Sunday, August 18, 2013

Raya 2013

Eid Mubarak!

It has been sometime since I posted. Well, not really only due to work but I've been pretty emotional and if I post during these times, gosh, I'll be ranting on lots of nonsense.

Anyway, its the time of the year again where we rejoice after a month of fasting.

I recall my first Raya experience at my in-law's almost 5 years ago. As a child, and subsequently adult, I have been having images of raya being celebrated with the traditional ketupat, lemang and rendang during the first day of raya. Although those were not really my favourite food, but I was looking forward to something new in my life.

So come raya morning, we all prepared to go the the mosque for prayers. Upon coming home, I was shocked to discover that not everyone came back together. MIL went to her parents' graves and some other relatives' grave, FIL was elsewhere, hubby was also elsewhere. (At this juncture, I imagined a Chinese Cheng Beng (all souls day) where the whole family would visit all the graves together) Then I thought to myself that it would be alright as they will still convene at home. Boy I was in for another shock.

I ended up alone at home, not knowing what to do....I didn't know where MIL kept all her cookies/snacks, I couldn't find the ketupat/lemang/rendang (ok, no rendang at all) and was kinda lost. Lost for words and lost not knowing what to do.

Then when throves of people came by, I found it very much different from the usual Chinese New Year (CNY) visiting sessions I have always known. When visitor comes, no matter relatives or friends, if there is rice/meal cooked in the kitchen, the visitors are always asked to stay for the meal, and many times, they do!! Boy was I surprised! Imagine if we didn't have enough food? And these people will visit throughout the day, even till past 11pm!! That was such a no-no in the Chinese culture.

So it took getting used to. 5 years on I still find it odd. I don't get the spread of ketupat or rendang (not that I am complaining), and I realised my inlaws are not fans of cookies or cakes and they usually have the traditional snacks, such as the fried stuff, bahulu and traditional crisps. I made cookies and mini cupcakes one year and they were  not even touched. Just placed for visitors to have. I was rather taken aback but have accepted it, so every year I no longer stand for long hours making cookies or cup cakes prior to raya. So if I do give you raya cookies, it will definitely likely be store-bought :P

I supposed different background of the same race and culture will differ in their celebration. Although this is not apparent in the Chinese or Indian. The only difference in the Chinese is depending on which region you are from in China, i.e. whether you are Hokkien, Cantonese, Hakka etc, it will determine what days of the new year is your auspiscious day and different prayers are planned.

So no traditional meal for me on raya, though I feel that that was the cause of the lack of raya-feeling for me. (or maybe I am just getting older and these festivities do not thrill me as it did when I was a child.

Anyway, selamat hari raya, maaf zahir& batin to all!

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