As with other festive occasions in Malaysia, Raya is a time when memories of times long past come flooding back at the most unexpected moments. The holiday break may also conjure a sense of nostalgia, perhaps a yearning for a world that has somehow slipped from our grasp, almost unnoticed.
Here’s one such moment, recalled by an up-and-coming young journalist who is fast making a name for himself. Those who have experienced a family member with Alzheimer’s may also relate to his recollection.
Share with us your own Raya memories.
Remembering the postmaster
By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
September 11, 2010
No. 7 Gedung Lalang Satu… my grandfather’s house in Seremban.
SEREMBAN, Sept 11 — The best thing about forgetting something is that once you remember it, chances are you won’t ever forget it again.
Hari Raya in No.77, Jalan Gedung Lalang Satu is synonymous with the burnt Raya morning air — courtesy of a night of firecrackers piercing the dark skies amid the sounds of takbir from the nearby surau.
On the eve of each Raya, the busiest place in my nenek’s one-storey kampung house would be the kitchen, where everyone would be frantically chasing time, cooking up a storm to prepare my nenek’s famous satay ayam/daging rendang and lemang.
As a child, I would make quick impatient trips to the kitchen every hour or so, just so that I could be the first person to sample the Raya dishes. Mind you, I was no easy customer to please too, no-siree, I was as tough as any urban food critic.
As picky as I was though, he was the biggest critic. Always dressed to impress in his usual white ironed shirt and grey pants, he would often taste the first batch of Raya delicacies and decide whether Nenek’s cooking passed his “test.”
“Hmmph. Tak cukup garam. (Not enough salt)” or “Daging keras sangat, kena masak lama sikit (the meat is too tough, you have to cook it longer)” were his infamous remarks. The man never minced his words.
Full story in the MalaysianInsider