One thing I love about living in Malaysia and being a Malaysian is when one race celebrates their festival, all races within the nation celebrate it together. This was my experience back in Kuala Kangsar yesterday on the 1st day of the Chinese New Year.
My very-Chinese family attended a Malay kenduri on the 1st day of 'bunny year'. The canopy occupied the road in front of a stretch of over 10 houses! Streets were blocked to make space for cars to park. It was crowded and yet the warmth of the people being there to celebrate someone's son or daughter's marriage was deeply felt. It's like everyone knew everyone. (Honesly, I still have no idea whose wedding it was :P )
Even the ice-cream pakcik gave free ice-cream to guests!
A deejay-who-works-from-home (literally) was hired, probably a relative to the host?
The whole kompang gang was there to perform some traditional Malay music too! (check out the gong-man)
My dad bumped into many people that he knew at the kenduri, some are government servants as he is, some are long-time neighbours from his childhood! (Btw, my dad is more than half a century old) But the one that really stuck with me was the 'hair cut pakcik'!
This pakcik was my dad's neighbour when he was a kid. He testified that my dad used to always fight with my aunt while they were playing outside the house. His exact word were 'selalu gaduh dengan ah moi!' Even after my dad has moved, he visitted the pakcik regularly by bringing my brothers to his hair salon or himself for a hair cut! Yes, this pakcik has been and is still cutting hair (already 46 years and still going!) The last time I checked, his hair salon is still wooden, and open :D
I love kampung-style holidays and festivals. No matter the race and background, we all celebrate it together like one big family. It will definitely be something I will remember about my hometown, and something about Malaysia that I hope will never change :)