السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
So I'd like to invite you all over to share a cup of coffee with me. Let me share with you a little story ... and then let's catch up!
Centuries ago, women in around Algiers, the capital of Algeria used to animate their long nights listening to old women telling the stories of the Prophets, kings and even "Djenoune" (genies or spirits) Sitting in a circle, all the women would sit around a "skimpla" (small low coffee table) laden with fragant teas, coffee, and various snacks like dried fruit, nuts, Helwa Turk, and sweet desserts dripping with honey. This was women's rite practised in some cities and towns that are ports of the region: Algiers, Cherchell, Dellys, Koléa, Miliana, Blida and Medea.
They would recite poems that were handed down by their ancestors from mother to daughter. They make wishes and talk about their futures. Just as their elders did before them. They would also play El bouqâla, a game. The word bouqâla, from the French word bocal means a clay vase. This container is the main object of the game. It is filled with water. And all the women throw in a jewel or coin for the old woman. The woman then holds the bouqâla above a kanoun (earthenware container filled with embers and incense) passing it to each woman, thinking of a particular person then recites a bouqâlates and dedicating it them.The game finished water from the bouqâla is empty. The gathering ended by decorating henna on each other.
Above is a traditional gift set filled with incense and dried roses for the guests at the El bouqâla.
PS: on a side note, it's been about 2 years since I lasted blogged. I mostly didn't blog because I was going hrough some health issues plus a pregnancy. Also didn't bother blogging since I no longer have my camera. I didn't think pics from my cameraphone would be justice. But many sisters cheered me on, on my personal Facebook page where I've been sharing recipes and stories on and again. And for some reason all the fonts on my blog were changed. I need to somehow find the time to redo them. So please bare with me.