A great time to be with family and friends; and there’s the World Cup too
THIS year, for the first time since settling down, I will not be going back to either Sungai Petani or Linggi for Eid celebrations. Those from my side of the family in Kedah and my wife’s in Negri Sembilan understand why, I think.
We were supposed to go back to Linggi this year but since her parents (and mine) had passed away some years ago, the kampung now feels a bit empty.
The only definite is that we will visit my wife’s parents’ graves on the second day of Raya as is customary since my ‘masuk suku’ or marriage in 1994.
How time flies. Perhaps reaching the age of 51 has affected me, too, as my working life has reached 27 years and counting.
No, not a midlife crisis. Definitely no more thoughts of working at another place altogether as one gets more comfortable working at the same place for a long time as the circle of friends and network of professional colleagues are also more familiar.
In my late 20s, during the mid90s, I did not think about what I would be facing three decades and three children later.
What I remember the most is how Raya was one of the most enjoyable times spent with family, friends and relatives when our parents were still around, watching and pestering us about things to do around the house.
Now that I am a parent, it is my turn to watch over, pester and cajole the kids over house chores. Not a pretty sight.
The end of Ramadan and Raya celebrations for us in Malaysia probably mean our focus will once again be back on the political developments since the formation of the new government.
No doubt political watchers and analysts will be discussing the way forward for the nation and the challenges facing the new occupants of Putrajaya, and also to check how the opposition is doing more than a month after the 14th General Election.
Any government will need time to get going and they will be given time to deliver till the next assessment in a few years’ time.
As for the opposition, Umno and the others, too, will have time to reassess their strategy.
In a sense, for us, the challenge is not so daunting as the country is stable and peaceful. Consider the challenge for some countries which more often than not are unstable or worse, riven by war, pre or post-Ramadan.
I have been to Occupied Palestine, post-war Iraq and southern Thailand, and I can say that compared with those places which have suffered humanitarian tragedies continuously or from time to time, our challenge is to build on the progress achieved over the years while avoiding the kind of problems that befell others.
Developments outside our borders can also affect us, whether it is terrorism in the shape of Daesh, or economic turbulence by way of the ups and downs of oil prices.
Maybe a little relief comes in the form of the World Cup in Russia for another month. I am a fan of England but they have never delivered since winning the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966.
I am expecting the usual suspects to be there at the late stages including Spain, Germany and Brazil. Like they say, performance is temporary, class is permanent.
The warung and mamak restaurants will once again be the location to have teh tarik and watch matches with friends.
Well, that’s my Raya ruminations for now. To all Muslims, I would like to wish you, ‘Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir Bathin’. Also, drive carefully and be safe while enjoying Raya.
In a sense, for us, the challenge is not so daunting as the country is stable and peaceful. Consider the challenge for some countries which more often than not are unstable or worse, riven by war, pre or postRamadan.
Raya is one of the most enjoyable times spent with family, friends and relatives.