Friday, August 24, 2012

Another Raya Gone By.....

Another Raya, another year gone by.... I was looking forward to it being over, mainly because the roads have been jammed up quite a bit these last few weeks. There seemed to be more food stalls everywhere this year, I feel. I could be wrong. People are cooking less? Convenience? And this year, I didn't go food hunting. The thought of traffic was enough to put any of those thoughts away.... though I missed the daging with air asam.

We took a drive around on the 1st day of Raya... all the way to Kuala Kedah. From there we went onto the bund roads and found our way to Gunung Keriang. Many of the kampung houses we passed have out-of-state cars parked in their compound. Signs of changing times. The children of these farmers are now working in the urban areas. From the cars, one can also surmise that they are doing okay economically. It's a also a sign that the Malays are no longer economically backward...

We went onto one of the bund roads which led us from Kuala Kedah to Gunung Keriang.

Along the way, we stopped to let our girl see paddy close up. The view of rural Kedah is actually beautiful, except that these days it seems more marred by rubbish. All sorts of rubbish can be seen floating in the canals, strewn by the roadside and in unsightly heaps along the road.

This year too (or was it a missed observation in yesteryears?) I noticed an increase in fireworks activities. Driving on the highway one night, we saw the sky lighted up ever so often with flashes of sparkles. Sparks of fireworks decorated the night sky. We had booming and cackling sounds accompanying us for a couple of days. In fact I heard these loud booming sounds yesterday and thought that the kampung kids were playing the meriam buluh. When Other Half walked in the house, he said the sound was coming from one of those huge fireworks which we saw neighbours playing during CNY. And they do not come cheap as one box is more than a hundred ringgit. Yet another sign of economic prosperity for those firecrackers do not come cheap. To be able to burn them is also a sign of disposable income.

So, to have the government keep harping on how the Malays need economic assistance or different levels of playing field, I think is no longer valid. It's time we move on. It's time we create a level playing ground so that we can achieve better Policies on crutch create invalids. If we're honest with ourselves, if it's any group, it's the natives in Sabah and Sarawak who need more. Development has kept moving and left them behind. And it's not for the want of resources but lack of leadership.

My time was packed... in a way. And again too I am reminded how dumbed down my kids have been by our education system. Long nights of academic discussions after an equally long time of reading. Conversations, visits to and from people, lessons (yup... it's the time of the year, when exam beckons) with kids on the last legs of time...

This Raya has sort of imprinted into to me that many things are changing. Friends are leaving... kids I've taught for years have left or are in the midst of moving on to further their studies. Nests are getting emptier.

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