It was again a good Raya. Two of my brothers were not home to celebrate it with us but they were much felt and missed. And boy was it a sleepful Raya eve/night for us in many many years! It's such a big deal to us cause we used to stay up almost all night to wait for the rendang to cook, the nasi impit to cool, the kuah kacang to taste and the soto soup to boil. All ni one sleepless night. But this year, it was unplanned-ly different.
We - my motherly sisters and uncle-ly brothers (except Ummi who just hints to us about how things SHOULD be done and Abah who usually works in the front yard while trying to keep his eyes on his little fans a.k.a the grandchildren) started to chop the chicken and kopek the kerangs and potong the daging even before zohor that last day of fasting. It was like a small kenduri attended and meant for only us. Sometimes the grandchildren delayed and distracted us but by early isya that night, the lights were off.
Came morning, we had our Raya ritual. In our pretty dresses and handsome bajus we lined up for the salam-salam. We said our sorry and gratitude. We wept and hugged. It was going well and everybody knew what was going on until Kitreena came to me and whispered...
"I don't want Atuk to tell me things Aunty Mas, I'm just a kid"
I didnt realize how differently this whole ritual could be seen by this young mind. Abah saying things to us in a language she wants desperately to understand, and us weeping as we hugged him, seem so much like Abah was scolding us that we cried and apologized. Hehe.
I told her Atuk was not upset and that he was only telling us how much he loves us. Not really convinced, she went ahead to salam and hug Atuk anyway. And that was AFTER she busied herself offering us tissues for our teary eyes and a paper basket for our wet and crumpled tissues.
Shortly after all the apologies and hugs, we had our photo session. Since we have more cameras in the family now, we also had more poses. Afiq's favourite however, was the Ultraman Tiga(?) pose. So we'd see in our photos a disguised little Ultraman in his songkok, baju melayu, samping, and capal.
That was the highlight of the day.
Hari Raya has no longer been about new curtains and arrangements of cookie jars. At least not for me. It has lately been a day to celebrate and appreciate what and who we have, and to let them know those feelings that we have. It is a day for us to look back and remember Atuk with his teases, and Opah with her hints.
I am holding on to the whole-ness of this family, while it is complete. And Hari Raya is the day when i feel it the most.
Selamat Hari Raya everybody!