Monday, October 6, 2008

Raya oh Raya!!

Raya oh Raya…. These few words to describe it aptly - fatigue for the adults, sheer happiness (much thanks to the duit Raya) for the children. There was the visiting and of course not to mention the eating as well. Whatever gram mage I had lost during the fasting, I gained back (the lost plus, plus) in two days of continuous eating. Bad girl…bad girl me…but what to do, sodap-sodap belaka the juadah Raya, how not to indulge in them.

The first day of Raya had us traveling back to our kampung in Kuala Pilah. Although both my MIL and Mom now stay in Seremban, we still have our Mak Ngahs and Mak Langs in Kuala Pilah. ABE’s family hails from Seri Menanti and while mine is from Juasseh. The usual Raya ritual is to go visit ABE’s Mak Ngah and then to Juasseh to visit my Mak Lang and Mak Chek. Mak Lang and Mak Chek are Abah’s cousins.

The crawl up Bukit Putus Road

Wahhh...jam lorrr....

Relax lah....Never mind the jam. Moms here would be snapping away...

The drive to Kuala Pilah was…ummppp how shall I put it…menguji kesabaran (even during the fasting month kesabaran tidak tercabar to this extent). When we got to Paroi, there was already a crawl up the Bukit Putus road. Ahh…for folks who travel up and down the Seremban – Kuala Pilah trunk road, this is one stretch of road that would give either shivers to your stomach or for the not so weak at heart, the least you’d be asking for after you get down at Ulu Bendol is a bottle of Minyak Cap Kapak, hoping that it would help with the motion sickness you had experience before. But for me, I’ve traveled these sharp cornered roads since I was young, so no excuse nak mengada-ngada nak singgah kedai mamak beli asam (but I’d still carry my Vicks, just incase)

Somehow this year...dear Dato's Raya greetings were all over town...ain't it cost cutting time Dato?

There have been road construction works along the Seremban – Kuala Pilah trunk road (and mind you, the construction work has been going on for appeal to Dato’ MB doregh lah siapkan jalan ni…. raghmai yang dah tak soba dah ni….who knows, my speaking Noghori might get to him). I recall last year we had to brave the jam up Bukit Putus as well and this year, ulang tayang lagi!!! Hati ada skit hangat juga laaaa…Dato’.

The Merc that caught fire....

Anyway, no point bising-bising lah kan…since we were determined at visiting our relatives over the hills of Bukit Putus, we’d just have to go with the flow. As the vehicles crawled slowly uphill, we saw thick black smoke ahead of us. Then there were two firemen on motorbikes heading towards the few cars in front of ours. Not long after that, as we turned at one of the bends, a sight of what was causing the crawl was clear in our view. Gosh..there was a brand new Merc on FIRE!!!! An E-Series halfway blazing away. Ayoooo……..sedey tu!!!! I offer sympathies to the owners of the Merc..rasa nya dapat claim from insurance la kot. But till the replacement comes in, patah kaki la kau jang!!!

It was a good 1 hour of traveling before we arrived at Seri Menanti. As usual when we got there, Nissa refused to get down. Panas lah, the tanah got water lah, her feet would get dirty lah, got mosquitoes lah kata nya. Adoi lah….this candle princess of mine. Luckily for her, ABE was in the mood to pacify her. Else she’d be dragged out by Mom, the Jerit Queen.

MIL's kampung house...neighbours to Mak Ngah & Pak Ngah

Actually amongst all of ABE’s relatives, I like his Mak Ngah and Pak Ngah the most. A very humble couple and I always felt very at ease in their kampong house (at times more at ease than when I am at my MIL’s). From the time we first got married, we have never failed to ziarah them on the first day of Raya. Pak Ngah who is suffering from diabetes, is so frail now and I could see his health deteriorating.

Nissa & Farah with their little nephew. And with that, both ABE & I have become Atuk & Uwan... Gosh, so old already ka?

We stayed at ABE’s Mak Ngah’s place for quite a while. More of his relatives arrived after we did, and as usual when they meet, the berborak session pun started. Even though the kids were so bored to their bones, I had to allow this one time in a year for ABE to rekindle old times and catch up with his sedara-mara. Thank God for the Astro at Mak Ngah’s house, that helped ease the kids’ lonngggggg wait for their Daddy to finish with the catching up.

Yup...that was rebusan in the big pot

Mak Lang's house ID

After that long pit stop at Seri Menanti, we headed to Juasseh, a small kampong situated on the way to Bahau. Our next stop was my Mak Lang and Mak Chek’s homes. One of the signature Raya dishes of the family is the Rebusan Daging (comprising all the tunjang, “gearbox” and the tulang-tulang dibuat soup). This is one dish very much sought after by almost everyone in the family, from the Tan Sris to the Datos to the anak-anak cucu cicit and Raya would definitely not be the same without the Rebusan Daging. It was like no Raya if there was no rebusan. I remember my late grandmother sitting in her kitchen warming up the rebusan, waiting for her children and their stock to come back for Raya. And when we came back, wallah…..dig in!!!

A family send off...bukan nak gi mano baghroh yo...

As predicted, there was rebusan at Mak Lang’s house. It was sinfully delicious and my children had a jolly time digging in. I did take a few small sips, couldn’t afford to really go all out for it…hai, tak muat pulak baju raya lepas ni!!

The girls and their Atuk Kassim & Aunty Marissa (in blue). Nissa practically didn't want to lift her mud she said. Hayooooo.......

After Mak Lang’s house, we moved on to visit Mak Chek. Both houses were not far from each other, so it made sense to just walk there. Again Nissa was up to her acts. Jauh lah, bugs lah, my feet hurt lah were some of the excuses she came up with. It was my uncle who came to the rescue this time. Puas lah he memujuk Nissa tu walk with him, in the end, Nissa agreed.

ABE and the gang

Makan..makan…those were the words of my cousins and Mak Chek. Hai orang dah served, tak kan pulak tak jamah. So there I went again….eat and eat again. I can’t explain how full I was, all the lemang, rendang, ketupat and kuah kacang mixed in my belly. I have a term for this feeling of ultimate fullness – kenyang bodoh and precisely that was how I felt after all the eating.

By the time we were done at Mak Chek’s place, it was almost Maghrib. There was still one last house to go to, another Mak Lang in Batu Kikir (yes…that Batu Kikir, Jembatan Bosi…as how it was sung in the song).

Mak Lang is a another aunty from my mother’s side. He late husband was my mother’s cousin. It was dark when we got there. Mak Lang’s house was packed to the brim with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Full house!!!!

I told my cousin not no serve us with rendang or lemang. If it was dinner she was preparing us, telur goreng with kicap would suffice. And dinner that night was fried vege and telur goreng with kicap. My kids ate like there was no tomorrow!!!

By the time we headed back to Seremban, it was 9.00pm. As it was pretty late, the jam back to Seremban had cleared. Kids had dozed off in the back seat, so typical of them lah. Makan, suka hati….and next is to zzzzzz.

It had been along day for us, but I was happy that we managed to ziarah all of them. It’s not often we get to do this….only during Raya that we head back to Kuala Pilah and meet up with them. Time and time again we explain to the children the importance of knowing their roots. They just don’t exist in the concrete jungle of KL or Shah Alam out of the blue. There is kampong, there is sawah bendang…just that we have merantau jauh, but never are they to forget their asal usul. They may be young to understand the whole works now, but I know someday they’d truly appreciate these practices we instill in them.


tireless mom said...


Didn't know you got the shot of the popular flaming Merc. The newsmen pun dapat gambar rangka je. Can sell the pix, and get some more duit raya for Nissa. At least she will not regret walking in the mud in Josseh or Senanti.

Madam Tai Tai said...

Hi Kay,

You and your sis seemed to have the same posting theme today - about the ziarah menziarah tradition.

I totally concur with both of you that this is a tradition that shouldn't lupuk dek zaman. If it did, saudara mara tak kenal sesama sendiri.

Glad to see that you had a wonderful first few days of raya.

kay_leeda said...


Yup...I got em pics of the Merc in flames. Thought of sending it to the STAR. Dunno if it's alright with the Merc owner though...

As for Nissa, haiya...don't think she really wants to mengaku she's got roots in Senanti. Perhaps if I told her that Senanti is the royal town, ummpp...that could do the trick.

kay_leeda said...

Tai Tai,

I guess this ziarah menziarahi was one of the values our late Abah had instilled in us. First Raya meant balik kampung and beraya with the rest of the family members. That was the time to get to know saudara-mara. Tak kisah lah...saudara yang berada atau tidak, yang sakit or yang sihat, yang terpelajar or yang buta huruf ataupun yang cantik or yang comot.

We didn't understand it then, but we surely appreciate it now.

ms hart said...

Kay, who said the pics this Raya tak cun??? Cuuuun whaaaat....itu mummy punya 'mata-mata gelap' tak tahhhhaaaannn!!!! wee-weeet!

MrsNordin said...

Hi Kay,

I like it when you wrote in bahasa nogori tu. Hee.. hee... funny! My husband is from Seremban, tapi they all dah tak cakap sangat bahasa nogori tu. Kadang2 je dengar aunty dia cakap gitu...

But my mum and aunties masih cakap bahasa rawa. Ada juga sikit2 bunyi orang nogori. I'm not sure of the connection, tho'.

Nice pictures!

kay_leeda said...

Ms Hart,

Ok lah, raya pics this year kalu diberi rating, boleh dapat 5 out of 10. Average je..hehe...hehe.

Yezzzaaa...apa-apa pun "spek" kena mengancam. Ala-ala bila turun kereta, ohh.."spek" orang perasan dulu. Layannnn...

kay_leeda said...

Hi MrsNordin,

Selamat Hari Raya to you dan thank you coz sudi singgah. Macam singgah Raya pulak eh.. :)

Writing (and speaking) in neghori, well at times menjadi, at times tidak. Some words can be a bit tricky. Silap-silap pronunciation nyer lariiii...and jadik lain makna.

I must thank my late grandma for being a pure Pilahan (from Kuala Pilah, that is). She spoke none other than the dialect. Our back neighbour was from Kelantan. Listening to both of them speak was awesome. Ayam and itik bercakap, BUT somehow they were able to comprehend each other. Amazing!!!

Dialect Rawa tu, ada bunyi-bunyi macam cakap orang Minang ke?