Many factors contribute to this result. The major factor would be, lack understanding on the purpose of this celebration is to mark the history of holy sacrifice done by Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). The willingness of a father to sacrifice of his son, Prophet Ismail (Ishmael) as an act of obedient to God, before God intervened to provide him a ram to sacrifice instead.
Other factor would be, no additional holiday gazetted by private company. Most people from far away states unable to come home to celebrate with family and friend. That is what Eid is all about for all Malaysian. “Balik Kampong” or literally means return to hometown is a must during big festivals.
Anyway, I am lucky because my kampong is not far way, only 45 minutes drive from my place. Same goes to my wife’s kampong also about the same distance. Last Aidil Adha, I reached Singkir Laut just before the prayer. As I mentioned earlier not so many people from far away states return home. I saw a couple of childhood friends outside mosque after the prayer. Have a quick catch-up session and went home to eat “ketupat pulut”, a special Eid food in North Malaysia. It is glutinous rice (sticky rice) wrapped in a “palas” leaves (type of small palm tree) and boil to cook. Some people prepare it by steaming the rice. Normally it is served with beef curry and “rendang”(Chicken or beef cook in a special fragrant sauce).
After that, we went to my sister’s home in Sungai Gelam, one of kampong in the famous Bujang Valley. The Bujang Valley or Lembah Bujang http://www.visitkedah.com.my/places_lb.html is a sprawling historical complex and has an area of approximately 224 square km. Situated near Merbok, Kedah, between Gunung Jerai in the north and Muda River in the south, it is the richest archaeological area in Malaysia.
There, we had more “ketupat pulut” and a big lunch of a special kampong dishes. My brother in-law caught a big “ikan pari” (stingray) in a nearby Merbok River http://www.visitkedah.com.my/places_sm.html and he wanted to charcoal grill the fish. Wow!!, the fish was so fresh it has not been iced or refrigerated. Imagine how sweet, juicy and tender the fresh fish going to be.
Our lunch also accompanied with “siput lala” (baby mussel) broth and fresh salads, lettuce and fragrant (selom) leaves. OMG - simple dishes that bring all the original flavor of Northern Region food. I love it so much. I think most of our comfort foods are simple foods. Nice and easy to prepare. Simply delicious!
|Our whole big lunch dishes.|
|Selom Leaves Salad ("Ulam")|
|Baby Mussel (Siput Lala)|
|Local lettuce salad ("Ulam")|