Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Eid ul-Fitr 2011

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The main entrance to the Embassy of Malaysia in Tokyo.

For Malaysians, it is a double celebration on the last two days of August this year, as we celebrate the Eid ul-Fitri or more commonly known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri in Malaysia, and also our nation's 54th Independence Day on 31 August 2011. Just like previous days, the Embassy of Malaysia in Tokyo held their annual Hari Raya Aildilfitri celebration in Shibuya, Tokyo.

This is my third time attending this double-celebration at the embassy, but I gotta say the celebration this year was much a smaller scale compared to the previous years.

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Something "extraordinary" happened that caught their attention haha!

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A huge colourful bouquet of flowers by Rasa Malaysia Restaurant in Ginza, to welcome the guests to the open house.

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There was already a long queue for food when we arrived.

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Catered Indian food was served on Hari Raya Aidilfitri. But that is what makes Malaysia unique, isn't it?

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Delicious home-made kuih raya and deserts were served as well.

In terms of the number of guests who went to the embassy, the attendance was relatively lower. I guess the fact that Hari Raya Aidilfitri this year fell on the middle of the summer holiday in Japan, most of the students had gone back to their hometowns to celebrate it with their family and loved ones.

The guests at the embassy were mainly the newly arrived juniors, new faces whom the orang lama (old people) like us have not seen before.

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The beautiful garden which is only opened to public during special occasions.

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A group photo with the staffs from the Embassy.

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Another group photo, this time with the Malaysian students.

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Third group photo, with Amy's gang.

The open house started at nine-thirty and was supposed to end at noon. Mr Takeo Kishida, the CEO from "Feel Japan with K", a travel agency however, arrived there at eleven-thirty. He was there to cover the event but unfortunately, most of the guests had left the place and the food has also finished by the time he was there lol! He scrambled around the place, in an attempt to look for people to have their photos taken. We were asked to pick up random cookies and smile to the camera, to recreate the Hari Raya atmosphere earlier in the morning haha!

After the open house at the Embassy, we headed to the Embassy's staff apartment in Kamimeguro as they organised open houses for Malaysian students too.

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Abang Dzul giving the directions to the staff apartment.

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To have Malaysians in their bright and colourful traditional costumes, walking on the streets while carrying white plastic bags of the food 
tapao-ed from the open house in Tokyo was indeed a rare sight.

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Having some light moments while waiting at the bus stop.

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Finally, after a ten-minute bus ride, we arrived at the staff apartment.

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This staff apartment of the Embassy of Malaysia in Tokyo was officiated by the wife of our former Prime Minister, Dr. Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali exactly twenty years ago.

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Took a group photo at the main entrance, before we got in.

The first open house we went was Puan Siti Zaharah, the Counselor for the Public Service Department's (PSD) Education and Training office in the Embassy of Malaysia in Tokyo unit. We were there quite early, but there were already a big group who went there much earlier than us. The main menu of the day was the famous Kelantanese nasi kerabu, as Puan Siti herself hails from Kelantan.

The rendang and ketupat was great as well.

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Besides nasi kerabu (blue-coloured rice on the left), nasi dagang (brown one on the right) from Terengganu was served as well.

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The ketupat and nasi himpit, which was superb when taken together with the kuah kacang (peanut sauce).

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Cakes, cookies and kuih, which are all home-made ones.

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Everyone was in their traditional costumes, while I went there wearing a t-shirt bearing the word "JAPAN". I guess I should get a pair of 
baju Melayu soon (provided I can find the right size that fits me haha!)

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Group photo with Puan Siti and some of the students there.

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Mr Morinaka (in blue batik) was there with her family and two other staffs (one is a driver and the other a body-guard) from the Embassy of Malaysia.

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We managed to catch up with the always smiling Miss Chiba as well. She has been working in the Embassy since 1994!

Although we were away from Malaysia, the festive atmosphere was still very much alive, many thanks to the effort made by the organisers of the open house, to celebrate the happy occasions with the Malaysians who did not have the chance to return to Malaysia.

Our open house adventure continued to the third stop. The next open house was Mr Muhamad Annizam Mokhtar, the Second Secretary of the HR Department unit, just two floors below.

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Spaghetti and tomato sauce with home-made meat balls.

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Nasi himpit and cookies.

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The rendang was specially delicious!

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With Ido, his partner and Amy.

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Group photo with Mr Annizam (in green baju Melayu) and his wife, with the rest of the gang.

I would like to extend my personal thank you message to both Puan Siti and Encik Annizam for their warm hospitality at the open house. And to all my friends out there, wishing you all a Happy Eid ul-Fitr!

8 comments:

Aziana said...

Wow. Nice! Everytime i see this kind of picture, i feel sad because I always wanted to experience these things as a student in Japan. Glad that I found this blog so that I keep working to achieve that. :')

calvin said...

@ aziana:
hey, don't let this make you feel down. even though you might not be able to experience this kind of atmosphere as a student, who know one day you will have a similar chance while you visit japan?

and believe me, celebrating raya at your kampung is always the best! :D

Roshmi Sinha said...

Nice read!

Here in India we celebrated our 64th independence day on Aug. 15th.

We will pray for our ancestors during 'Tarpan' (Pitr Paksha) which will fall around the mid of September and will end on 'Mahalaya' day (27th September) - after which 'Devi Paksha' commences. Thereafter we celebrate Durga Puja/Navaratri for 10 days.

Anonymous said...

woohoo finally can post here after all this years....ok back to the question...is en annizam wife is the japanese lady on the left??if it is damn cool lorh..btw nice t shirt HAHA

Aziana said...

My birthday is on 15th of August. Indian independent day.
15 august also whe emperor of japan anounce that japan lose world war 2. :)

@calvin: yeah. I will not stop till a get to go there. ^^
thanks for sharing your experience. I made me more bersemangat to go there.

calvin said...

@ roshmi sinha:
thanks (^.^;

also, thank you for sharing some wonderful information about the interesting festivals you celebrated in your place. i've definitely learned a few new stuff from it :D

calvin said...

@ anonymous:
"after all these years"? you mean you have been reading my blog for years? another silent reader i suppose? xD

and back to your long-unanswered question. nope, that japanese lady is the wife of mr morinaka. mr annizam is happily married to another malaysian ;)

i am thinking to wear the same t-shirt when i go and watch the olympic qualifying football match between japan and malaysia later this month, although i actually wanted to wear yellow t-shirt. but then, takut later kena tangkap if i wear yellow stuff haha!

calvin said...

@ aziana:
you can have a double celebration if you go to india on august 15 next time :D

and i honestly didn't know about that world war fact. i bet you must be good in history, no? :P

i know you can do it! when i was small, i never thought i would get the chance to come to japan as well >.<