Skip to main content

Balik kampung: Yes or No?



The upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr celebration is a major event which takes many Muslims back to the family home. It is arguably the most important social reunion because it  allows returnees to reconnect either with family members or long-time friends in the old hometown.

Such events are called balik kampung in Malaysia and mudik lebaran in Indonesia. The other opportunities for such gatherings are funerals, religious festivals and ceremonies.

It is usually an emotional reunion between the returnees and their loved ones. After being apart for some time  -- years in the case of some -- they are coming together to honour the first day of Syawal. As they greet each other, their eyes fill with tears. You feel the affection and tenderness.

But life is never neat and tidy. Many of us have had to deal with meddling relatives and/or unresolved family conflicts. Unsurprisingly, the prospect of a family reunion fills some with dread. The interaction may unleash pent-up frustration and the scary scenario is partly to blame for the fear. The solution to the dilemma is to skip gatherings or occasions that bring the family together. Better safe than sorry seems to be the prevailing philosophy.

Research confirms the above. Four out of five people have attended a "miserable" family reunion, according to a study conducted by VitalSmarts and the authors of the New York Times bestseller, Crucial Conversations.

And the findings show that "it's almost inevitable that bad behaviour will surface at your next family gathering".

The three most common complaints are "bad attitudes and grumpy relatives", "cold wars between relatives who dislike and avoid one another" and "conflict between relatives who don't get along".

If you are feeling a little afraid at the thought of joining your relatives in the old hometown for the Eid-ul-Fitr celebration, click here for tips.

Comments

Popular Posts

My year at The Rakyat Post

Dec 31, 2014, the last day of the year and the end of my one year stint at The Rakyat Post , an online news portal.
Educational is the best way to sum up my year at The Rakyat Post.
Leaving your comfort zone is intimidating at first; it has a steep learning curve. But now I wish I had done it sooner and the whole exercise reaffirms my motto: “learn, learn, learn”.
Einstein was spot on when he said, “Learning is not a product of schooling but the lifelong attempt to acquire it”.
When I left theNew Straits Times to join The Rakyat Post on Jan 3, 2014, I didn’t know what to expect.
Nelson Fernandez, also known was Mohd Ridzwan Abdullah, had invited me to join him at the website this time last year.



He was charged with assembling a team to provide content for the portal. And I am glad I said yes.
Switching from traditional journalism to online journalism is challenging, as anyone who had made that transition will tell you.
Editorial content is disseminated by way of the internet as opposed to pub…

Rumi's gift

You've no idea how hard I've looked for a gift to bring You. Nothing seemed right. What's the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the Ocean.
Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient.
It's no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these.
So- I've brought you a mirror.
Look at yourself and remember me.

Jalaluddin Rumi said it all.  
That's her in the mirror. The face is the mirror of the soul. 
She sees joy, despair, hope, doubt.
This is the end of another year in her life. A time to reflect and express her emotions. Love, forgiveness, healing and trust dominate all kinds of thoughts.
She did many things right but she wavered too.

Listen to your inner voice. Pressure? Deal with it! Quiet successes inspire her with confidence. Failures provide just the spur she needs. As she looks back on the past year, she is grateful that she got through it. Rumi, thank you for your gift!

Koh Soo Ling: Letter perfect love

I will not be able to attend my friend's wedding because I will be in Kuching, Sarawak on the day of the reception. When duty calls, ...
That is so sad. I will make it up to you Koh Soo Ling, who is pictured here with husband Michael Howard.
Soo Ling has found happiness with a wonderful Irish man who loves her with an intensity that makes her heart flutter.
She will begin a new life in Ireland and the prospect of living in the countryside fills her with excitement.
She will love her man, take care of him, cook and bake for him, take part in community life and write, write and write. 
Yes, Soo Ling will continue to write for New Sunday Times and she promises to share her activities with readers in Malaysia.
Theirs is not a whirlwind romance. They started as pen pals, two teenagers who were eager to learn about foreign cultures.
Pen pal relationships are so mysterious. Some write to their friends abroad for only a short time; others continue to swap letters and gifts in their old age.
Yet o…