Back to work. The office is still quite empty. A few of the staffs are still on holidays. Same goes to the students I guess since nearly half of each them failed to attend the morning class and most them who actually managed to come were at least 20 minutes late and as for the afternoon class, zero attendance. Not a great start for the second half of this term my dear students! Hopefully I can fail a few students just to make it clear that although I'm nice, I can be nasty as well.
Now let's talk about Hari Raya. For this year, it was okay for me. Same old same old. Well, here's the thing about Hari Raya. As you get older, celebrating it becomes less and less thrilling. The total opposite of how we feel when we were kids. Totally different.
Clothes. Most man are are not no so keen of buying a new Baju Melayu. I am with the majority because I know the only time I'll be wearing it is on Hari Raya. Either Aidilfitri or Aidiladha. And maybe on Fridays for the Friday prayer. But just the shirt with kain pelikat or slack or track bottom. Rarely with the pant and never with a samping. I do buy other clothes such as collared shirt or t-shirt or jeans. Just a pair or two of those. A pair of shoes or sandals every 3 or 4 years based on the needs. But when we were kids, everything must be new for Hari Raya. From head to toe. New songkok, new Baju Melayu, new shirt, new pants, new socks, new shoes. New everything! It would be devastating to wear old or hand-me-down clothes during Hari Raya. That's is how big Hari Raya meant when we were kids.
Food. Ketupat, rendang and lemang are delicacies served by all only on Hari Raya. My mom's ketupat and rendang is definitely on top of my list during Hari Raya. Ketupat pulut or ketupat nasi, either one will do. But if both are available, it's even better. Hari Raya is basically meaningless to me without it. Nowadays, ketupat and lemang has lost its luxury. Just another typical food that you can get anytime, anywhere throughout the year. Because now we have ready made ketupat and lemang. The instant ones. No need to bother about getting the coconut leaves or bamboo to make the ketupat and lemang or even learn how to cook it. Everything is stated at the back of the package.
Drinks. I can't think of any special drinks served only during Hari Raya. But most common drinks available in all houses on Hari Raya are carbonated drinks. When I was a kid, my late grandfather would buy dozens of it. At that time it was in a glass bottle with an unknown brand sold for only 50 cent each. I think it's 1 ringgit now. Sunquick or Ribena are two common drinks too, I think. Haha.
Fireworks. One of the best thing about Hari Raya before it was banned due to the increasing number of injuries among the 'creative' lot. I remember going to the bazaar after Fardhu Ain class just to buy the fireworks in the evening and played with my friends at night. Ah, those good old times. But still you can get the banned fireworks today. I played a few recently. You just need to find the right guy at the right place, if you know what I mean. Hahaha.
Duit Raya! This is what all kids are looking forward to. Visiting neighbours' house and getting some serious cash! Eventhough we don't know them. Which makes it very exciting because everyone was nice to you. Great moments indeed. In the earliy 90's, 1 ringgit is a HUGE amount. But now, even 10 ringgit seems small to the kids. What has the world come to? Now, all grown up, it's my turn to give duit raya. I don't have any niece or nephew so I gave it to my cousins who are still in school. Which is great. And suprisingly enough, I still get duit raya from my aunts. Which is even greater!
We all had our moments. Remembering those moments certainly put a smile on our face. How we wish to be able to return to that time when everything fascinates us. But let's face it, it ain't never gonna happen. So, making new meaningful moments is all that we can do now, right? To everybody out there;