Sunday, September 13, 2009

In memory of the dearly departed.........

With it being the final Sunday before Hari Raya (well, next Sunday might still be a fasting day if the new moon is not sighted on Saturday), families in Brunei take the opportunities to visit the graves of the departed loved ones. Go past any cemetery, you can see traffic jams (on the second thought, avoid the cemetery areas!).

It is a tradition that families go to pay their respects and offer prayers to those who had eternally departed. Many years ago, families would go in the morning of the first day of Hari Raya. Over the years, the practice changed and families went during the fasting month instead. Apart from offering prayers,the graveyard would be cleared and cleaned, grass would be trimmed and kept short and scented water would be poured over the grave of the loved ones. Certain families woud offer sedakah, normally in the form of a dollar note.

Today, together with some close and distant relatives (to be honest I did not recognise more than half of the faces who came along), we went to visit five places. The first site we went to wason Jalan Putat, an area quite remote and would take an hour to get from Bandar. Some relaties were buried there, as the place was quite easily accessible by boats and my families actually originated from Kampung Ayer. The next place was Lumapas Cemetery, where I was told my dad's mum and my mum's dad were buried. We then went to Kubah Makam along Jalan Tutong, where my dad's dad and my mum's mum were buried. The fourth place was the Subok cemetery, where two of my elder brothers were buried. The final place was the Kianggeh cemetery; I honestly do not know whose grave we were visiting.

Perhaps next week and also on the morning of the first day of Hari Raya, we will be visiting my mum's grave at the Batu Tiga cemetery in Kuala Belait. It will be an emotional visit.

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