This year Hari Raya was a mixed kind of celebrations for me. I would describe this year's raya as being cheerful and at times somber. The happy part is that I got to "Balik kampung" to my hometown in Sungai Petani a fast developing town that has become crowded because of the penangites who are coming in droves to make it their new homes.
The journey back home was tiring because of the traffic crawls all the way from KL to my hometown. The traffic would ease a little but then would return to a crawl once as it hits a major town. I reached my kampung half an hour before midnight after starting my journey at 3 pm after the Friday prayers. The happiness is in the travelling. What makes the raya is the traffic crawl. Once in my dad's home, all the so called modern amenities are not there anymore. I talking about the air cond, the flat screen tv, the wifi, the hot water shower and the toilet bowl. Mind you at a veteran age you find it difficult to use the squat toilet. I don't know how my dad does it. He's already 80 plus years old.
A fiend of mine who is a very successful lawyer would tell me that his children refused to balik kampung because of the lack of these modern amenities. A a result he and his family would stay at a hotel in his hometown and would visit his parents only during the days . They would return to the hotel for the night. I think we are changing. The society is changing. I think it is much more acceptable now to stay at the hotel when you "balik kampung".
I really ope that the notion of balik kampung would continue in perpetuity. It is part an parcel of the Raya. I heard that the Indonesians would in drove would return to their kampung halaman in droves during the Raya holidays. Jakarta is a dead town during the Raya.
Selamat Hari Raya to all.