Sunday, September 27, 2009
Selamat Hari Raya to all my Muslim friends !
Hari Raya Aidifitri is upon us. The important part of every Muslim's life in the month of Ramadan has ended. And the joyous celebration of Raya marks the end of the holy month.
Like so many others, I caught the fervour of the festive spirit in the city. Judging by the crowds that thronged the malls, business was brisk. For the ladies, the lovely clothes will spice their day and the men and little ones were not to be outdone too. In fact, I was looking for a baju kebaya to wear for a choir in November and I knew it was just the right time to be looking for one. As I window shopped, there were many things to enjoy.
Coincidentally, some shopping malls has the same themes of ' Balik Kampong'( literally ' returning home' ) atmosphere for the shoppers. Every Raya, millions of Muslims take this great opportunity to balik kampong to celebrate with their families and relatives. Months before Raya, tickets for travel, especially bus are snapped up well ahead of time to ensure the journeys are made. One song that I enjoy and I heard playing in the malls is the late Sudirman's 'Balik Kampong' which I feel gives so much added fervour to a homecoming. In fact, when I hear it, there's the added spring in my footsteps too :)
I caught the Malay cultural dances, the ketupat making, basket weaving, batik painting, and several traditional Malay crafts showcased to celebrate Raya. Tempting my taste buds were the chicken rendang, ketupat, lemang and the buah rojak sold in the stalls. The many varieties of cookies look so meltingly sweet but I do not have a sweet tooth. So, it's easy to to give them a pass:)
We made a long distance call to Edmonton, Canada to wish our friends, Seif and Shemila. They were truly delighted to hear our voices and told us they'd be in Kuala Lumpur in October.
During Raya , the festive spirit is extended to other Malaysians in the Open House invitations. It is a great way to celebrate one's festivities with the others - Chinese, Indians, and even foreign visitors. It was lovely to meet some old and make new friends at our Raya visits. For the young ones, there's the duit raya to look forward to. The joy of receiving cash in the special raya envelopes makes the young ones happy. I bought some orchids as Hari Raya gifts and made 2 trips to the Orchid Garden to pick my favourites.