This is an overdue post considering how Eid celebration was a week ago but Happy Eid Mubarak everyone ! Here in Malaysia we say ‘Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri’. It’s only last week we celebrated the glorious day but feel like ages ago now that people are back to their normal daily routine; work, study, etc etc. Here in Malaysia, Raya is celebrated by all the citizens and people look forward to it especially when it comes to food. Our usual Raya dishes include ketupat, rendang, lemang and all sorts of other unique dishes. People go all out for preparation and that involves a lot of cooking, shopping and biskut raya hunting .
Each family celebrates Raya differently although some of the general culture are widely practised like doing house visits, getting the famous duit Raya, apologizing to others. Some celebrate Raya eve with fireworks, do lemang bakar and cook huge pot of rendang and other dishes. Some celebrate it with family, friends, in a kampung or in cities. We all have different Raya experience and I’ll tell you how my Raya usually is.
For me, Raya is about family. Unlike some of you who are very lucky to celebrate Raya the kampung style, my Raya is the city kind of raya. But I have no complains whatsoever because it still means a lot to me. I do lots of house visits, catching up with aunties and uncles as well as cousins, meeting the forever growing group of nieces and nephews ( its not easy to remember their names when every time I come down there’s a few new babies in the family tree). I spend my Raya in Malaysia as well as in Singapore so its usually a total of 4 days of celebration and meeting relatives. The most unhealthy part about Raya is the amount of food served, but as always it isn’t easy to resist. The good part about my Raya is that I get to meet people and do lots of catching up! Since I get to meet them mostly once a year, it’s nice to know what my relatives are up to and how they’ve been. I used to also fussed a lot about my Raya attire when I was younger but not so nowadays. I guess as you grow old, you see it in a different perspective. I also still get duit raya which is nice (though it will be my last year since I’m probably working next year).
Overall I think my Raya is a simple one, go for Raya prayers in the morning, visit my relative in Kajang then go Singapore the next day, do the house visits for the next few days, meet people, talk and listen and laugh, spend time with family. Another good thing about Raya is that I get to see my own family for the a few days and talk to them. We usually drive down to Singapore so that’s like 6 hours of talking in the car. It’s something you’ll learn to appreciate as you grow older and everyone is so busy on normal days you hardly talk to them.
It’s been 22 years and my raya routine haven’t changed much. We did lost a few people along the way and some of the raya routine isn’t the same without these people. I thought it would be boring after a while but I tend to always look forward to my Raya routine. I used to make ketupat and help mum with all the raya dishes but now we’ve cut down on that since we don’t have a huge appetite like when we were younger. We simply just enjoy the Raya vibes now and do more of bonding with others.
But now Raya is over, holidays are done and next is internship. Mixed feelings but definitely looking forward to the new experience !
A picture taken at Gardens by the Bay during Raya 2016.