The Fever..

2.30 pm: “Satu hari di Hari Raya…..” by M. Nasir on the radio.

Right then, it only registered in my cerebrum that raya is just 5 days away…

9.00 pm: “The sound of thunder woke me up from my sleep… Wait a minute, false alarm. A loud BANG followed by an echo, I think that’s the ban ‘Thunder Clapper’.A distant away some colourful fireworks in the nite sky.

Wanted to scream being woken up from my sleep but this is the norm at this time of the year..

11.00 pm: Watching CSI with the background of firecrackers and on top of that house smells like a bakery with mum’s baking …

More signs that raya is near….

The new moon will be sighted this Sunday, to determine a Monday or a Tuesday start of…I hope its the later.

Hari Raya or Eid Mubarak is the biggest Muslim festival. It is a time Bruneian get dressed up in their newest and sparkliest outfit, a day they open their homes to welcome visit from friends and relatives, a time to come together in unity for forgiveness, peace, love and brotherhood.

The first day is usually a family day, for me a day spent at the Gran’s, where all the uncles, aunties and cousins will congregate and spent a day from lunch till the evening, eating, welcoming visiting relatives and friends, eating and more eating. The next few days that followed will be hectic with more visiting houses and being a small country with a small population community, everyone is somehow related or friends of another, you can just imagine the number of houses to visit.

We Bruneians tend to go overboard with Raya especially now with the Brunei Grand Sale coinciding with the festivities, its hard not to ignore the amount of money spent and the debt accumulating.( afterall according to statistics, the population is a ‘credit-card/loan economy’ and we are in debt in the Billions.)

Hari Raya celebration will continue for a month even during office hours where colleagues will take turn having open houses inviting the whole department, so a low productivity level during the month is a norm. With all these 1001 things leading up to the first day of Syawal, its hard not to feel the festive fever……

Alarmingly it is a season of accidents, Bruneian spent about 60 percent of their raya time traveling on the road hence greater risks and exposure. Let us not be one of the statistics, lets do our part Insya Allah… Drive Safely & Buckle Up! Selamat Hari Raya…

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