When we talk about Hari Raya, our minds would immediately think of one thing:
food balik kampung! Just like other festivities in Malaysia, Hari Raya is a time for togetherness where families, near and far, would gather and celebrate this festivity together. And for those of you who were fortunate enough to be able to grow up celebrating Hari Raya in a kampung, you’d know that there were a few memorable things we used to do back in the good ol’ days that made our Raya extra special.
So, fellow millennials, read on to find out a few iconic things that we had all done when we were growing up as we celebrated Raya in our kampungs:
1. Sitting in the car for hours & singing Raya songs
The highlight of our Raya actually starts from the balik kampung journey. Sitting in the car for hours and hours while we sang along to Raya songs on the radio was a joy in itself!
And sometimes, due to the traffic jam, we’d end up having to buka puasa in the car and we’d have to make do with some random snacks our dad bought off the side of the road like banana fritters and fish crackers as our meal. Good times!
2. Playing ‘bunga api‘ with your cousins
One customary activity to be done with your cousins was playing ‘bunga api‘ (firecrackers)! Though of course, we’re not talking about the dangerous, illegal ones okay! But sometimes, there’s always that one cousin who’d manage to sneak in some crazy looking mercuns and would rope you into playing it with them. This often leads to everyone getting scolded by their parents after we kena kantoi.
P/s: Kids, please learn from our mistakes. Never go near the mercun and just stick to the simple bunga api.
3. Everyone sleeping together on the floor of the living room
What happens when your grandparents’ house only has four tiny bedrooms and all five of their kids (who now have their own kids) all come home for Raya? You sleep in the living room, of course!
If you grew up in a big family, this scene would be familiar to you: you and your cousins all sprawled out on futons in all sorts of positions trying to get comfy in the living room. As kids, this was one of the best things to experience during Raya. Especially with no gadgets whatsoever back then, we got a chance to really bond with our cousins!
4. Helping the elderly ‘battle it out’ in the kitchen
The day before Raya is always pure chaos. While the mums would cook together in the kitchen to prepare all of our favourite Raya dishes, the dads would spend all day burning lemang in the backyard as it’s a very time-consuming process. You usually would have no choice but to help them get everything ready, though it was often only a matter of time before you’d mess up and get thrown out of the kitchen!
5. Gathering with distant relatives that you rarely get to meet
Gathering with your relatives is an absolute must during Hari Raya, especially with relatives from far away whom you never get to see. But it also means you’ll be bombarded with questions such as “Anak siapa ni?” or statements like “Wahh, dah besar dah!“.
It doesn’t get any better when you grow up either. The template question just changes to “When are you getting married?” which just makes us want to…
(But remember that these makciks and pakciks are just trying to reconnect with you through small talk. So don’t be mad at them, okay?)
Are these reminding you of some good ol’ memories? Do you remember doing any of these as a kid?
These were definitely simpler times but it taught us the true meaning of celebrating Raya. As we grow older, we realise that the reason our Hari Raya celebrations back then felt so much livelier was because we spent it with our families. And while Raya this year will definitely be different for most of us, that shouldn’t stop us from connecting with our families wherever they are!
In this day and age, where most of us are connected through WiFi and data, there are many other things we can try in order to still have a meaningful celebration with our families no matter where you are.
Fun fact: this is actually a continuation of the audio-only ad that Maxis dropped just a couple of days ago. Now it makes sense!
Just like the previous ad, this film highlights the meaning of a ‘perfect Raya‘, only to realise that at the end of the day, you don’t need lavish places or fancy things. Instead, this celebration is all about the bond that we share with our loved ones. This definitely serves as a good reminder for all of us that, as long as we can still spend time with family, every Raya will be the perfect Raya!
So, chin up guys. Just because you won’t get to balik kampung this year, it doesn’t mean that Raya celebrations are cancelled! We should try to find strength in one another, count our blessings, and continue to try making this Hari Raya a memorable one.
No matter what happens, #RayaTetapRaya, okay!
Do you have any favourite memories of celebrating Hari Raya in your kampung? Tell us below!
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