Close eye on Ramadan in Algeria … Traditions, customs and food

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The inhabitants of Touat — Adrar — reconnect, with the advent of each month of Ramadan, with “Tekerkeba”, a rite jealously preserved.
As part of Ramadan atmosphere and bequeathed from one generation to another, Tekerkeba, named after a large drum covered with an animal skin, has become the name attributed to the mission of the person, a volunteer, responsible for awakening the inhabitants for the Ramadan rite of “S’hour” (meal before the resumption of fasting).

This instrument is used, by its strong sonorities produced by the blows of stick, which can be heard from very far, to awaken the inhabitants and extirpate them from their deep sleep to prepare, through the “S’hour”, for a a new day of fasting, explained the Mesharati, Ramdane Moussaoui (73 years old), known locally as “Ba Ramdane”, from the ksar of Bouandji, commune of Anzedjemir (South of Adrar).

Having won the trust of the local population to take over from this very old profession, Ba Ramdane gets up before dawn, armed with his drum to go through the streets and alleys of the city, sound his drum awakening people for the meal of S’hour.

“I have been entrusted with this civic mission for years, receiving the torch of my ksar ancestors, like Koukou, Hamou Ould M’barek, Hadj Salem and Loued M’barek, who took over this torch to preserve this ancestral legacy of “Mesharati” (the one who calls to S’hour), “he said.

Ba Ramdane still remembers the beginning of this mission, with a small “t’bel” (tambourine), before being favorably received by the people who encouraged him, especially his mother, to continue this “noble” task.

A few nights before the closing of the month of Ramadan, Ba Ramdane, resumes other expressions announcing the close end of the holy month, and receives at the dawn of the day of Eid El-Fitr gifts from the residents, including dates, semolina and other products, as a reward for his efforts and missions in the service of the community and its religion.