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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The day before

In the Land of Lightning, the day before Raya is known as 'aghi wak ttupak' (hari membuat ketupat), and the commonly known rectangular ketupat nasi is something of an alien item to us; it's 'orang luar's ketupat'. Though nowadays, with globalisation, this ketupat has made its present, albeit very isolated and minor, in the state. Our ketupat is indeed the other type, the triangular with pulut and it comes in two versions, manis and tawar. The tawar is normally taken with nnisae (gula melaka). And because ketupat is nicest when eaten fresh and it doesn't actually last long, unless re-steamed, the making of it has to be reserved to the very last minute, on the eve of raya.

Another thing we normally did on raya eve is to pay our zakat fitrah at our local mosque. However, what we normally do is, Papa would pay for half of the total family member to the authourised amil at the mosque, and for the other half... we drove to Masjid Besar (the State Mosque: Masjid Muhammadi) for a more exciting adventure.

On every Ramadhan, especially towards the end, one would find a lot (maybe in hundreds) of tok pakae (fakir miskin) around the mosque and its adjacent Padae Beng (Padang Bank or Padang Merdeka). Apart from their 'colourful' appearance and nature, they had something in common. All of them had a small sack of beras (in cupak) , normally in those brown paper bags. And it was for this:

Papa: 'Caghi hok buto'... he would asked us to. So we did, in the dim street lights... around the oblong Padae Beng.

And when we found one, Papa would sit in front of him and...

Papa: 'Assalamualaikum. Beghapo sechupok beghah ni?', he asked.
Tok pakae: 'Waalaikum Salae', and told us the price of his sack of rice.
Papa: 'Ambo beli deh', and handed him the money.
Tok pakae: 'Ambo jua', he replied and pushed forward the sack.

Papa then gave back the rice to the Tok Pakae as his zakat fitrah with its required aqad.
A very unique ritual I don't think practised in other states.


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