Friday, September 9, 2011

Kampung Ku...

I didn’t go back to my kampong on the second day of raya. Instead, we went back on the third day of raya. I’m glad that we made that decision because the traffic jam on the second day was really bad. It started from Paroi all the way to Kuala Pilah. The traffic only eased up at 11pm.

Since we left Seremban quite late, we reached our kampong around noon. I thought I was the last to arrive there, but instead we were the first. As usual, we stopped at my Alang’s (my mom’s youngest sister) house first to say hi.

After that, we went to my mom’s house. My mom didn't stay there. My Angah (my mom’s sister), who is a widow stayed there alone. Eventhough she is alone, my Alang is there to keep her company.

My mom house is an old house. She inherited it from my great grandmother. The house was built in 30’s by my late great grandmother, and it was made from kayu cengal. 

If you are not familiar with Negeri Sembilan’s customs, the properties are inherited by the female members of the family. There’s a reason to it, like protecting the women. The women would still have a place to stay if her marriage failed or her husband died. The women would still have a means to get her food by planting rice or farming.

Since my great grandmother had only one daughter, her properties automatically belong to her daughter. Unfortunately, she passed away at a young age, and the properties now belong to my mom and aunties.

Whenever we went back home, we will always go back to my mom’s house. It is a big house, but with only person living in there. The only place that being occupied in the house is the lower level. My Angah only occupied the lower floor where there were two rooms and a kitchen. The upstairs area was not occupied.

The original structure of the house has been modified by my dad. The original kitchen was on the same level with the main house, but in the early 70’s, he tore down the old kitchen and replaced it with half bricks and half wood and added two rooms.

The house is surrounded with trees, mainly fruits trees. We have mangosteen next to the house, rambutan in front and at the back of the house, durian trees, langsat, duku and others. Unfortunately, we seldom go back, and didn't get to enjoy the fruits.

About 200 meter behind my house, there was an old grave. Not sure whose grave was it, but when I was young a lot of people come to pay respect. The marker of the grave is a living stone or known as megalith stone where it grows. I have not been to the grave for more than 15 years, so I can’t say whether it is still growing.

About a kilometer behind the house, there's a hill, and there lies the Chinese cemetery. Did we get scared of the Chinese cemetery? Haha...not really, maybe we were used to it. Are you?

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