What else is new this Raya? (Image: www.wakeupnews.eu)
As you grow older, there are some things that will never be the same during Hari Raya: you stop getting duit raya, firecrackers don’t spark that festive spirit in you anymore and you start buying your baju kurung online while being paranoid with bumping into somebody wearing the same thing at every open house. But there are some things that will always remain the same for years to come.
No, we’re not talking about ketupat—we're talking about those festive TV shows and movies that only air during Hari Raya and have never changed from year to year. Don’t believe us? Just check out the list below if it sounds familiar!
The Guilt Trip Flick aka You Thought You’re Going to be Happy This Raya
Image: Harian Metro
These kinds of Raya movies have only one aim: to make you feel guilty for being someone’s child. It’s not Hari Raya if there isn’t one movie about ungrateful grown-up children who have ditched their kampung and their sad parents during the festive season to live it up in the big mean city.
Also, the parents are never just your average 'sad'—no, that just won’t do. The parents must live in some destitute hole somewhere, probably dying of terminal illness while being neglected by the entire kampung as well. Think the acclaimed 2002 Pondok Buruk telemovie where the parents, played by Fauziah Nawi and the late Ismail Din, not only live in a literal hut, but the dad also moves around in a makeshift cart because his legs are lame and bursting with maggots due to his diabetes. Maximum guilt level achieved.
This is why nobody wishes a 'Happy' Hari Raya. If you’re not crying on the first day of Eid, then you’re doing Raya wrong.
Raya Romance Films aka “Where’s Your Boyfriend” The Movie
If guilt trip movies are not going to make you cry, being single during Raya will. Not only do you have to deal with nosy relatives, who will question your relationship status, but Raya television will also tell you that the busy of month of Aidil Fitri is actually the perfect time to fall in love! With amazing titles like Tundukkan Playboy Itu Raya, Aku Nak Kahwin Raya Ni, and Isteri vs Tunang Raya, it’s not just the smell of rendang that’s sizzling in the air! So why are you still single?
If you’re avoiding your aunties and uncles to soothe your sensitive heart, we suggest skipping watching TV altogether. Or, you can watch Cinta Paling Agung, where two women fight over the cheating Aaron Aziz! See, romance is a lie!
Musical Television Shows aka We Need Background Music
Image: MeleTOP Twitter page
After getting dolled up in the morning and waiting for guests to pour in, your first instinctive move would be to turn on the TV. Cue a bunch of singers, actors, comedians and whoever else on the B-list singing classic Raya songs either on a studio stage, complete with a mock-up of kampung houses, or in somebody’s actual kampung backyard.
Every Raya has musical shows like these such as Gegar Vaganza Raya or MeleTOP Raya. The funny thing is, nobody ever watches these shows in full. Mainly because these shows usually have a lot of song and dance numbers in between that makes staying glued to the TV screen unnecessary. But other times, these shows tend to be quite awful—from a handful of unknown singers who can't hold a tune to long indulgent banters between the celebrities themselves.
Still, they provide good background music to pump up that Raya spirit while everybody is busy doing everything but watch TV. The best part is you don’t have to worry about catching these shows at the beginning because you can tune in any time!
Memorable Raya TV Commercials aka Voluntary Emotional Manipulation by Corporations
Image: Nik Khazami Blog
Before the existence of YouTube, watching Raya commercials is an activity that is full of surprise and anticipation. People would genuinely look forward to the Raya advertisements that these big companies have in store for us. Never seen the most talked about Raya commercial this year? Tough luck, you just have to keep a look out on television!
And when the commercial finally shows up on TV, not only can you finally see what the fuss is about, but you will also feel that you are, at long last, a part of the wider pop culture discussion about Raya commercials, and it feels like magic! Who can forget the hilarious Petronas’s 2003 commercial where seven brothers had to find last-minute beef for Raya?
Or this heart-crushing one from Astro last year?
For a real trip down memory lane, here’s one from Celcom in 1999 showing a monophonic ringtone!
Even though people still anticipate these Raya commercials, a quick look online would let you see all the 2016 Raya commercials in seconds! Thanks for ruining that, YouTube.
Nostalgic Films aka We Have Run Out of Raya TV Programmes
After days of Raya festivities, you suddenly start to feel a little maxed out with all things Raya. Everywhere you turn, there’s always a green ketupat dangling somewhere. Or maybe you are stuck in a relative’s house and the only source of entertainment is the television, which is filled with Raya-themed shows. Then, an unlikely film pops up and you thank God for it.
For some reason, every Raya, there will always be a film that brings out the nostalgia in everyone. It could be your classic P Ramlee films that always hit the spot, some 80s Hong Kong action flick or a Bollywood number. What these movies do, apart from giving you some breathing space from all that ketupat atmosphere, is a walk down memory lane with your loved ones. These movies are conversation starters: “Remember when we watched this in the cinema?”, “Do people really used to live like that?”.
After all the hustle and bustle of Eid celebration, nothing beats eating leftover kuih raya with close family members while watching old feel-good movies. Whether Raya flicks make you cry or laugh, it is an Aidil Fitri tradition that is here to stay. So, take your plate full of lemang and rendang and enjoy your Raya TV guilt-free! Unless you’re watching Pondok Buruk, then grab a tissue!