A ‘90s kid’s reflection on her best-loved Raya memories

Raise your hand if you’re a ‘90s kid! Be it gathering with the neighbor’s kids to set off the mercun buluh or mercun roket, or sending to one another Raya greeting cards (using snail-mail, or delivered by hand), Aidilfitri to someone born in the ‘90s and earlier will always come with a tinge of nostalgia for the what-it-used-to-be-like. We know, we know, we sound like one of the aunties talking about the old times, but hear us out on this: Raya nowadays just doesn’t feel the same anymore.

Are we the only ones with the nostalgic feels? We asked our friends to share personal stories of their Raya memories of the ‘90s, and compiled them here. Just so you can cry all you want, as you reminisce the days when you used to receive duit raya instead of having to give it out now.


The “balik kampung” urban legends


It’s late at night, and all of the cousins are still wide awake. What better way to spend the rest of the night than sharing ghost stories, right? Suddenly, everyone claims to have seen ghosts before. 🙄

For us, the ghost story of a driverless yellow Volkswagen at the Karak highway remains legendary to this very day. Whether it is an urban legend or not, it’s a great conversation topic to keep your driver alert and spooked out throughout the journey! Word has it, you are not supposed to overtake the car if you spot it on the highway. And if you do, it will still somehow mysteriously appear in front of you. It’s that freaky! Whether you believe it or not, the thought of seeing a driverless car chugging along a highway should be enough to give you the shudders, right?


The obligated sleepover with the cousins in the living hall


There are just not enough rooms to sleep at Atok’s place. As the rooms are usually taken up by small families that need private space to tend to the younger kids and babies, the teenagers would usually have to sleep in the living hall, and endure with snores and all.

The trick to having a good night’s sleep is to securing the best spot. We had to be vigilant on when Nenek would take out the mattresses. The best spot and one that would make everyone go green with envy, in my opinion, would be one that is in the middle of the living hall, in front of the TV and right below the fan. If you’re late, well, there’s always the sofa, or the hallway, next to the cat. 😂


The ordeal of ironing everyone’s baju raya

If you’re a girl, chances are, you’ve probably encountered this experience at least once during Raya. You’d think being the first to iron your baju raya was a good move so that you would have plenty of time to get dressed. But halfway into ironing your own baju, the rest of the cousins would come up to you one by one with their own baju raya, and pleading eyes. Sigh.


The anticipation of moon sighting to usher in Aidilfitri

Back in the ‘90s, we would hold up our binoculars and get all excited over the sight of the Aidilfitri moon on the eve of Raya.

Back then, moon sighting used to be one of the most common ways to determine Aidilfitri. After sighting the moon, all of us would then sit in front of the TV, anticipating the official Raya announcement by the Keeper of the Ruler’s Seal. Kids these days just check their social media feed. Borrrriiiiinng!


The warm “Assalamualaikum… kami datang nak raya!” greeting

The most special part of Aidilfitri is how festive the celebration can be, just by listening to the warm and friendly greetings hollered by people in the kampung. Kids do not just “Raya” at their families and friends’ homes, they would also knock on neighbors’ houses spontaneously, too! 😅

While kids these days are mostly about “Who gets the most duit raya?”, and receive a lot more than we used to, we would relish even in receiving 50 sen from that pakcik who lived down the road, as it was still enough to buy nasi lemak and ais krim potong!

Skip the traditional balik kampung exodus and squeeze in some family vacations during the Raya season this year. You can always count on Traveloka’s promotions to be there for you when you’re in need of a good deal!

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