Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back to City Life.....

Just as it was very interesting to watch carloads of people going back to their kampung for the Hariraya, it was most fascinating to see them rushing back to the city after the festive days. The eager, joyous, and beaming faces in the earlier event had changed to some frowns, yawns and irritable looks. Don't you dare to cross the path of their speeding cars or overtake them. A clenched fist might be shown to you!

Rushing back to the city and work, certainly put people in a different mood. I haven't kept up with the number of deaths and injuries on the road both before and after Hariraya, but many of those as reported on the radio and TV are just tragic and gruesome. Let's pause here to seek Allah's grace for them - Al-Fatihah. Thank God this time i didn't see any police roadblock to make the traffic jams even worse. I still long for the day to see a traffic policeman helping out the motorists in trouble instead of causing trouble with his book of summons. I didn't also see on my way to and returning from kampung, motorcyclists being herded to the roadside for close check-ups on any possible violation of the traffic ordinance. On normal days that maybe necessary, but during important festivals when the young people( who might not be able to afford a car yet) want to get home to see their parents and relatives, surely giving a sound advice is enough if there's any infraction of the law.

Be as it may it's already six days after the Hariraya and I thought everything is getting back to normal. It looks so in the community I'm staying in (that's Taman Melawati in Ulu Klang), judging from the turnout for prayers at the mosque or madrasah. Even our Bilal has returned from his holidays although none of the regular Imams seem to be around yet. But no, the Hariraya is not over yet. Today my wife and the family attended an open house at Dato Fuad and Datin Hasnah's house in Syah Alam where all close relatives had been invited. It was indeed a surprise for me but it was a most pleasant occasion to meet all those who managed to come.

Here's a few shots taken at the gathering which was quite small in size but very meaningful in getting the young members of the family to get to know each other better. The older ones of course concentrated on the food and delicacies as much as filling up on home-news.
As usual, it was always the unplanned gathering that drew the crowd- unplanned in the sense that there was no date or venue fixed some weeks or months ahead. It was just done by phone calls and words of mouth. As far as the host and hostess are concerned I'm sure they had to plan everything, especially the scrumptious lunch which laid out not only the usual Hariraya
fare but ones that were specially prepared. The ikan Goreng and Ikan Bakar were certainly a delicious change from the curry ayam and rendang daging. I have kept to a certain dietary constraint for the period before and after Hariraya, But at the gathering I totally forgot about it, especially since I've just regained my taste for food after having a bad flu just before Hariraya and which lasted until yesterday.

While the fathers. mothers and sisters had a very pleasant reunion, I think it's the younger ones and the kids who surprise us the most. They seldom had the opportunity to meet sicne the parents are always busy. But the moment they do, they got on to each other as if they had been playing together everyday for years. I was amazed to see how quick they can melt into each other like close relatives unlike the adults that I've seen both in the kampung and here in the city. The relationship can be so formal and deliberate, while some keep apart even at such a gathering. Yes, I think it's times the adult takes some lessons form the kids in terms of human relations.

This is a very a significant factor in family development nowadays, especially in the towns and cities. Cities are renowed for being crowded, but they are also full of lonely and lonesome people. People mix a lot at meetings in their places of work and social gatherings but back at home, families keep very much to themselves. Friends in schools need not be neighbors at home, and friendship in schools is pretty much like friendship in the offices and departments. Only rarely do you develop long term friendship for both schools and places of work may change quite frequently thus disabling a long-term friendship to be developed, unless the children had known each other even before they go to school.

As such the chance to meet their relatives both young and old is a very important factor in developing their human relations skill. Parents need to give them a lot of opportunities to meet their relatives, to play around with them and understand how they are related to each other. Especially when related parents live far away from each other unlike the extended families of old. Unless such opportunities are deliberately created, city children will know less and less about their relatives with school friends filling in the vacuum. And when they change school or their parents move to another vicinity, they can indeed become very lonely people until they find new friends.

It is in this light that the gathering of related parents and children in Dato Fuad's and Datin Hasnah's residence this afternoon,
( I have of course attended many other such gatherings before) gave me a sudden awareness of what the children had been missing. They need to get together with their kith and kin as often as possible to understand their common ancestry and strengthen the bonds of blood relationship, And from the way they do this at such gathering, parents who have been at odds with their own blood relations can learn much from their kids in term of forgetting the past and building up from the present.

Contrast the above to a gathering attended by more adults than kids and youngsters. The ladies in this pic represent relatives
who qorked in various parts of the country and seldom had the opportunity of meeting like this except on a festive day
These other shots were taken at a gathering in Tan Sri Dato' Hashim Meon's and Puan Sri Nor'ain's residence - a Hariraya-cum-Birthday party attended mostlly by adults from various walks of life. Though very lavish and generous with food and delicacies, the absence of little kids and children running around doing their things like brothers and sisters, sort of makes the gathering less boisterous and noisy.

To conclude, what's a gathering without the shouting, crying and cheering of kids and children running around and chasing each other, enjoying themselves. It will mostly be confined to adults talking, eating and laughing away.
Unless the gathering has an official or business overtone, I would strongly urge parents to bring their children along to meet their friends and relatives at such gatherings, especially when the gathering is held at a residential home. The children need more of the socialization than us adults who have attended enough of such gatherings.


kaykuala said...

Akhi Norzah,
Post- Hari Raya is rightly recorded in the sequence of the long traffic jams for those who dared and risked in droves back from the holidays. This is followed closely by the ‘open house’ invitations on subsequent week-ends of neighbours and close friends through the month.
What I look forward to during these gatherings was the inclusion of the typical Hari Raya fare of lemang, ketupat and rendang as during the first 2 days of Hari Raya when these were served we’ve had too much of them to really appreciate at one go. This goes also for the ‘dry Hari Raya goodies’ like jam tarts which are more ‘tasty’ as the days progress for the month of Syawal.
The danger is we might just tuck in too excessively to neutralise the slim look of Ramadhan back to the ‘normal ‘ rotund and rounded self of pre-Ramadhan.

norzah said...

Hahaha, how true Akhi Kaykuala. I lost some 3kg during Ramadhan but I've a feeling that the weight is coming back. The trousers I bought before Hariraya might jus go to waste until next Ramadhan, for the my circumference at the waist has changed again.

rambomadonna said...

Wow Norzah, pinggang sudah ramping ya. Well your entry sort of "menyedarkan" I that sometimes we need to mingle with our friends and families. Lately, especially during festive seasons, I tried to avoid meetings old friends and relatives. I just don't like them asking the "bonus question".

And another problem also is my little nieces and nephews like to tag along when I went visiting and all possible suitors thought they are my children coz they called me TieMie (short for Auntie Mie). Now I am determine to teach them to call me Kakak if they saw handsome guys hehehe

norzah said...

I'm sure there's nothing to be shy about in being asked the "bonus question", J, or being called TieMei.
A difficult question needs only be answered with a question like: Know anyone suitable for me? or Can you help me to choose a good one? And being called Auntie can give you a boosting rather than drawback.It show that you're very loving towards children and ever ready to sacrifice your time for them. A good future husband always like to see how a potential wife handles children, don't you think?
Well, I've seen many films where children caused a woman and a man to get tother, fall in love and finally become husband and wife. An intelligent girl
walking by your side can certainly attract a lot of attention which can be easily transferred to the lady taking care of her. Yes, we can certainly learn something from the children even in trying to find Mr. Right.

Al-Manar said...

Akhi Norzah,
There is n doubt children benefit from their visit with us to unofficial gatherings, in pariticular those at the homes of relatives. Fresh bonds are made among them and they grow become close friends and close relatives.

There is of course certain rules that one has be aware of. Children
must not be allowed to misbehave. It worries a host to see guests's children picking up articles which are placed to decorate one's house. There are breakable items which cause a host to worry about. It is the responsibility of a guest to discipline own children.

Salaam from Pakcik

norzah said...

The point you raised is very well taken, Akhi Pakcik. When a big group of children start doing their things in a host's home, the host and hostess often could not entertain their guests in peace. Especially when there is a lot of crystal flower vase, jugs and glasses lying around.
The children can really mess up the funiture and furnishing, the carpets, the sofa, even the picture frames. But why do thy do such things? Why do they really take the opportunity to romp and rampage around in the host's home?
There can be many reasons. What I have noted is that some of the children have been put under severe constraints in terms of doing what they wanted to do, in their own homes. They are ticked off for anything at all. So when they get together with children who have more liberal parents, the former group quickly loose their inhibitions and become wild. Another reason is that some of the children might have never seen the beautiful things
on display in the host's home. Hence they can hardly keep their hands off those items.
It's clear that children who have been brought to parties and gathering very often. knew the discipline and ethical codes that must be followed.
It's those who seldom go to parties that will display the most unruly behavior. Certainly parents must
train their kids to be well-disciileb at parties but
unless they are given a lot of exposure, they cab still become wild in a guest's home.