I’m sure friends have been enjoying their holiday as Independent day and Eidulfitr fall on the same day. Raya holiday for many, take close to 10 days. That’s good enough for rest.

As battery needs charging, now and then, human beings too need some rest to restore their body to the maximum. Raya, this year is quite hectic to me and my family as the preparation is tedious. This year around, my kampung welcomed me with a hornet nest lying right adjacent to the door entrance. A sign of negligence as well as rejection from my second-home’s villa. Just a month-and-a half ago, I was there collecting fruits. No sign of hornet or any other strangers. As a result, my gardener was stung twice when he tried to cut the grass two days earlier.

Nevertheless, traditional Raya celebration in kampung is worth commemorate as kampung life is a life full of inspiration and human devotion. As Zambri and Cikgu Yati, my friendly neighbour were busy preparing a wedding reception, my wife and I were also busy cleaning and mopping the floor.

It was precisely: ‘a time stood still’ kind of environment when I noticed an ageing portrait kept sticking onto the wall for the past 20 years.  I became a bit sentimental, trying to convey a retrospect memory on the mesmerizing years of growing up in this place.

As soon as I was back to reality, I noticed that I haven’t paid the fitrah yet. As fitrah is considered to be a religious duty, and is expected to be paid the latest before the Raya prayer. The rate for this year is RM7 per head in Kedah and as the head of the household I’ve to pay the required amount for the other members of my family as well. I was lucky to find To’ Siak was waiting patiently for prospective late payers like me.

 [Munir and Abang Ndak in action]

The best part about being the late payer is the opportunity to meet old friends since we are all staying outside and decided to pay at last minute in our own kampung. The meeting lasted till midnight.

Raya to me, a kampung boy, is not about what happen on 1Syawal alone. It is about events that take place few days earlier that lead to 1Syawal, starting from the journey home, raya preparation like washing, cleaning, cooking ketupat and rendang as well as waiting for my brother and sister to come home with their respective families. The routine on 1Syawal right after solat is doing a kampung-round meeting the elders and ex-school mates.

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