Hari Raya, happy ke?

Raya is supposed to bring people close together but somehow I felt a bit distanced this year. Perhaps its my self diagnosed cyclothymia. Or just the things left unsaid.

No proper family photo.

No sesi salam2 cium tangan, cium lutut (LOL) mintak ampun. When in fact, I was very enthusiastic in Ramadhan to clean my house and get it sorted for Eid early on. Despite that, I pulled through the festivities. Get those eyebrows don, eyeliner on point, plaster on a fake smile and here we go. Seeking pleasure in the little acts of kindness and sedekah. InsyaAllah.

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I like giving away duit raya to the kids. It  is not a hefty sum but it’s enough. It is a form of sedekah. We started our morning with light breakfast at my MILs house followed by the Eid prayers. Then, we went to visit my husbands relatives before driving off to my parents house 2 hours away.

I have never actually visited the graves of my grandparents. My parents never brought me. My parents never did the same. They also hardly spoke of them – kinda reminds me of the Pixar movie, COco. Did something happen before that I do not know off? To be honest, the only living grandparent I get to meet for a while was my maternal granddad. I only remember him loving to watch that late night show of WWE wrestling. I have very little memories of him. Hence, when people say he was funny or smart – I am unable to relate.

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Kuih lapis is almost a must in any Sarawakians home for Hari Raya. Only difference being when you’re a Sarawakian living outside the state, your choice of kuih lapis is a bit less extravagant. We choose those simple straight line design but in Kuching (my hometown), you have all sorts of kuih design laid out on the table.

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My sister being the 3rd greatest cook in our family invited us over to her house on the 2nd day of Raya. Her menu spread was a fusion of Tganu-Srwk dishes which are Nasi Minyak + Laksa Sarawak. I think we spent about 5 hours at her place eating and eating with solat and movie watching in between. My dad even had an hour nap at her house. We watched The Pool ( A thailand thriller) and what was supposed to be a movie of suspense turned into a comedy once my brothers laced it with their humorous commentaries. Gosh. It was the same when we watched Misteri Delaila. Zul Ariffin became comical when I watched it with my brothers as they laughed at every emotional outbursts this muscular actor’s dialogues.

I had thought that Raya was over after spending 2 nights at my parents place but Mr Husband decided to end the trip with a short excursion to Bayou Lagoon Resort in Melaka. Till the next blog entry yah!

Ramadhan 1438H

As usual, I am oncall on Eid. This time its the 2nd day of EID. Despite that, preparations are still ongoing for the big day. We will be going over to my MILs house on the first and then to my moms on the 3rd.

I have yet to master the art of cooking rendang and kuih kacang. So not domestic but it’s OK.. I pun merancang nak beraya kat rumah orang. HA ha ha. Although cooking Eid culinary dishes is not my main forte, I still make it a point to prepare other things like;

  1. Parcel Kasih Sayang  – This is a must every year to my girls of Sharoe Green Lane and Lily Tensai. The list is tremendously growing as I include more people that matters a lot in my life into the list. This personal tradition started when I was in medical school and I enjoyed putting up these gift parcels so much that I decided to do it at least once a year.   20170610_123817  20170610_113729
  2. Duit Raya – to the many nephews and nieces of my siblings and cousins, friends children, staff’s kids and of course my favourite, warded kids during Eid. Which is one of the reasons why I don’t get sad for being oncall on that day. I don’t give out a lot but I’m sure the sick kids would enjoy the money packet design more than my RM2 in the envelope.  FB_IMG_1497663261220
  3. Kuching trip – I try to visit my relatives in Kuching every year. Be it during Eid or otherwise. I have been drafting my list of souvenirs and kuih lapis recipients. LOL. It’s an annual gesture as a little ambassador of my state Sarawak. And of course a little Thank You for letting me take a long leave to go back home.

Then there’s the usual cleaning and stuff. HUhu. Thank God post-raya Mr Husband is on his semester break. So he will foresee most of the house chores and initiate our Projek Mega for the house. yeay..

 

Of Duit and Duit Raya Anak

As a young, novice parent, a mother of one who does not know the value of money yet … I feel obliged to make my boy’s money work for him till he knows better. This means all that he got during the recent Raya goes straight into the bank.

 

You Reap What You Sow 

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When I was a child, my Mother was a home maker. She still is now. She has no high formal education which results in no proper 9 – 5 job. She was raised in a large family with lots of siblings and together with her older sisters, they were forced out of education because of poverty. Her younger sisters however were told to stay in school for the better of all.

Hardship however taught her the value of money. And the importance of having savings. 

After being married to Father who was a civil servant, she received a monthly allowance to manage the household. Its a once a month ‘fund’ and from that she has to figure out how much to use for what. So the usual benefactors included bills, groceries, fuel and such. Being the smart woman that she is, she added another ‘category’ – children s saving accounts.

Her deposits into our accounts were not hundreds at a time but it was consistent. She also made us save part of our duit raya or birthday ang pow to put inside the tabung. She would frown if she caught us ‘taking an overdraft’ from the piggy banks and made us save double the usual portion.

She made us do chores in exchange of money. We swept, cleaned, scrubbed and mopped. So far, she hasn’t made us sell kuih in the neighbourhood but I guess we got the idea.

Since Mr Husband insists on being the sole breadwinner of this family – meaning he wants to pay for everything… this then leaves me a working mother,  to put my money into good use. Which is part of my salary after putting aside for myself and my mother, would go to my dear boy.

I also practice a form of Spontaneous Saving Technique. Everytime I get a MYR20 bill note, I would not spend it. Instead, I will keep it and put it in my boys account. Easy, right..

I have read of some people doing the weekly savings ; For instance, a $1 for the first of Jan, $2 for the next week and the increments are in a $1 until you reach week 52 of the calendar where you have to pay $52 for that week. Interesting saving tips..

I wonder though if there are any other tips out there.. for saving money.