Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Selamat Hari Raya

Ramadhan is almost over. It’s less than a week to go before Aidilfitri is here. Muslims look forward to this special day, for it signifies their victory in resisting temptations for the whole month of Ramadhan.

To some others, the real meaning of Aidilfitri may be lost, but that doesn’t mean the celebration is any less. We all rejoice, visit each other, ask for forgiveness from one another, and we eat all the ketupat and rending on the table. It is a day so meaningful that even those who do not fast and observe Ramadhan can still find a reason to celebrate it at a scale grander than those who do.

Children enjoy it the most I think, donning their colourful baju raya and going from house to house collecting duit raya. I hope parents do not let their young ones wander out too far, for we never know what evil lurks in a corner somewhere.

I will be going back north to my mother’s house in Alor Setar, a quiet unassuming place where cars travel so slow they cause KL drivers to go mad and start waving fingers, until the KLites manage to overtake and discover that it is an octogenarian Atuk who is driving at a pace which is probably just a little bit faster than a turtle jogging in the morning.

Having gotten over the Atuk, you drive further ahead, only to be stopped by a cow crossing the highway, while in a distance a BMW seems to be traversing the padi fields next to the highway at breakneck speed.

Such is the colours of Alor Setar road. One that hasn’t change for many many years and I suspect, will not change anytime soon.

I will be bored out of my skull over there, to be honest. Everything seems to be moving so slowly you’d think you’re in twilight zone or something. Immediately after passing the toll plaza at Alor Setar Utara, the reality sinks in, what with the traffic light at the Jalan Sultanah – Jalan Langgar junction letting only 3 cars go before it turns red again, and the single lane road all the way back to Mum’s place that lets no one overtake. Honking and swearing and waving fingers won’t do you any good here-- the cars in front of you just won’t go any faster. Maybe it’s the Atuk again.


At least there’s one thing that I can look forward to though —the ketupat and rendang and all the yummylicious food readily available everywhere I go. I’m already smacking my lips at the thought of that!

My nieces and nephews will be expecting, or rather demanding loads of duit raya. The Minah Bakhil that I am, I only give to my nieces and nephews and usually do not give a hoot about other kids visiting my house, be it neighbours or cousins or whomever. Being the youngest child in the family has its advantages-- I can always hide behind my 2 brothers and 2 sisters. Let them give duit raya to all these other kids while I pretend not to notice, unless of course, if my Mum would be ever so vigilant and remind me to do the same, at which point I would have to feign forgetfulness.

“Eh, luckily Mum reminded me, I almost forgot to give duit raya. Here you go little fella”.

..and the child looks at me, almost angrily, “Singgit aje?”



Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all Muslimin and Muslimat.

Maaf Zahir & Batin.


Kak Teh said...

Raya in Alor Setar?? Do enjoy it for me too!
Selamat Hari Raya and maaf zahir dan batin kalau ada terkasar bahasa tersilap kata dan tersalah type (which is quite often, I think)

Pi Bani said...

Sue dah nak balik kampung dah ke? This year kalau ada budak kecik komplen kata "Singgit aje?"... cakap kat dia masalah ekonomi global! ;)

Selamat hari raya to you, maaf zahir batin. Don't put on too much weight masa raya ok? :) (Alamak, kena mintak maaf lagi sekali ke?)

pugly said...

Probably you should launch into a full-blown ceramah about the virtues of Aidlfitri & how it is not about the money one receives bla bla bla. Sure budak2 tu serik nak mintak from you lagi dah after this. & maybe you'll gain another nick on top of the 'Auntie Bakhil' one you've got - 'Auntie Gila' :-P

Typhoon Sue said...

selamat hari raya to you too. I'll eat all the ketupat daun palas on your behalf. :-)

pi bani:
ye!!! kena mintak mahap skali lagik!!

Yewwww were just waiting for a chance to call me auntie gila or something like that weren't u??

Manal said...

Ala Atuk...thats why he is still alive and kicking at over 80 due to less stress. No need to go beyond 80 kmh as he knows no need to chase whatsoever deadlines or whoever looking for him for meeting except his wife, anak2, cucu2 dok rumah , quite the usual scene.

Errr....i sikit murah hati dari u kot? but till today, i dunno whether i shud postpone giving the duit raya to anak menakan unless i manage to find spare changes! tu la lambat order smaller notes in reds and bright greens from the bank kan?

Best wishes to u on Aidilfitri and may u look radiant and feel glorious somewhere in the sleepy town of alor setar!

J.T. said...

Hi Sue

Enjoy your stay back home.
Selamat Hari Raya to you and family.

p kama at-tarawis said...

Selamat Hariraya Aidil Fitri, Sue! Lama betul saya nak jenguk Alor Star, hometown of my ex-spouse and his wonderful family n kaum kerabat.

Take care, kalau drive jgn laju2..

p kama at-tarawis said...

oopss..* tak jenguk.. sorry typo.

Typhoon Sue said...

I'm always amazed by how many atuks and neneks i can see driving in Alor Setar. Never seen them on KL roads. Maybe they don't dare drive in big cities.

haaa... tu lah... next time tukar duit cepat2. Lucky 4 me, I managed to tukar duit in time. Nieces and nephews get bigger notes, other kids, kalau I'm cornered into giving, dapat sorang singgit ajelah!!!

thanks JT. I'll eat all the ketupat and rendang for you ya!!

alor setar hasn't changed much since dolu-dolu. come and visit again sometime.

selamat hari raya aidilfitri to you too.

zhmi said...

Hi Sue,

Just a short note to wish you and all at home "Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri." Have a good Raya break!