When I was younger, I used to wait in anticipation for Aidilfitri to arrive. For one whole month, Muslims fast in order to feel the plight of the less fortunate, and at the end of one month, we go all out to celebrate in style. New clothes were bought, houses were painted, and delicious traditional cookies and cakes were baked. Relatives visited one another and sparklers were lit. Now that I've grown older, I realise how archaic this whole celebration is.
Now don't get me wrong. I do enjoy the abundance of good food available. I love meeting up and going on excursions around the island to the various homes of friends. But I do wonder whether the actual symbolism of this celebration is lost today. In the midst of celebrating, have we lost the true meaning of Ramadhan and the need to reflect upon the past year, on our misgivings and on those who are still suffering?
At the same time, I find the whole need to revamp your home completely ridiculous. Just because there's a celebration, people are going all out to buy new curtains, new cushion covers, new everything. I have to admit, I was fascinated with this years ago; participated readily in it as well. People would wait until the bazaar was set up to get all these items. To me, if you want new curtains, get them whenever, whatever the time. It could be because you're bored with the color or you feel like a change. Don't change it because there's people coming over to your house. To change the settings of your home to accomodate to people so that they wouldn't judge you is such an incomprehensible concept to me. People would still judge and you're still gonna get judged, so why bother in the first place? The most important thing I think is to make things neat, as it should be all year round, so I don't exactly get this flutter of activity during this period of time.
What I do love about AIdilfitri is of course the songs blasting from the radio. It reminds me so much of when my grandparents were still around, and when all the cousins would go over to their place and make rice cakes. It's not so much the songs that I love, but the memories that comes back to mind whenever those songs wafted through the air. Those were the good memories.