KUALA TERENGGANU: The delicious rendang and lemang are ready. The duit raya has been neatly packed into green packets and all Ismail Mat Noor and his wife Juliah Ahmad need to complete their Hari Raya joy is the reunion with their six children and grandchildren.
Ismail, 63, said the Hari Raya celebration would be meaningless without seeing and hearing the laughter and voices of his children and grandchildren.
“We look forward every year to Hari Raya as our family can come together. It is always a joy to see our children but we are most excited to see our two grandchildren,” he said.
He added that his home in Kampung Batin, Seberang Takir here, has been the venue of countless Hari Raya family reunions for more than 40 years now.
Ismail, whose children are successful in their respective jobs as doctors and engineers, would never miss celebrating Hari Raya with them.
“I never asked much from them, only that they come back for Hari Raya as it is one of best time for the family to get to gather.
“However, this year, our eldest daughter Norlina, 31, who lives in Seremban has to go back to her in-law’s place in Perak. She was here last year,” he said.
Ismail said that their second daughter Norwani, 29, who is a doctor in Kuala Keriang, Kelantan, would be coming back with their toddler grandson on the eve of Hari Raya.
“Our other children are mostly working within the state,” he said.
“The duit raya and kuih are secondary to having the family together again,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Norwani said she was so happy to come back this year after missing the family reunion as she had to be on call at the hospital in Seremban for the past two years.
“This year I moved to University Sains Malaysia Hospital (HUSM) in Kubang Kerian with my husband and three-year-old son.
“My son is the most excited to see his Atuk and Nenek, who never fail to spoil him with candy and other goodies,” she said.
Dr Norwani said there was nothing that could replace the special feeling of being with family during Hari Raya.
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