Monday, 12 October 2009

Ramadhan and Raya Roundup

Caution: This MAY be a long entry..depending on whatever comes into my mind next...(ada ke orang baca pun..?;))

Well, it's hard to believe that it is already October. In fact, it's the middle of October already. I think I haven't updated my blog in a month.Dah bersawang, bersarang labah-labah kot rumah ni. September came and left, Ramadhan also came and left. Although we're still in the Raya celebration mood, can't help but miss the blessings and the camaraderie that is Ramadhan. September, and Syawal also happen to be my birthday month, and it has been a pleasure to be able to celebrate them with my family.

Where and how should I start? In my defence, the weeks preceding my trip back home was rather busy. I was involved in a little side business selling cookies and Roll Layer Cakes from Sarawak during the fasting month, and Alhamdulillah, I made some profit. It's a good start, and I learnt many things. This won't be the last one, and I will still pursue my entrepreneurial dreams.

During the fasting months itself, in addition to work, business and other things that come with it, I also managed to have get-together with friends for iftar. Less gym activity during this month, and I just went whenever I can make it. Other times it's usually iftar alone at home with home-cooked meal or even simple food. I eat less when I break fast.

Then there's the occasional gathering with friends, usually over iftar. It was indeed a good way to merapatkan silaturrahim, and I thank God I have good people as my friends.

Takdela nak kata berbuka di luar hari-hari,but occasionally jer. Most days I'd cook at home, or bought the food, but some other times I went out and ate out with friends, or have a cooking session at their place and ate together beramai-ramai. Best!!

Then on 16 September, I left for Kuching, awal balik tahun ni. Which gave me lots of time at home. So sempatla spend time with family before masing-masing sibuk nak prepare for Raya.

On the last weekend before I headed home, my sister came over from Kuchig to deliver cakes for our KL customers as well as bringing home the biscuits for our Kuching customers. One of the destinations was KLCC, so as soon as I picked her up at KLIA, we drove straight to Suria KLCC. Still awal, orang pun tak ramai lagi. Their Raya deco this year was simply marvellous! They worked with Dato' Lat and recreated his famous 'Kampung Boy' characters and brought them to almost life-size and put these characters right in the Suria KLCC concourse. So perasan tourist la kejap and sempat lagi bergambar kat situ, before we headed off to the next customer destination;)

Home sweet home;)

Before Raya tu, we discovered that we did not have many cookies to serve, so sempat la jugak buat my chocolate chip cookies. It was really the simple version je..Yang peliknya, we had sooooo many different types of cakes, even time Raya itself pun bukannya semua kitorang hidang kepada tetamu.

So anyway, here are some of the Raya prep at my house...

Ni before, when the house was in a big mess macam medan perang..

Ni pulak after, bila dah elok-elok kemas, cantik and we're ready to receive para tetamu yang datang beraya.

Throughout Raya, I had the opportunity to meet up with saudara mara, auntie, uncles, cousins and kawan-kawan yang dah lama tak jumpa. Alhamdulillah semuanya sihat belaka.

Ni kat my Pak Usu's place. My mother is the matriach of the family, so dari kecik kitorang semua memang sangat rapat, we're practically siblings. Anyway I will be flying back to Kuching again in December for cousin Ida's wedding, she's the one on the left in our trio picture;)

On my Dad's side, my Mak Anjang is also the matriach, so every Raya memang wajib go to her place to beraya, and kalau balik Kuching pun kena tunjuk muka bagitau ada balik. it's ok..she makes the best Kek Ati Parek(Hati Pari)-a typical Sarawak delicacy cake for Raya. Making it is intricate (as with any other things from moi home state) and sadly, I only know it uses either lotsa prunes or lotsa raisins, and it took like whole day to kukus the cake. Maybe if I spent more time in Kuching I can berguru with Mak Anjang la..

Ni pulak just a 'lil family photo taken at the new Dewan Undangan Negeri building, detoured kejap before we continued visiting relatives' houses.

Ngam-ngam seminggu Raya, I celebrated my birthday. As usual, it was pretty low-key,but sangat-sangatla terharu dapat all the wishes and prayers from friends and family. The day itself was quite full (ironic huh when I also said it was low-key;)), and I started it off by attending a wedding with Mum in the morning. The wedding was held at my kampung, which required us to take a sampan to cross the river. This is the wedding of the daughter of Mum's distant niece, and also our neighbour at my Arwah Grandad's home in the kampung. Here, I managed to visit relatives' houses and met with friends and relatives I haven't met in years. It was good, but I was actually a bit restless.

Anyway, in Sarawak Malay weddings, apart from the usual bersanding, tepung tawar, kumpulan kompang (which we termed 'hadrah') etc, we also have the ritual called upacara 'nasik temuan'. It is short for 'nasik pertemuan', which is technically the first meal the newlyweds share as a husband and wife. To lighten the mood, the bride and groom would be asked to race against each other in eating the nasik minyak. It is said that the results of this ritual would determine who is going to wear the pants in that marriage (have more say in the marriage la). Personally, I don't believe it works that way. But it was still fun to see the bride and groom compete with each other and thus, help make their wedding more interesting and fun.

Just as we were about to make our way, the host asked Mum to be the 'moderator' of this event. Mum relented, so I had to stay back for a while. Here are some photos of the nasik temuan event.

Mum briefing the bride and groom the rules of the game.

Round 1:The winner-the bride.

Round 2:The winner-the bride...again???

Does that mean the wife will have a better say in the marriage?Anyway twas all done with the intention of memeriahkan majlis only la..Bila dah habis semua dah bolehla they feed each other..;)

Later that day, I had that birthday urge to cut my hair. So I went out to The Spring and had a haircut. Jantzen just opened an outlet there, so they were having a grand opening promo. 40% discount for a wash and cut. Very nice!!So in the end, at the counter I only paid RM30 for the service to the salon.Sukanya!!!This must have been the cheapest I've ever paid to a hairstylist in recent years, and to have it done at a reputable salon chain, using Kerastase product was definitely a good steal.

Later that night, we went out again for a simple birthday celebration. No cake whatsoever, just an intimate steamboat dinner. Then as I was travelling in the second car with my brother and sister, I asked my brother the driver to detour and drive to the Kuching Waterfront to jalan-jalan a bit there. Haven't strolled there in years. Remember that when I was still working in Kuching, I'd lepak there and have dinner with friends practically every week;) city is just so..beautiful, as beautiful as its lasses;)

Anyway early the next day I went to the Pasar Minggu at Satok to get some stuff I wanted to bring back to KL. After that, I went to my uni friend Haslim's place to beraya and have long chat with her.

When I reached home, it was time for the totally-dreaded excercise of packing up my stuff:(

Early the next day, twas time to leave and head back to KL. My flight was to depart at 11AM. So adios beloved Kuching, I'll see you again in December..In the meantime, while waiting to leave the house, sempat lagi bergambar hehhe..

The after that, we were off to the airport. Dad couldn't send me as his right foot got swollen,must've been because of the seafood he ate during out steamboat dinner (he has gout) so Mum and my brother sent me instead. And even then it was just to drop me off as he needed to get to work.

That's pretty much what happened during my Raya trip back home. Back in KL, life's getting back to the normal routine:)..Till then, adios!


  1. raya was not along ago..
    now it's deepavali..
    festive seasons all the way! =D

  2. Cool celebration. I will be rounding up my Raya celebration too in my next post.

  3. Ken..Thanks for visiting my blog. Yeah twas really good to have Raya celebration all month long. We got to spend time with friends and family, and not forgetting, meeting new friends:)
    Chris: Will check it out;)


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