The party at our place is the first summer. The mansions the families prepare themselves there. The Tunisian proverb: “winter is rigorous, spring is a dream, summer is a guest and autumn is the year”.
Hospitality under our skies is sacred. We prepare the decor, the lodging, and the cover. Stored winter clothes, put on seasonal clothes. The houses seem a little ragged. We take the opportunity to change the curtains, rid the floors, remove carpets. Everything is an excuse for a great cleaning. One is necessarily then little looking on expenses. Especially in the middle of this summer, Ramadan took the lead and holds the upper hand.
In the summer, it is also these immutable rituals, such as the preparation of the big provisions for the coming year, the famous Ôula, the reserves of stored food. Couscous is the master of ceremonies. But there is also Malthouth, Borghol, Barley Tbikha, Hrouss, Tomatoes …
The patios, the gardens, are then occupied more than a week by an anthill of ladies triturating the good grain in sieves of different dimensions. We sing there, we laugh there salacious and we ‘sew’. Although this tradition tends to disappear nowadays, some families still remain fiercely attached.
Summer is relaxation. It is cicada even when one is an ant. The resort, do not we call it Khlaa, is a carelessness that borders on libertinage? Cascade bathing, siestas that never end and woken until the first light of day … Summer in Tunisia rarely goes hand in hand with productivity and diligence at work.
With us, the pleasure of living often matters more than the purchasing power. The coast, the sea, and the seaside towns are stormed. We enjoy it at leisure, at the limits of excess. And the nights are even more beautiful than the days
Summer is also weddings, engagements and circumcisions, festivals, guests, and endless strolls. We do not have time to breathe. In addition, this year too, Ramadan has invested the place in the heat of the heatwave. Ramadan, a galaxy in itself. With his lunar time, his successions of abstinence and overconsumption, his day that begins at night, his daytime sleep, and his night vigils. Not to mention the debauchery of food piled up in front of the hungry of the day who have eyes bigger than the belly.
Ramadan is the permanent festival. Even if, during the day, one suffers hard: heatwave, sirocco, and dry throat. At night we compensate. Mordicus, beak, and nails. Expenses triple, even fourfold. And the economy finds its account. In a single month, more transactions are made than in a quarter. And everything goes there. Vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, pastries, textiles, leather and shoes, clothing, Paris goods, perfumes. Everything, everything, and everything. That’s also the pleasure of living …
By Chiraz Bouzaien