Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Raya doloe-doelo (1967)

Arif has uploaded the 2011 Raya pix at FB, and as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. So that's a 64K-word entry (with his 64 pix), much longer than what I could ever managed; I guess I would be able to delay my entry on Raya 2011.

But an entry in the NST last Sunday attracted me as it has pictures of Malaysian celebrating raya in the days gone by. So I thought I should try and do  our own personal raya entryt from the sixties to the 80s.

This is definitely Raya in
Assam Kumbang. No songket then for us
but my sampin was knotted ala P Ramlee!
This could be 1968 or 69.
When we were kids, we lived in Batu Gajah and  later on moved to Lenggong, but I think we had never failed to return to Taiping for Raya. I think most of the time, we would be staying over at our nenek's house in Assam Kumbang (read Beautiful Houses of My Soul). 

I think most of us looked forward to celebrating raya at our maternal grandparent's (as opposed to our paternal's) as there were more kids there. My uncles and aunty were not much older than us and we knew they would be playing all kind of fire works d came Malam Tujuh Likur, so it would be a pleasure to just sit and watch the fun. And perhaps joined in some of the fun.

I remember the ones that come with the parachute. They would target the coconut trees and when it exploded at the top, the parachute would open up and fall back with a small figurine.

No, no coconut  would drop because of the explosion. The explosive is not strong enough!

I am not too sure if duit raya was a culture yet then. May be it was, but definitely we didn't get the green packet then. We would get raw cash - pure and simple and most likely in coins, and we knew exactly what we would be getting, the very moment the right hand of the giver started moving towards ours!
After the solat Raya, we would be in our best dress, ready to go
a-visiting. This is still at Nenek's house in Assam Kumbang
most likely in 1967 with our Aunty. MCKam, MSu and Ksham
must have gotten their hair cut at the same saloon.
Raya in Taiping was not only about the Hariris. It is actually about the Adams as depicted here by the family of PC Zain, Mak's younger brother taken on Raya day. I am not sure if he lives nearby or if all of us were cramped up at Tok Adam's house. I have no recollection at all.
The young family of PC Zain bin Adam 
in Assam Kumbang
During this year (1967), the Raya morning we would be in Taiping, and from Taiping, we would then moved on to Kuala Kangsar to visit our paternal grandfather. Taiping and Kuala Kangsar then was not that far away, but we need to climb the hilly Bukit Berapit and as the road was single lane, we might have taken more than an hour to reach the destination. May be it is more like one and half hour.

If nenek was more well known for her dodol, then at Tok Bab's, we would be looking for the dried agar-agar. His was crunchy - dry on the outside (with the sugar precipitating out) and juicy on the inside.
And here we are in Kuala Kangsar - Talang to be precise on the
very same day the picture above (in Taiping) was taken. You can see
by the shirts and dresses we were wearing. Tok Bab is standing
with Pah and Mak and MCMiah in the background.
What do we look forward in Talang? PC Mat was a slightly older uncle and he was the only one, so it was not as much fun as it was in Taiping. But we look forward to the many magazines that Tok Bab would subscribe, so our time would be spent on reading I guess. (I remember our fav then - Kulop Kecil, Kulop Besar. Don't laugh - the title was innocent enough then, and it is a wonderful adventure cartoon series.)

But then again, on Raya day, even that would take a back seat too, as we would be going to the neighbouring houses for Raya, and a next door house has a peculiar door. The door was not vertical on the wall, but is laid horizontally on the floor!

I think the house is still intact, but I am not sure about the door.

And typically too my uncles and aunties from Kuala Lumpur would be back in KK. Pak Long and family - eldest son of Tok Bab would normally stay at his father-in-law house in KK and typically too Mak Cak and PC Wan would be around.

So after Talang, we would be visiting Pak Gam's house, also in KK - say about 5 mins from Talang, on this side of the polo field.

More rounds of duit raya, I guess.
I am still dressed in my cowboy suit that Raya and the rest of the clan
including Mcak and PC Wan and a rare pic of Bapak on the
right with his (fav) son! See how poorly dressed bapak is compared
to his children. I guess kids come first for him.
I guess back then we knew nothing more than to enjoy the day. We have no commitment and no responsibility, so life was easy enough. We have no idea on how difficult it was to cook the cookies that we all enjoyed so much - then there was no kuih tunjuk.

We knew Raya was about visiting, and Raya was about families. Nothing more, nothing less.

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