Saturday, September 19, 2009

Night Before Hariraya in Kampung Juasseh...

It's a tough decision whether to celebrate Aidilfitri in the city or in the kampung -in the midst of modernity and sophistication or in the so-called Ulu.But I've no difficulty in making such a decision for the Ulu is where I was born and bred. I love the sound of the crickets, frogs, owls and ungkas as much as the traffic, the boom-boxes, the fireworks and the police siren.

Today, on the eve of hariraya Aidilfirtri 1430 (2009) most of the family members are back home in Juasseh, Kuala Pilah Negri Sembilan. We spent the last day of Puasa cleaning up the compound of our family home and masak lemang, rendang, ketupat etc and setting up the old 'pelita minyak' (oil lamps) to light up the place come night. Breaking the fast on the last day of Ramadhan was a real feast, sampling all the dishes we've prepared for hariraya and every last thing that we could buy from the Bazaar Ramadhan in Kuala Pilah.

We were about to take a rest with a full tummy when we were woken up to the fact that our kampung is no longer an Ulu. The whole place burst into the flashes and lights and sound as if a war has started. Crackers and fireworks are prohibited but the explosions and display of luminescence in the night sky equal what you can see over Kl on festive nights. The firework display coming from somewhere in the kampung itself, was nothing less than what you see during merdeka celebration (except for the last one). The shot I got is not very colorful but suggestive of the display in the sky. I wonder who bore the cost of some 10 minutes display with all the bursting stars and colours, the shimmering and twinkling lights, the colorful cloud bursts etc. The booms and the bangs were something I never expected. If the police came to stop them I'd have joined the protest movement!

This is the best night before hariraya display that I've seen. It made me forget that I was in the Ulu....and all the houses were lighted up in a way even more beautiful than the brick and motar houses in the city. Tomorrow I'll see how the actual celebration will be....Selamat hariraya.

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