Raya, Bruneian Style- an observation.

Its that time of the year again, when we all flock into the the buzz and hectic-ness in that of a Hari Raya fervor. It is in this occasion when people go nuts at about anything: massive 'sales', endless snaps of photos, katok this and katok that and so on and so on. Despite all the forewarnings and heeds said both on tv, radios and even in religious sermons, people almost turned deaf-ears on separating the thin line of what they had done as opposed to what they should do (which adviced everyone to celebrate the Eid in moderation and not overdoing it). But as always, in this scenario, based on the most acceptable excuse of 'setahun~ hanya sekali~' or loosely translates 'once a year' (part of the lyrics from a popular Raya anthem), so everything goes.

So, okay, I can understand, the enthusiasm and efforts taken into beautifying the houses and redecorating what's lacking the 'umphh' factor of the umphhless areas at home, hence led to the frenzy amongst people in shopping for whichever details of the interior as well as the exterior of their homes, like furniture, curtains and even in the most extreme of cases a new living room almost like hostile countries engaging in an arms race-like fashion. Interesting to note, whenever relatives or friends come over to visit, upon realising that the house had been refurbished and somewhat renovated in an elegant ala' mini Burj al Arab grandeur based from a small house tour like those we see in MTV Cribs, in pure amazement or just plain jealousy facade a huge cry of "WOOOOWWWWW!!!~~" came into life.

On the eve of Raya, I found that heading for Gadong or other shopping areas would be a big 'No-no', even Tim Gunn from the hit show Project Runway would advice me to NOT "work it". You'll definitely end up spending a whole hour just so you could stop by to your favourite coffee spot and order a cup of coffee to-go, when usually, it'll take you about 10-15 minutes in doing so. (True story, happened to me and my sisters on the eve of Raya.LOL). So what is up with last minute shopping? Importantly, what is it with last minute visit to the gas stations? Can't they perform these things earlier?

Ladies and gentlemen, this is our Raya culture. A culture that is neither too wrong to point out, nor to ignore. Because at the end of the day, our purpose is similar, to impress and to produce comfort to our visitors. I'm not saying its wrong, not even suggesting that I'd recommend such measures and sweat to be done in every household when Raya season comes along, but rather puzzled in this odd tradition that we always do. Perhaps I'm too naive, and too young to understand. Despite that, at the end of the day, I realised, since I'm most certainly visiting people during the Raya, what I can say is kudos on making me feel comfortable in your beautiful and decorated humble abode, afterall, these things happen 'setahun~ hanya sekali~' :)

Selamat hari Raya everyone;)

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