I guess this is the highlight of all visits for every Hari Raya we celebrate every year...
The families homes are scattered throughout the island, so to be able to visit everyone's homes all in one day is really quite a challenge.
To be able to keep the total time spent to about 12 hours for the whole day is important, considering the chartered bus fee of S$35.00 per hour shared by the number of family clusters is still quite significant, though very much cheaper than taking cab rides... if one can actually get a cab during this festive period.
For this year, Saturday 20th October was expectedly the best day for such a plan where everyone was available. Just an ideal timing.
The weather forecast was not that promising though... partly cloudy with chances of thunderous storms the whole day all over the island actually sucked. That however, did not intimidate this family spirit from enjoying the visit and get together.
In fact, the weather was kind to us instead. It stayed cloudy with short intermittent drizzles now and then, which kept the whole day cool and comfortable for this large hot-on-our heels group... and God knows how many other clusters of Malay families going visiting today.
Happy to report, every year our family gets bigger with little new and cute additions joining the pack, storming the houses for thunderous merry-making and yes, lighting feasts!
This visit is the best time to treat each other's families when everyone makes time to be present at one place at the same time. It can get quite chaotic at times, but my sisters and brothers go into auto-mode to manage the situation.
The ladies would automatically go to the kitchen to help the hosts prepare the drinks and food cooked earlier to the table, while the men would watch-over the little children from "rioting" and breaking stuff as they can become hyperactive once the children band together into a large, no-holds-barred group.
This "gotong-royong" or helping one another ensured us to be efficient with our time at each of the houses we visit, limiting to about 40 minutes to an hour. Then off we went, attacking the next home and then the next one with equal Hari Raya zest!
This year, we have something new to include in our annual tradition!
The family photo above tells it all. Instead of just posing for the photos, we have added the "gila" pose or crazy photo for the Great Family Video our brother-in-law is making.
That was great fun, wonder why we did not do it earlier...
Last year's Raya video was hilarious! This year should be even more interesting with this added poses, but we will just have to wait for next year's Hari Raya to watch it. Something extra to look forward to.
I observed how bright the smiles of Mom and Dad whenever they entered each of our homes. I believe they both are happy that all their children are living well and happy. The family bond is very strong. They have done a terrific job on us.
Yes, family life has is quirks, but they should never be worried about us anymore. Instead, they should enjoy their golden years with us in this great happy family... their children, their grandchildren and great-grandchildren together.
Below are the homes we stormed in with thunderous clasps of enjoyment together... amid the showers of beautiful colors each family brightly brought together.
Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir Batin!