Kampung Dodol family house serves as a homing beacon

All in the family: Mahani (left) giving duit raya to her grandchild while the rest of the family greet each other on the first day of Hari Raya in Kampung Dodol, George Town. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star


GEORGE TOWN: A wooden house that is steeped in tradition and history has become a timeless ode to the enduring bonds of Mahani Omar’s family.

For many years, family members of three generations have converged on the house in Kampung Dodol here to celebrate the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

With sticky fingers and delighted smiles, they would savour the flavours of Hari Raya, experiencing the rich tapestry of Malay cuisine first-hand.

Mahani, 67, said she was glad to see her children and grandchildren on this special occasion.

“I prepared a variety of cookies and kuih for everyone. We are not limiting the celebration to just the family, but neighbours as well.

“It’s rare to find moments like this now, especially in a village, and I’m glad my children are still making the effort to come home and celebrate,” she said.

Her son Saiful Hizat Sazali, a cargo officer, said they really looked forward to the gathering.

“We count our blessings and express gratitude to our ancestors each time we are here.

“This inherited house is over 50 years old and this is where my mother grew up and raised us.

“Due to its significance, we would gather here for almost every occasion besides Hari Raya. It keeps our family bond strong.

“Other relatives and friends from far and near would visit us and my mother would never feel quiet here,” said the 38-year-old on Wednesday.

While the adults would mingle at home after morning prayers at the nearby mosque, the children would spend the day playing outside the house.

Green packets containing duit raya were also given out to the young as a token of blessings.

Elsewhere in the village, families dressed in traditional outfits were seen greeting each other “Selamat Hari Raya”.

Kampung Dodol, which was once a rural village on the outskirts of town, is said to be among the oldest and last few Malay heritage villages left in the city.

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