The beauty of Eid-ul Fitri celebrations is that it allows you to visit elder relatives during a specific period. Otherwise, for whatever reason, most of us would find it difficult or even awkward to visit our grandparents, aunts or uncles if we do not have any specific reason to do so.
Aidilfitri gives us the opportunity to meet up, catch up the latest stories and renew ties. The food, cookies and refreshments are just an aside to the main objective of the occasion. At the end of the visit, we salam and kiss the hands our elders while asking them to forgive us for any transgressions that we may have done. The seeking of forgiveness from your senior relatives can be very poignant moments, accompanied almost always by hugs and tears... especially when your elder says, `Entah jumpa lagi tak kita ni tahun depan, ya?'.
My Aidilfitri for this year was spent with my parents in Singapore but the celebrations were held my sister's house in Bukit Panjang. My sister had actually moved into her house some time back but she only managed to furnish it recently. She had asked our parents and my family to spend the Hari Raya at her home for the first time and we duly obliged. Sort of a house-warming and hari raya two-in-one deal.
The morning feast for Hari Raya consisted of our traditional lontong accompanied by sambal goreng, sambal kacang, ayam masak merah, daging goreng chili and serunding kelapa. We had to make do with the instant nasi himpit because my sister didn't have time to get the real coconut leaves to make ketupat.
The day was filled with visits by my cousins from both sides of the Causeway. Some of the cousins I have not met for a number of years. I got to meet some new nephews and nieces for the first time too.
Many of the visiting relatives complimented my sister and her husband on their beautiful home. They had spend a lot of time in getting their house nicely decorated so the compliments were very encouraging. It was a joyous day indeed.
The following days of hari raya were spent back at my wife's kampong in Mersing. I'll post about it next, I hope. Need to take some rest now and prepare to get back to work tomorrow.