed to the door. In come eight gorgeous little Kuwaitis, all English speaking, all dressed top to bottom in gorgeous finery, bright thobes and prayer caps, beautifully hand woven bisht with gilt trim, dresses with embroidery and lace and gilt skirts, golden headdresses – oh! They were gorgeous!

No one has ever come for Gergian before. I didn’t have anything prepared. Thank God AdventureMan has a sweet tooth, and thank God, they were polite and appeared delighted with handsfull of Oreo cookies and marshmallows, which were all I had.

Some days, you just never know when a blessing will appear. Those darling children made my day.

These are not the children who came to my house, but I found this on YouTube, posted, thanks be to God, by fellow Kuwait blogger Chikapappi! Thank you, Chicki!

This is what Girgian costumed children in Kuwait look like, and how cool, they are singing!

September 15, 2008 - Posted by | Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Ramadan


  1. My kids came back with 2 bottles of water tonight……….where do you live??????
    (Mind you, the previous night I had unplugged all the intercom telephones in my house….) I’m so mean.

    Comment by teachthemasses | September 15, 2008 | Reply

  2. I was gonna take a video clip/pics of the kids who came to our doorsteps but they wont let me hehehehe they were shy! Unfortunately I was busy and did not stick around long enough to find a new patch that were not camera-shy! hehehe

    Comment by Ansam | September 16, 2008 | Reply

  3. […] Kuwait, intlxpatr was in for a treat when an unexpected knock on her door: The doorbell […]

    Pingback by Global Voices Online » Kuwait: Special Girgian Celebration | September 16, 2008 | Reply

  4. No, Teach! No, I didn’t give out bottles of water! 🙂 These kids caught me totally by surprise, but they are kids I know, and I am thinking their parents sent them to me to give me a treat. 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 16, 2008 | Reply

  5. […] Кувајт, интлкспатр беше во својот дом кога неочекувано некој тропна на […]

    Pingback by Global Voices на македонски » Кувајт: Специјална прослава за Гиргијан | September 16, 2008 | Reply

  6. that’s so sweeeet

    Comment by pearls | September 16, 2008 | Reply

  7. Thank you so much for that. I had some come last night and had no idea what it was all about. I feel bad now. Was last night the only night?

    Comment by dawn | September 16, 2008 | Reply

  8. Pearls – it ranks right up there with one of the sweetest things that has ever happened to me in Kuwait. 🙂

    Dawn – No, it can be any of several nights, so just enjoy it! Aren’t the children adorable?

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 16, 2008 | Reply

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