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Mar. 7 2010 - 6:14 am | 254 views | 0 recommendations | 2 comments

Celebrating Prophet Mohammed’s birthday in Mumbai (PHOTOS)

Last week, I went with my housekeeper to her very poor community in eastern Mumbai to see how Muslims here celebrate the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday. We intended to wait in her neighborhood until a procession of trucks carrying screaming, chanting young men and children made their way around the city and then ended up in her community, where we would greet them. Instead, we climbed into the trucks and went along for the ride.

Here are photographs from the festivities.

My housekeeper Chandbi and I set off to celebrate Prophet Mohammed's birthday in Mumbai on February 27, 2010.

My housekeeper Chandbi and I set off to celebrate Prophet Mohammed's birthday in Mumbai on February 27, 2010.

Chandbi and I sit in a truck, filled with children and young men on top, as we partake in the procession through the streets of Mumbai. Here is a view through the windshield of the men leading our truck in chants of "Allahu akbar" (God is great).

Chandbi and I sit in a truck, filled with children and young men on top, as we partake in the procession through the streets of Mumbai. Here is a view through the windshield of the men leading our truck in chants of "Allahu akbar" (God is great).

We pass stages where clerics give sermons on Islam and the teachings of Prophet Mohammed.

We pass stages where clerics give sermons on Islam and the teachings of Prophet Mohammed.

A view of inside the truck where Chandbi and I sit. The women typically stay at home or watch the procession from the sidelines. They made an exception and let me and Chandbi into the truck -- and they put us with the smallest children.

A view of inside the truck where Chandbi and I sit. The women typically stay at home or watch the procession from the sidelines. They made an exception and let me and Chandbi into the truck -- and they put us with the smallest children.

I get down to photograph the men and boys who march through the procession playing instruments.

I get down to photograph the men and boys who march through the procession playing instruments.

The boys sitting on the roof of our truck wave flags and cheer as we parade through the streets.

The boys sitting on the roof of our truck wave flags and cheer as we parade through the streets.

A young man catches a ride by leaning against our truck's windshield.

A young man catches a ride by leaning against our truck's windshield.

A man on horseback participates in the parade.

A man on horseback participates in the parade.

2PM9

2PM10

Girls sitting on top of a taxi watch from the sidelines. Many of the children in attendance wore their finest dresses and salwar kamazees with heavy dangling earrings and bangles reaching half way up their arms.

Girls sitting on top of a taxi watch from the sidelines. Many of the children in attendance wore their finest dresses and salwar kamazees with heavy dangling earrings and bangles reaching half way up their arms.

The procession lasted for hours into the night.

The procession lasted for hours into the night.

Here is my GlobalPost article on what it was like to celebrate a Muslim holiday in India as a Jewish American.


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  1. collapse expand

    I expected this. In fact, I was waiting for this, after reading your tweet on that day as you went out. Good!

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    About Me

    Hanna Ingber Win is a multi-media journalist based in Mumbai, India. In addition to blogging for True/Slant, she works as GlobalPost's correspondent in Mumbai and marketing consultant. Most recently, Hanna was the founding World Editor of the Huffington Post, and she won InterAction's 2009 Award for Excellence in International Reporting in recognition of the HuffPost's foreign coverage.

    Hanna has also lived and worked in Burma, Thailand, South Africa and the States. She has a passion for telling stories about people and how they live.

    She has covered maternal health in Ethiopia, police misconduct in South Africa, migrant workers in Malaysia, Iraqi refugees in San Diego and juvenile sex offenders in Los Angeles.

    Hanna's freelance work has appeared in Washingtonpost.com, LA Weekly and the Hartford Courant and on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "Day2Day."

    She received her undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University and her master's in journalism from USC Annenberg, where she was a Dean's Scholar.

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