|This is the picture used for our family kad Raya when we were staying in Japan. It was made out as a postcard complete with spaces for message, address and a little corner to stick the stamp at the back.|
|Hari Raya open house at our house at the University of Tsukuba. Our open house was always a merry occasion as the place would be filled with hungry undergraduate "bujang" students who did not have their parents around to feed them on a Raya morning.|
My youngest daughter, Nadiah, has been pestering me to buy her kad Raya these past few days. Which is just as well, because Hari Raya is just slightly over a week away.
It is, perhaps, a sign of the times that we are not that bothered anymore with Hari Raya greeting cards.
I hold my hands up and admit, yes, I myself have not sent out any cards yet. But it's not just me. To date, I've only received a meagre few cards, whereas a few years back, by this time, there would've been one whole box of them already.
We used to love them in the old days. During my days at the boarding school, the arrival of the postman during the whole month of Ramadhan would be waited with much anticipation and excitement by us students to see how many cards we would receive every time he visited us.
When I started working, I would follow how Apak did it. I would buy loads of cards, or sometime print personalized ones so that I could send out to loved ones and acquaintances as an endearment or a gesture of respect, and true friendship.
Supermarkets and even news paper shops would stock them in all various sizes, design and a riotous of colours.
But with the advent of the IT age, another tradition looks like flying out of the window for good. The rage would be to send e-greeting cards or - for the computer illiterates amongst us - just plain sms.
How convenient. No need to buy cards. No need to buy stamps. And of course, no need to search for the post boxes.
Unfortunately, all these lack the personal touch and sincerity which goes hand in hand with the hassle one has to go through when sending out the traditional greeting cards.
So, okay Nadiah. You've got your wish. Petang ni kita pergi beli kad Raya. And I hope you would continue to hold on to this tradition.
At the very least, send it to Abah and Umi. It will light up our days.