Balik Kampung – Part Deux

Here’s a thing when you are on a holiday but not an exact holiday because you are going back to your home, and that screams house chores!!! And for this Raya, I came way much earlier than my previous years (5 days early!) which made my dearest Queen mother ample time to order me around 🙂 Lucky me, I have an extra pair of hands when Sophia came to Kuching just in time for Raya preparations. During the last two days of Ramadhan, it was pretty hard for both of us because of the weather in Kuching was really hot to handle but Alhamdulillah, we managed to pull it through till sun down. It was her first time in Kuching, and I was a bit disappointed because I can’t show her around that much with us busy running errands, Raya visiting, and hosting our guests for Raya open house, but I managed to give her a little tour around Kuching town, and made her eat Sarawak Laksa 🙂

To mark the end of Ramadhan, my whole family gathered and had our “break fast” dinner at Sarawak Club (loveeee their butter prawns!) this year. Right after dinner we drove around the Malay residences area to see all the beautifully decorated houses gleaming with fairy lights, bamboo torch, and oil lamps that was all set for Raya itself. It was definitely quite a sight, and I really admire the Raya spirit that everyone have poured out for this festival. Back at home, my usual contract with my mother for as long as I can remember is cutting the cakes (kek lapis, kek hati parek, and all the traditional cakes available) and putting all the biscuits inside their respective jars while my mother, and older sister would team-up and prepare for tomorrow’s Raya dishes. As soon as the clock strikes exactly 12 midnight, the night sky lit up entirely with fireworks from every directions and every corner of any residential area. A norm sight for every festival in East Malaysia.

Raya in Kuching means, a full-on 7 days of Raya non-stop celebration where people will visit your house no matter what time it is (my last house was at 11pm! 😀 ) and everyone will dress up glamourously in their fancy Raya clothes, and being feast with delicious Hari Raya spread from the host, and most importantly it’s a time for everyone to seek forgiveness from each other no matter what race or religion you practice. As for Sophia, she blends in very well with my family and it was indeed a cultural experience for her to celebrate Eid away from her family. Everyone was very welcoming and asked her a lot of questions on the Eid celebration in UK, and how she is adapting with Malaysian culture and food specifically 😉 By the end of the day she has all the answers at the tip of her fingers 😀 Her stay in Kuching was a short one, and it was a bittersweet farewell for me when I sent her to the airport 😥 Although I know I’ll be seeing her again the week after at work, DRAMA!

The drama ends pretty short as my other half flew to Kuching next day, and this is our 2nd Raya celebrating it together as a couple ❤ We didn’t waste much time and went straight on Raya visiting to my relatives and friends houses. Even with an allocated time for each house, we didn’t manage to cover all of the endless Raya open house invitations 😦 I gained so much weight after all of the Raya food galore!

Apart from all that, Raya in my opinion is all about being grateful. Grateful for having a family and friends around, a roof over my head, a job, access to safe water, electricity, and everything else in this world. The only thing that I am sad is; for not being able to visit my late great-grandma, and late great-grandpa’s grave this year. Al-Fatihah, and may Allah s.w.t forgive them, and have mercy on their souls.

And to all of my Muslim friends and family;

Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir & Batin

❤ ❤ ❤

p/s : I’ll upload some of the pictures later

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