Menunggu open house baru nak pergi melawat.
I don't know when this culture began but has for some reason become a well-accepted one.
This year, I was all set on changing that culture and practice. I believe that you shouldn't wait for invitations for houses to be "open". It's Raya so houses should be open all the time (with certain limitations, of course). As it is, our time with family is now limited to only weekends and festivities and now this; having to wait until you're invited to go to some aunt's our uncle's or relative's house before you can actually visit?
Absurd, I say!
So this year, at every opportunity I got, I visited friends and families alike. Not exactly easy with an overly active toddler in hand, whose timing and mood is pretty unpredictable most of the time, but do-able all the same.
And with that, this year's Raya has become one of the most enjoyable ones I've had in the longest time (actually since I started to not get the green sampuls for myself, boohoo!).
But in all seriousness, there's just something about visiting some other person's house (not during an open house), which promotes a certain closeness and forges a bond between the guest and host.
When you visit a person or family (not during an open house), they are in their (for lack of better word) "rawest" form; they are probably in their casual clothes and they'll probably serve whatever it is they were planning to have for dinner or tea or lunch. And frankly, for the one visiting, it doesn't really matter (for me at least) because the whole point of the visit was to keep in touch, to inquire about each others' well being, to catch up and to make sure that silaturrahim tidak terputus.
Visit your aunts and uncles and relatives and friends. Be mindful of your manners, never overstay your welcome and always be sure to be grateful for their efforts in trying to make you feel at home.
Likewise, open up your houses to children. Let your relatives and neighbours come over. Get the satisfaction of seeing them sprawled on your living room carpet after a lovely homemade meal that you cooked, biarlah ikan goreng dan sayur rebus sahaja sekalipun.
And pray and hope that in the event we predecease our husband and children, they would have more than just their family members' houses to call a place their home.