Surviving Hari Raya

Hari Raya means Eid. I used to love and look forward to it when I was a kid. As an adult, not so much. Worry not, I have survived the initial stage i.e. the day before and the first few days after. This is when the preparation is most intense, the crowds that come to visit our house is never-ending and the heat is unbearable.

Our family typically celebrates Raya at my grandparents’ house (the kampong).

Ever since I could remember, my Raya has always been at this house. I spent my first Raya away from home in 2007, when I was studying in the UK. My grandmother passed away in 2009, my parents kept it a secret from me because I was sitting for my finals. When I finally returned in 2011, we still celebrate in the kampong but it wasn’t the same.

My grandfather stays with us, and nobody really takes care of the kampong house. We would go there once a year for Raya. Can you imagine the amount of work that is required to bring it back to habitable, or almost habitable condition? After that, we had to cook a lot of food for our family members who are spending Raya there as well as for the relatives who would come to visit on the subsequent days.

There used to be trees growing outside of the house – Durian, Rambutan, Sapodilla, Jackfruit, Coconut. These trees somehow made the house a bit cooler at the peak of the day. Rambutan season was my favourite because we would spend almost every afternoon picking Rambutan fruit and eating it there and then. Now, the trees are gone leaving the outside of the house very bare.

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Kampong from the front.

Here’s how Raya went this year:

Day T-2: We went back to kampong, arrived at midnight, grateful that one of the uncles came a bit earlier to clean some parts of the house so that we could at least sleep.

Day T-1: Cleaning continues. We went to the wet market to get ingredients to cook and then the supermarket for other things. Cooking. More extended family members arrived. Everyone was busy cooking, eating and socializing until 1am.

Day 1: Woke up at 6.30am, got ready to go for Eid prayers. After that, came back home and changed. Gave Raya money to my parents, and my younger cousins. Relatives start coming and the house was so full. Some of us stayed in the kitchen to make sure the food and beverage supply are sufficient. It was so hot, coupled with the amount of people in that small house at one time, we were roasting. We tried to take a family photo. Some of us went out to visit the neighbour’s  house. Soon after, we saw an ambulance. Our grandfather was taken to the hospital because his speech was slurred. After a few tests, it turned out that he had a panic attack and was allowed to go home.

Day 2: I woke up 3 times during the night to go to the bathroom. I found out that all the people who went to the neighbour’s house yesterday had diarrhea. More relatives came. We managed to visit our grandaunt’s house. Some of us had to go home straight after due to diarrhea. We watched a horror movie before bed, and I always fall asleep right before the movie ends. Sorry, guys.

Day 3: We’re okay now! No more diarrhea! Relatives started coming at 10am and only stopped at 3pm. We were exhausted but we had to go home today. We packed everything and left.

So that’s just the first part. Raya lasts a month so…

Goodbye 2016…

Greetings. Publishing my first ever post before the end of the year. It’s funny how time flies by so fast, even when you’re not having fun, isn’t it? I am a bit sad that 2016 is ending, as it’s my last year of being in my 20’s. Sometime in 2017, I realise that in every survey, I will have to tick the 30’s age range box.

Well, nobody can stop the passage of time, and life goes on.

That said, to mark the year of my entering the 30’s, I want to write about my goals and aspirations of the future. Sure, it’s going to be a bucket list but why the hell not?

Healthier Lifestyle

Seeing as I’m not getting any younger, I should really start living healthier. This means I’m going to try these things:

  • No more instant noodles
  • Less caffeine beverages, more plain water
  • Less sugary beverages, more plain water
  • Eat more greens and fruits
  • Exercise consistently
  • Don’t skip lunch/breakfast even when I’m too busy
  • Moisturise more

 

Maintain Relationships

  • This goes without saying. Cherish my parents and siblings, none of us is going to live forever.
  • Keep in touch with my old friends, because I want to care about them and not just for the sake of old times.
  • Improve relationship with God.

 

Self-Improvement & Learning Stuff (Heck, I love learning new stuff!)

  • Improve and level-up on Japanese. At least finish all the Joyo kanji and brush up my conversational skills.
  • Video editing skills. I don’t know, I feel like I’d like to learn it.
  • Improve my writing skills
  • Read more books. I haven’t had a lot of time to read this year, so I want to read more in 2017.

So that’s it. It’s easier to manage by keeping this simple. I’m hoping to come back to this post at the end of next year and see how many I’ve ticked off.