Monday, September 29, 2008

Menjelang Hari Raya

I think, it’s high time I do a Hari Raya posting. Everybody else has done theirs.

For me, the most important question every hari raya is, “Bila nak balik Ipoh?”

You see, ever since I got married, belum pernah sekalipun I beraya with my parents first in Ipoh. It’s always been with MrNordin’s family first in KL, then later in the evening, baru balik Ipoh ~ my parents home. If other couples rotate their balik kampong turn, ours is fixed that way. KL first, Ipoh later.

I didn’t really mind initially, but now I’m beginning to question the validity of that ritual. Is it really fair?

Ok, all these years, it has always been the family’s ritual to beraya at my MIL’s house on the first day of raya. That's tradition. Even when MrsN No. 1 was still around, they’d beraya at MrN’s mum’s house first before they went to MrsN(#1)’s mum’s house, which is just nearby. That is logical because they all live in KL.

My sister in law (MrN’s bro’s wife) would also do the same ~ all will beraya at my MIL’s first. That again is fine because both my SIL’s parents have died. She doesn’t have anyone else to go to during raya except for my in laws. Had her parents been alive (and they live outside KL), I’m sure she would balik kampong as well, without a doubt.

But in my case, I still have a set of living parents in Ipoh, who I’m sure, would like for their daughter to be home with them on malam and pagi raya. Not every year, maybe every other year. To be there with them masa sembahyang raya and celebrate the glorious morning ramai2 as a family, together with my two other brothers’ family. For the past 4 years, it was just my telephone calls wishing her Selamat Hari Raya that she heard every pagi raya. Not her daughter, in person.

I miss bersalam & minta maaf with my parents dipagi raya... I miss following them sembahyang raya at the nearby mosque... I miss my mum’s lontong and sambal tumis ikan bilis which she always served on raya morning… I miss raya morning with my parents and brothers…

I have sort of mentioned it to my husband last year that perhaps we should go back to Ipoh first for raya. That was met with a no answer. I think I was asking for the impossible.

Should we ever do that, I know what’s going to happen:
1) My MIL would freak out
2) My stepchildren would freak out (why balik Ipoh?!!)
3) MrNordin would probably freak out as well.

The only person that would be happy would be just me.

I feel sorry for my mother. I’m sure she misses me dipagi hari raya, but so far, she never complained or said a word about it. Never did she impose on me that I should go back to Ipoh first for raya. She would just ask, “Bila balik sini?” I would answer, “Macam biasa lah mak… petang raya pertama…”. Then she would say, “Tidur kat rumah, ya?” And I’d promise her, “Mestilah tidur, mak..

So whenever raya comes, I won’t be the happiest person on earth. My mind will constantly be thinking, “Bila lah nak bertolak balik ke Ipoh ni?” Usually MrN would take his time. Kadang2 tu, sampai malam baru nak bertolak. Nak visit orang nilah, nak visit orang tu lah. Last year, we only went back on hari raya kedua. I could feel the pain in my mum’s voice when I told her that we were only going home on the second day of raya.

And the children, of course, want to spend more time with their cousins and relatives (although they see each other almost everyday!). Like the other day, I overheard the eldest sister and the youngest boy talking about going back to Ipoh. The sister said, “We’re going to Ipoh petang raya pertama.” (cos that’s what I told the girls). And the boy asked, “Why petang raya? Why not the next day?”

That really hurt. I felt as if they didn’t want to celebrate raya with my family and instead prefer to enjoy it here in KL. Of course boring lah balik Ipoh, kan… nothing much to do. My parents house pun rumah kecik je, bukan macam rumah nenek diaorang kat sini.

I told myself, “Sabar… sabar… he’s just a child.” Kalau ikutkan hati, nak saja I beritau dia, “Kalau tak nak ikut, TINGGAL !” But of course I stopped myself short from saying that. He wouldn’t understand it either. And, kalau turutkan hati juga, today itself I nak balik Ipoh dengan Nizzar, ikut my brother. Lantaklah engkorang nak beraya kat sini sesuka hati, let me celebrate it with my own little family. That way, you’ll be happy and so will I.

But I won’t do anything silly like that. I will, despite my dissatisfaction of following their tradition, put up a straight face and try to look happy on malam raya and pagi raya like I always did in the previous years. Luka dalam hati, siapa yang tahu, kan? As a "newcomer", I have to take a stepback and always beralah in many occasions. It's difficult sometimes, but this is part and parcel of marrying into a family like this. My only wish is for them to be more understanding of my feelings, that's all...

Here's wishing my fellow readers Selamat Hari Raya dan Maaf Zahir Batin. To those friends who are close to me, sorry for anything I did or said that might have hurt your feelings. And to my family, whoever is reading this, I'm sorry if you find my writings a little too frank and unpleasant to read. I'm merely expressing my thoughts and feelings... no offense intended. I love you all the same ~ more infact after all these years ~ and I hope we'll have a great raya this year.

Enjoy your holidays and come back with more stories to tell!



tireless mom said...

Dear MrsN

It is all about compromise. Try to talk it out baik baik with MrN. To change a ritual or a practice, is indeed difficult. But it is good to "tukar angin" once in a while. If he is not the compromising type, or takut mak dia terkecil hati, tak pe, pahala besar you ikut cakap dia. Janji we still go back to see our orang tua.

Again salam raya to you too. Jangan sedih sedih tau.

MrsNordin said...

Thanks, Tireless Mom.. what you said do make sense.

I think it's more becoz takut mak dia kecil hati. He can compromise, no problem...

Tak pe lah, janji dapat tengok my parents on the first day of raya. Tak kisahlah pagi ke petang.

Selamat Hari Raya to you again!

myheartbleeds said...

Hi MrsN... I feel for you. Tapi tireless mom is right in the sense that "besar pahala you ikut cakap dia". After all, once we Muslim women are married, our loyalty is to our husband first and then HIS parents. Lepas tu baru our own parents. Tapi janganlah pulak para husbands use this to deny the wives' hajat, kan?

My mom pun selalu cakap, after she got married, tak pernah sekali pun dia balik kampung raya. Not even raya kedua or ketiga. Raya kat KL je... kesian...

Nanti when you are in Ipoh, enjoy yourself puas2 with your mom's lontong and sambal tumis ikan bilis (yumms!) ok? In the meantime, masukkan 'jarum' kat MrN sikit2 and subtly from now on (don't wait till next Ramadhan) to pujuk him balik Ipoh malam raya (hehe). You take care and I take this opportunity to minta maaf if anything I've commented here so far terkasar or anything...

Selamat Hari Raya!

Anonymous said...

Selamat Hari Raya, BJ. Maaf Zahir Batin.

Fulltime Mom

busymum100 said...


Susah nak advice sb i ni macam your sis-in-law (biras). I mmg selalu balik rumah dia je, sb adik beradik kita pun sibuk dgn family masing2, dan byk lagi sejarah yg tersirat.

Skrg ni you kira minority lah, sb it's u and nizzar vs the 3 kids and father. Maybe compromise balik rumah you dulu once every 3yrs?

Apa2pun, byk bersabar.... pengorbanan you mmg besar!!

Madam Tai Tai said...

Hi BJ,

Didn't know this has become an issue with you. Guess you need to talk to Nordin about this and hopefully he will compromise one of these rayas. Until then, sabor aje lah nampaknya. Grit your teeth and just get on with the raya celebration at your MIL...

Tapi I still think it's not fair lah kalau nak balik Ipoh on the second day. You see the folks here almost everyday and tak yah lah nak tunggu sampai hari raya kedua baru nak balik kampung you pulak. As I said earlier, benda ni kena bawa berunding.

As for the older kids, dia orang cakap aje. Don't ambil hati sangat. Budak2 memang nak yg syokkan dia orang aje...I don't think they mean anything by it. My kids pun dreaded jugak kalau kata nak balik Melaka for raya
(day trip only you know), but they still would go and enjoy themselves chasing chickens.

Don't simpan sangat dlm hati, ok. Talk it out with your hubby. I know we have to mengalah but hubby pun kena faham hati kita juga..

Uja said...

Dear Mrs Nordin,

I have been reading your blog (I can't remember how I found it. Oh I think it was from Sentraal Station!) and I am not the kind who leave comments on blogs of people I don't know personally. But - your last post on MrsNordin #1 and this previous one on balik kampung really calls for one.

We may not know each other, but I will truly doa for your place in Jannah. Masya'allah I am thankful to find your blog and read luahan hati ikhlas dari seorang isteri dan seorang ibu. You set the benchmark on patience and sacrifice, and for that I thank you. So much to learn from other women bloggers, and you are one of them .

Selamat Hari Raya MrsNordin. May Allah shower His rahmah on you and your family.

Hope said...


I understand how you feel..this is one aspect of blended family that we have to face. At least, you don't have to celebrate Xmas just becoz your stepchild does so..sighhh.

Raya? What's Raya to them (my husband and his boy)? I used to take it all in. But not anymore, I now insist we all celebrate everything..:)

Fair and square.

I think you have to discuss with your husband, after all you play the part of the other half in the relationship, not just some add-ons to his/their lives.

Selamat Hari Raya to you & family

puteri kama at-tarawis said...

Mrs N, I was married for 13 long years (from 1974 to 1987) and during the entire period, I spent the first raya with my family in Dungun only once. The remaining 12 times were spent with my (ex) mother-in-law and family in KL.

On top of that I had NEVER spent raya haji with my own family (walaupun bagi orang pantai timur raya haji ni lagi besar sambutannya), simply because hari haji MUST be spent in kedah with my in-laws. Puan Sri and family would balik Kedah every raya haji and the entire family must follow.

walaupun sedih tak dapat bersama keluarga sendiri, saya telan aja, kerana sayang suami. malangnya pengorbanan itu tak dihargai dan akhirnya terungkai jugak whatever that we had between us.

my advice is: tanya rasa hati sebab this ultimately is your sacrifice. It not a small issue. kalau dia tak mahu compromise, you have to ask yourself adakah u boleh compromise all the time. find a solution sebelum dia jadi isssue yg besar because benda2 mcm ni ada possibility of exploding in your face.

saya masih ingat my own mak bapak kata - awak ni asyik celebrate raya dengan keluarga Puan Sri aja. kenapa? I knew the loaded implication behind that question, seolah2 i ni membelakangi my own. masalahnya, saya langsung had no say in my own marriage.

gtake my own experience sebagai iktibar. Wassalam.

Kak Teh said...

Reading about these hari raya tussles made me feel quite glad that we are away - kalau mesti rasa macam you jugak. Anyway, wherever you are, have a good Hari Raya.

wanshana said...


Hang in there, dear... And as a few have already mentioned, banyak pahalanya sebagai isteri yang sabar and menurut kehendak suami, insya Allah.

And, if it's of any consolation, you are not alone here. I'm sure there are so many wives out there who have to spend malam raya and also pagi raya at the in-laws' year in, year out. Me included.

The first twelve years since we got married, it had ALWAYS been malam raya AND pagi raya at my MIL's. She does not insist pun, but, with his Dad not around anymore, Haizal feels that he needs to be there as the man of the house, with his brother.

It has never been an issue (as I never brought it up - even though kekadang tu memang nak sangat spend those times with my parents).

Haizal doesn't really mind if I were to spend malam raya with my parents. But, I personally feel tak seronok if he's not there with me.

But, the last couple of years, we've changed the arrangement slightly, whereby I would spend last day of Ramadhan and berbuka with my parents (tolong my Mom mengemas, etc), and he would be with his Mom, for Majlis Takbir, etc. And we let the kids choose where they want to be malam tu.

Biasalah kids - they would choose the place where they are more cousins to play with lah, kan? So, for the kids, it depends.

Pagi raya still at his Mom's, and later in the day baru balik rumah my parents. Nasib baik our parents' stay within 20 minutes of each other.

So far, it has been okay, as my sister also has the same arrangement with my BIL. So, petang first day raya everybody on my side will be at my parents, unless my brothers balik kampung their wives.

So, maybe a few years down the line, you boleh introduce the changes bit by bit? In the mean time, kena banyak bersabar dulu, okay?

Sorry, panjang lebar la pulak my comment ni...

ur stf junior said...

Hai kak BJ
Camtulah asam garam berumahtangga kan? Anyway, enough said of Hari Raya rotation 'balik kampung', would like to wish you a pleasant Raya & take care. Oh yes.. btw, I'm only your junior by one year tp kat STF kita dah terbiasa panggillan 'kak' even tho sethn je junior, kalau kat 'corporate world' tu cam janggal lah juga. Slalu gak I terperasan u kat Ampang Park or KLCC because I work around that area too tp nak approach tu cam 'malu2 kucing' sket. He..He.. Yelah, kat sekolah dulu I ni low profile je, tak glamer, sekrg pun bukan le glamer sgt tp tak le spt zaman ke'toye'an dolu-dolu.Ish Melalut plak, again you take care ok kak BJ, kat mana pun you beraya, I hope you will really enjoy it. Bye...

Is said...

Kak BJ,

My tears rolling down my cheek when reading this. I understand what you feel. Banyakkan bersabar and zikir ye. Salam Aidilfitri.

MA & Brood said...

Salam MrsN:

Here's wishing you and family a joyous Hari Raya. Donno what to comment about the giliran thingy. Hopefully everything will turn out well to both of you. I pernah dengar cerita from one friend - his officemate lagi teruk - sepanjang kahwin sampai anak 2-3, never spent Raya together cos masing-masing nak beraya dgn mak bapak masing-masing (sorang di Tganu, sorang di Kelantan. Anak-anak yang take turns ikut mak/bapak.

I remember one year when there was a couple siap pergi report polis sebab one spouse refused beralah balik kampung!

Macam-macam hal kan?

Anyway hope you have a good one!

Waterlily said...

Hi MrsN :)

Ada beberapa option yang tak berapa bagus (well, yang bagus pun, in the end you selalu tak dapat balik eve of raya kan?)

Option 1 :
Take one day leave (only) before raya. Days prior to that try VERY HARD to get you to be in the north atas urusan kerja (whatever la, think of something, appointment jumpa MP ke, VIP ke, menteri ke), then after that terus pegi rumah parents you. Tell them to meet you there malam raya or morning raya.

Option 2:
Mintak ampun maaf and salam dengan penuh emosi with your hubby eve or raya or a day prior, tell him, you dah tak tertanggung rasa rindu nak beraya first day and enjoy eve of raya with family - so, diharapkan dia akan memaafkan you sekiranya you pegi jua even tho without diaorang - err..but you will be back that afternoon first raya or the next day la...

p/s Sorry la BJ, jahat kan I ni? heheheh Saja nak mengusik you.. :) Anyway, alam berumah tangga memang macam itu lah dia...jangan kata KL - Ipoh, I ni yang rumah 10 minit from each other pun masih kena negotiate pegi rumah sapa dulu tau! Macam sekarang ni, I kat rumah ni tengah sibuk berkemas (now taking a break), my other half ada kat rumah MIL. Apa dia buat pun I tak tau. My eldest son pun dia paksa pegi sekali...agaknya tolong2 kat sana kut...but dont know lah my SILs buat apa pulak (2 still not kawin lagi)..maybe sibuk buat tinggal lah I, isteri dia kat rumah ni kaki kat atas, kepala kat bawah..kemas rumah dengan my maid.. :( . But that's a reality of alam berumah tangga BJ oii!

IBU said...

Mrs N,

I so feel for you... sayu lah kan kita2 yg merantau ni?

I pun cam tu jugak lah saban tahun. Pagi Raya kat Dmnsara, then petaaaaannnngggg 1st day raya baru bergerak ke JB. But since all my sisters pun have to be with their in laws for pagi raya, so we made it a routine that my side punya family gathering is belah petang, sampai malam, sampai pagi ayam berkokok.

AND .... Actually, I got to stay longer in JB lah, 3-4 days! Kalau tak sure dah kena rush balik KL kan? SO tu lah yg syiok nyer. heheheh....But hey! I must go balik JB on 1st day itself. 2nd day kalu? ohh... torture ....

Hang in there dear! There must be a silver lining somewhere.

Salam Aidilfitri & Maaf Zahir Batin

Superwomanwannabe said...

J..this year I changed my routine, balik Kluang first and then balik you said he took his time and macam tak rush nak gi my side. I was mengomeling all the way is not fair that I put his family first all the time and then he acts as if he can't be bothered to be with mine. No rush langsung. J you married into his family but they also married into yours. It is absolutely fair for you to expect N and anak beranaak semua to join in your family beraya, You are their mom now. Bukan nak tukar tiap taun, just once will not kill anyone. I heran lah you ni, so strong minded otherwise but soooooo beralah when it comes to your own feelings. I am so sorry if this offends but I think Mr N also has to explain why this has to be raised in a posting in a blog and not something he is aware of. Tak perasan ke? Tak terdetik ke?? tak rasa pelik ke? It would be nice if he offers to change the routine out of consideration for you without BEING TOLD. I love both of you dearly but if there is some compromise and a little thought, this is a non issue. To the kids,. this is now the person who is taking care of you and your wellbeing and she does it without paksaan and does it very well. She deserves so much more thought than this.
Ok? Sorry again to speak my mind. But this issue touches me as it involves family and family is very important- everyone's family.

bella said...

Hi MrsN,
Selamat hari Raya to you!
On this topic, I have to say that, I managed to do it my mum's way, which is, one year it is at the in laws(all the siblings beraya at the in laws) and the other year at my mums' place in kuala kangsar. Luckily for me, my hubby have agreed to this and despite the "muncung" by my MIL, we have followed this routine, 5 years now...and the muncung because, all his siblings will raya the first raya at his parents except for him(at odd years)...and Alhamdulillah, despite the perli2 and the snide remarks, we manage to keep to this tradition every year. I wish you all the best and hopefully, next year, boleh balik Ipoh awal sikit...