The festive vibes have kicked in! Most of you are already back in your ‘kampungs’ eagerly waiting for the celebration to begin as preparation are still underway. Over the years, things have definitely gotten a lot easier with the advancement of technology, however doing things the Ol’ Skool’ way brings back nostalgic memories. What kind of Raya celebration do you practice? Ol’ Skool or new age?
Yesteryears: Duit Raya in packets
Today: Online transfer via e-wallet
One of the joys of Raya is receiving ‘duit Raya’. Who doesn’t like receiving money, kan? As kids, we used to get so excited to receive Raya packets and will be secretly counting the money from the packets we have throughout the celebration. Now, there’s a new way of sending Duit Raya, via e-wallet. It’s pretty convenient and it enables you to send ‘duit Raya’ to those who are unable to ‘balik kampung’ during the festive season. Well, of course, receiving duit Raya via e-wallets holds a different experience to receiving it in a Raya packet.
Yesteryears: Family comes together to bake Raya cookies
Today: We buy cookies via online through FB/Instagram/websites
It used to be a must where the whole family gathered around the dining table to prepare different types of ‘biskut’ Raya. Pssst… It was also the best time for all the makcik - makcik to ‘membawang’ together.. ;)
Now with our hectic schedules, it’s much easier to order ‘kuih’ Raya online. Just scroll through Instagram or Facebook and you will see many online bakers advertising their selection of ‘kuih’ Raya during this festive period.
Yesteryears: Beautiful Raya greeting cards sent via postal mail.
Today: Beautiful greeting GIFs and illustration via social media/WhatsApp.
We actually wrote our well wishes in ink. We signed off our “Salams”, put a stamp on it, and went to the post office. We waited for cards to come by, opened them with smiles and even had the cards hung up for decorations. Today there are no greeting cards, pen, stamp or a postman that is part of sending festive wishes across to anyone. With the influence of technology, the mobile phone is now an essential part of life. With just a touch, we’re sending wishes within seconds across time and space. GIFs, photos and illustrations of festive quotes - make up our form of wishes.
Yesteryears: Fireworks in the kampung when cousins came over
Today: Mobile games (or PlayStation) took over the outdoors
As kids, we couldn’t wait to ‘balik kampung’ to join our cousins and have a blast playing ‘mercun’ and other traditional games throughout the night. These days, things are somewhat communal too - as we find ourselves checking for mobile coverage, so we could get on social media to share updates, play online games like PUBG or Fortnite.
Yesteryears: Prepare dishes that has been a family tradition
Today: Introduce new dishes
Cooking over a makeshift fire stove out in the garden was definitely an experience. Nenek as the head chef gave out orders and made sure the rendang and lemang were cooked to perfection. Nowadays you have all sorts of fusion dishes added to the mix, like Rendang Sushi, Ayam masak ala Thai and more which adds on to the wide variety of dishes during Raya. A plus point for us as more food = satisfied tummies. However, nothing beats the taste of the traditional ‘lemang’ and ‘rendang.’ Perghhhhh….
Yesteryears: Tailor-made clothes.
Today: Online shopping
Our parents used to share how nenek would buy ‘sepapan kain’ to sew baju Raya and probably their baju happened to be the same ‘kain’ as the curtains!! YIKES!! Jimat wang lah kan. And back in the days, that was usually the trend. Now, everything can be purchased online, from baju kurung, to samping to songkok. Basically your entire Raya outfit can be purchased online.
Yesteryears: Duduk bersembang
Today: Hooked on WhatsApp and social media channels
Gathered around the table catching up with family was one of the main highlights during Aidilfitri. The conversations usually carried on through the night. These days, our phones play a bigger role than the people in front of us. It has become a neccessity to constantly check our phones for new messages or social media for the latest updates from our online friends.
Times certainly have changed. As we move forward there will be newer ways of making your Raya preparations easier. But let’s not completely forget our roots. It’s good to hold on to some traditions and to pass it on to generations to come so as to not lose the essence of the Raya celebration. This Raya, spend quality time with your loved ones, enjoy the holidays and create new memories in your ‘kampung’. Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all! <3