I remember Rayas in the 70s very well, for I was a school-going kid by then, and hence I could really enjoy them, and more importantly, remember them to be writing them here.
I am of course talking about Raya in Aulong Taiping.
With Taiping as our home (again), there was no reasons for us to have to travel to meet up with our grandparents. Most likely we met up everyday, and definitely we were able to join in in the preparation for the auspicious day itself, and not only during the Raya itself.
In 70s Taiping, bicycle will be our mode of transportation for us kids. With bapak then still owning the old Morris Minor, and with so many of us (perhaps 11 or so), it would not fit in anymore at one go. We were then old enough to be celebrating Raya on our own with our friends.
I would remember visiting friend's house in Aulong, namely Zaki's and Zulkaperi's. For some reasons, I remember better visiting Zul's house, which fronted the laterite road in Aulong. His was a wooden house with big compound. I am sure we would have done the visiting as a group.
I do remember too visiting some houses in Aulong, and to be honest, I don't really know them (too) well, or perhaps only the parents would know each other. But during those times, it was not an issue. We were in celebratory mood, and there was no such thing as Assalamualaikum Kids then.
There was no such derogatory term then, and every kids were welcomed with open arms.
Duit Raya was perhaps on our mind. Let's not talk about seringgit or dua ringgit and especially sepuluh ringgit; it was unheard of at that time.
It was more like sekupang, or dua kupang, or if we were lucky, we might get lima kupang.
Man, were we rich then!
But perhaps our hearts and minds were much cleaner and purer then, so not a word of ingratitude would leave our mouths. No comparison between houses too. We were there to celebrate raya, we ate the kuih and drank the cordial drinks, and anything else would be a bonus. They made our day.
But then there was this culture, quite rampant then, especially amongst the well-to-do. Of course the table would be filled to the brink with cookies (beyond the ketupat and lemang, obviously)
|TYpical kek raya in the 70s - not unlike this one, is meant for your eyes only.|
Don't bother asking the host to cut a piece for you. (Taken from the internet
without permission, with apology)
But the head of the table - amidst all the cookies, you would find this wonderful and beautiful-looking cake with all kinds of icing and decorations. It is unlike cakes in the new millennium - then most were elaborately and richly decorated.
And typically untouched!
You can eat anything on the table - the hosts would be more than happy if you could finish everything on offer, but they would not offer you the cake!
Apparently it was just for decoration, and show-off, if I am allowed to say that here; and for us kids then, we can all be terkebil-kebil lah watching the high-sugar content cake, wishing the host would offer us some. At that point, we didn't see anything else; we can only see the cake with longing eyes. To know exactly how we felt then, you must know the economic conditions of the 70s (as compared to the present) and the fact that there was close to nil bakery shops. Cakes were not a norm then; not at Hari Raya especially.
There was definitely no Secret Recipe then - not that we could afford to buy if there was one, anyway.
You can of course have a bite of the cake, if you are willing to put a ringgit bill on the table, and the host then would be happy to cut you a piece!