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!