Every year my family and the members from our Lebanese culture, come together to celebrate sharing a meal before Lent arrives. I??™ve never really understood why we do it or the history behind it. I just know that every year I have to go whether I want to or not. I??™ve always tried to be a part of the group, supporting my father??™s love of this event. All the men are joined together through their connection with Lebanese politics. Over the years it has become harder for me and my sister to feel a part of this event. Each year we go, trying to be supportive of our family and each other.

There was one day that was harder than usual. We remember the date clearly – February 3, 2013. As per usual, we had to leave the house early to collect supplies for this event. As we were waiting in the car, my sister and I tried to plan how we could get out of it. I couldn??™t say I was sick because mum would just give me panadol and tell me to get over it. We were desperately hoping there would be a family emergency but as we sat in the car we knew that it wouldn??™t happen. We both silently cursed our teachers who always gave us homework, except for this weekend when we really needed it as an excuse to stay home. The trip seemed to pass really quickly. Why is it when you don??™t want to get somewhere there is no traffic on the roads Everything was going against us and that wasn??™t fair.

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As soon as we arrived at the ???party,??? Mum said, ???Get up and go check with the mothers to see if they needed help with cutting bread rolls or preparing salads.??? About half an hour later the men bought raw meat and small bowls of lettuce to enjoy for breakfast. They had also bought Krispy creme donuts and my brothers, sisters and I went to have some and enjoy them. That was the best thing that had happened that morning.

A couple hours later, lunchtime had come around, and my mum had apparently been looking everywhere for my sister and I to come and join her in the Lebanese traditional dance called the ???dubke??™. When we both went, we both looked at the group in wonder as if to say, ???What in the world are they doing.??? Some of the men were jumping in the air and I could only imagine how someone from another culture would view this dance.

My sister and I just wanted to go back home and catch up on some sleep. From that point onwards we didn??™t feel like we actually wanted to belong to that community. The afternoon came and finally some girls our age arrived. I even saw one of the girls from school and who is currently one of the College??™s vice captains. I was actually quite upset that she had left, as I had no one there that I knew really well, even though I had actually met another girl, as she was someone that I just met on the day and no before the day of the barbeque.

My sister and I began to introduce ourselves to a girl that we just met. We actually found it very funny, as we found out that we had so many things in common such as; being in Year twelve, turning eighteen six months apart. We also have a similar personalities and (according to my sister) a weird sense of humour. At about half way through the afternoon we eventually felt like we actually belonged. We had another laugh about the word ???belonging??™ as we are learning about belonging in English. It was also funny as we asked our fathers, ???Dad, can we stay home and not go to the extremely boring barbeque.??? But if we never went to the venue, we would never have met each other and become friends. Finally, it was time to go home at about six in the evening, and my mum was very happy to see me and my sister so pleased to have actually had fun. Also to have made a new friend and to be honest there wasn??™t really any need to be upset as we both had exchanged our numbers so we can keep in touch.

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