I celebrated Raya this year at my village in Sokor, Tanah Merah, Kelantan. Though I am a Kelantanese, the many years spent growing up in Johor, and also studying abroad makes me miss my village dearly.
Ketupat is a must during this festive season. This is opah's ketupat palas manis. Not too sweet and not too greasy, a nice balance in between. Normally she uses banana leaves to wrap it, but since its raya, she uses daun palas.
Here's my village from atop of the mountain. This used to be all palm oil trees, but the trees grew old so they cleared them to plant new ones.
It's quite far from town, more than 30 minutes if we were to travel by car.
It's a small village where the majority of people here are rubber tapers. Not sure what the younger generation work as though. I figure most of them moved outside to pursue other options.
My grandfather migrated here more than 50 years ago. I can't imagine what it looks like and how the living conditions are back then.
Prayer at the village mosque. The mosque was full.
The imam reciting the morning khutbah. The imam is a close relative of my family - he's a good man and helps us a lot.
If only our mosque are full like this in a normal day to day basis - there must be something that we can do to trigger this.
We convoyed to several relatives house.
This was the first house that we went to, the imam's house. After a month of fasting it was quite awkward to eat in the morning.
Another house, this time we were served ketupat daun pisang. My favourite. We were also served nasi minyak here.
On our way back to my grandparent's house. Oil palm trees are everywhere here. These ones are extra long.
Just to give a sense of scale.
These will all be planted with oil palm trees in the near future.
Wonder how many palm trees there are here. Must be tens of thousands.
Ketupat, rendang, biscuits, kuihs - a proud tradition of our heritage. My mom's rendang is the best ever.
Satay. We cooked this the night before raya. It was fun but tiring flapping the fan non stop.
But it was fun doing it together with relatives. Can't say that I want to do it again though, too much hassle.
Add in servings of rambutan and duku too. These were freshly picked from the trees.
And of course, the complimentary duit raya.
But the most important thing during raya is also to ask for forgiveness from everyone, especially our parents.
Lights out for the day.
Had a stroll around the village in the early morning with my aunt. She's only 4 years older than me so we get along very well.
As you can see, rubber trees are everywhere. Long ago rubber tree is all there is here, but that changed now, I say half of the estate are of rubber trees whereas the other half are of palm trees.
Though not many of the young ones here are interested, so it's a dying profesion among the locals.
My first try at automotive photography. I think it turned out quite well. I love reading and looking at pictures of cars so who knows, I might give this branch of photography a more serious go in the future.
Wish we can travel the village more but time is valuable this festive season. But it was nice stroll, the scenery was nice.
Since my grandparents lives deep inside a rubber estate, my mother was raised by my great grandmother due to them wanting to send her to school.
Her house is in Pasir Mas and we visited it.
This is 2 days before Raya so we were still fasting by then. These snacks were for the little cousins that we brought with us. It was cute to see them munching breads and drinking tea with their little hands.
The house must be more than half a century old by now. Looks like it could go down at any moment.
Nevertheless the house houses countless amounts of precious memories to my mother. She would repeat stories of her childhood repeatedly, walking 5 km to school every weekdays, searching for firewood during the evening, gathering up buckets of water by the river everyday.
I used to find those stories boring, but as I grew older, and with more experience by my side, I find it quite fascinating.
But no, never would I want to experience living like that even for a month.
The thorny branches of a salak tree.
Never tasted the fruit before, but my family and cousins love them. They say it is the best tasting fruit in existance.
Chicklets of ayam kampung. English people calls them Malay Chicken, don't know why though. Due to them being more active than normal chicken, their muscles are stronger and more defined. This makes its meat chunkier than normal, and to many tastier too.
The higher prices in the market makes it quite a premium product for townspeople. Though I'm sure my aunts don't care about that - it's more of a hobby and nothing else.
It's time for us to go to our next destination.
Each village, each house has their own story - it's up to us to know them and not let it be forgotten with time - so that we are able share them with the younger generation.
The world is moving too fast, faster than we can crawl.
This is just a simple entry about my village - I think that one day, I'll show these pictures to my kids so that they know how their ancestors live before them. I never experienced it first hand, my mother and father does, but at least I can say that I can imagine how they live before this.