We are still in the month of Syawal. Happy Eid’ Ul Fitri to all my Muslim readers.
This year too, my family did not celebrate this special day because we are not in Brunei. Early morning of the first day of Syawal, I didn’t even greet my husband and in-law because I was waiting for the 2nd day of Syawal where all Bruneians celebrated the Eid’Ul Fitri (1st Syawal in Switzerland fell on 21st April) so that we could feel the Syawal mood together.
It was also my older brother’s 42nd birthday on the 1st Syawal. Through the WhatsApp video call, I could see they had a blast celebration. I was so happy to see everybody smiling and having a good time, including my mom and dad. These are the only faces I want to see first thing in the morning of Syawal.
As what our family tradition would always be, (when we were not yet married) early morning around 6 am together with my siblings, we prepared last minutes all the cakes and biscuits on special crystal containers to be served to the guests who later coming that day. We always wear our new sometimes old or new baju kurung (traditional female Malay costume) whilst my brother and dad wearing their baju cara melayu (traditional male Malay costume). My mother always the one who turns on the radio and takbir (proclaim the greatness of Allah s.w.t. which is recite during first Syawal) could be heard early in the morning. I was also my mother’s co-cook and kitchen assistant, preparing ingredients, doing the food tasting, washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen afterwards. FYI, my parents are great cooks. So first Syawal they usually cook Chicken Kurma, Curry Beef, and Mixed Veggies. These are the main dishes and are well known for the delicious taste among our relatives. Once all is ready, it is time for me and my siblings to ask forgiveness for our past bad deeds to both my parents. No angpau (green packet contain money varies from $1-$10) be given unlike what you see in the Raya Tv commercial. We never expected that from them, and I don’t think we have to. But now that we were all married and have a family of our own we give the angpau to our nephews and nieces and the kids who come to visit the house. It’s a different vibe if you’re away from your family. I miss that moment so much. Wish I was with them now.
My first Eid’Ul Fitri in Geneva, as usual, just like any normal day, but this year I was given a task to make Serimuka, a traditional cake made from sticky white rice with pandan layered on top. My first attempt surprisingly, was successful, but never have I expected the Brunei ambassador wanted me to make 3 trays of Serimuka for the 2nd day of Eid-Ul Fitri where she invited some guests to come to her residence. I had to do all 3 of them a day before and only around 2am I could finally go to bed.
So my Muslims readers how you celebrate your Eid’Ul Fitri in your country?