I haven’t made any Official Raya announcement to date because I was busy eating kuih raya and some ketupat rendangs. By the way, rendang is one of my favorite dishes! Haha!
Hmm… Although the Raya ‘mood’ has slowly been replaced with other more important events such as Summer Holiday and Puasa Enam (sunnah fasting for 6 days in the month of Syawal), this is not going to stop me from entering another article about Hari Raya. Well, it is not going to be a very long entry, believe me. I have some ketupats and rendangs to eat. Err, that does not sound right. I should have started my puasa enam already!
Okay, let me tell you this. Hari Raya Aidilfitri is the only holiday in Malaysia that would require a huge amount of funds! I mean, apart from the Chinese New Year, I figured out that Hari Raya Aidilfitri including the whole Ramadhan month had generated a whole sum of $2 billion revenue worldwide. It could even be higher than that! Imagine how much food the Muslims bought and donated during the Ramadhan month? That if we assumed there was no waste! Then, how about all the preparation for Raya? The blue, red, orange, green, white and sky blue colored Baju Raya? The songkok and tudung Neelofar?
Well, you see – Malaysians are a unique group of species! They are not going to be affected by the high oil prices, or even the war in the Middle East. Some historical artifacts have proven that the Malays are a group of people who have the highest Emotional Quotient (EQ) level. They were very bersopan santun in front of the colonial masters despite that they wanted them to move out of the country. They just talk-talk behind them, but at the front – they would still smile and say “Tuan!” (Master!).
We have heard about how Chef Wan has made himself on the headlines again by telling us all that the teenagers or kids nowadays do not have the right attitude when attending other people’s open houses during Hari Raya right? He said many times before about all things which I do not bother to read or agree, but this one is something I have to agree. The Malays are very polite and would never “cross the line”! Chef Wan has crossed the line by telling all Malaysian on social media that his guests had crossed the line! You see the irony?
We are living in a borderless world. This is where the Malays are so good at! In the past, if there were internet and Facebook (or Twitter and Instagram), Sir W.W.Birch would have been kicked out from the palace sooner before he had to meet his own unfortunate fate in the hands of Dato’ Maharajalela (no wonder, there was a peribahasa to describe a person who made his or her own decision freely without thinking the consequences, as “bermaharajalela!” such as “jangan kamu cuba bermaharajalela di tempat aku ini!”).
The point here is that nowadays, the Malays are very good at expressing their feelings publicly though they know that they are supposed to be polite, on social media. If it is not publicly, they would create a special “secret” WhatsApp group (WA Group) without the person or the subject they wanted to backbite in the group. As for me, it is better telling the whole world, rather than “backbiting” in a secret WhatsApp group about another person, even if you are not naming who is the person you are referring to. At least, the “open letter” or “open article” will allow the person who was mentioned to explain to public his or her own side of the story. The only problem nowadays, the public have their own pre-judgement about certain things, before they even heard both sides’s stories.
This year Raya is special in many ways. It is probably the last time we celebrate Raya in Scotland and hoping that the next Raya inshaAllah – would be in Malaysia. However, we wouldn’t know what will happen in the future. Another reason is that the Raya mood was a little bit affected by the issues surrounding the world such as Qatar economic blockade, and 1MDB issue in Malaysia. I bet that these were among the topics people would talk about during open houses, other that the story about Chef Wan, taking pictures on the road or jalan raya, road accidents, new movies, traveling overseas, Air Asia pilots reading prayers or doa, and much more.
I am ending my entry today by wishing you a happy Eid, Maaf Zahir and Batin, may we all meet with Ramadhan again next year, inshaAllah.