Thursday, November 03, 2005Alhamdullillah, blessed with modern means of communication, Hari Raya Terkejut (Surprised Hari Raya) is something of the past.
I remember one morning in Merang when I was about 10 playing happily on the beach and trying hard to fast when suddenly people were running home shouting "Raya! Raya!"
The news must have come over the police wireless as soon as they turned it on. Those days the wireless were not on 24/7. Imagine my mother's agitation. She expected raya to come the next day. Now she has to contend with my demand for food to break my fast, hanging up new curtains and laying out the raya spread. My Bah (father), unflappable as always, took it in his stride. He had his Lemon tea (Lemon Brand tea, not the modern lemon tea), lighted his Dunhill pipe (Old English Curve Cut tobacco) and got himself ready for the mosque.
Now there is an observatory on the hill overlooking my maternal grandfather's grave in Merang. Coupled with Radio, TV and other modern communication, we won't be caught with our pants down anymore. Now, Malaysians celebrate Hari Raya on the same day except a few years ago when there were rumours that some people in some parts of Malaysia celebrated Hari Raya one day earlier. Lucky them.
Carry on celebrating!