Sunday, October 16, 2005

Our tradition

Hari Raya is a joyous occasion for Muslims, as it signifies a personal triumph, a victory of self-restraint and abstinence, symbolising purification and renewal. In Malaysia especially in the big city it is common to see open houses throughout the month even though Hari Raya is celebrated on a grander scale for the first three days as urbanites make their annual pilgrimage to their hometowns to be with our family, relatives and friends.

The tradition continues from years to years and the beauty of Syawal is where it is time to forgive and forget. Visiting our relatives is a must especially to those newly weds as it is the best way to introduce our spouse to our family. But, I was called to type this down after listening to the conversation between my two colleagues where both of them are married with kids.

They were busy talking about the preparation for Hari Raya and it is natural for the woman to spend more than it takes for Hari Raya mainly for the children. Ok, it is not interesting, but what makes me so enchanted as a "silent partner" in the conversation when one of my colleague recall Hari Raya as the best way to go for the vacation as it can avoid her family to pay for a visit and to stay away from relatives to come over to her house. And this tradition continues for her family.

Well, does our modern society will slowly kill our tradition? When this behavior pass from mother to daughter, our generation will tend to generate an individualistic people that will be more concerned with individual rights rather than the good of the community. We are afraid that one day it is Ok to listen that an uncle does not recognize his niece/nephew or it is more comfortable to hang out with our friends rather than our cousins.

I did not deny that friends are also important but the priority to understand the important of relationship should be a must for each of us. At least keep a good contact with our close relatives as they may be our best referral in the future. (Note: we wouldn't know what will happen next)

I came from a family where we really value and appreciate the bond between relatives. I may -refer my mum as a person who really ensure that the hierarchical of our family is well-recorded in her children memory. Even though sometimes we are quite lazy to follow her doing the tawaf (it will consume our energy for the rest of the day!!) but at least the effort to force her children to get to know our relatives is payable. I may not know their houses, but usually I know who and where to find them.

And that is the reason why I was surprised!!

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