WELL LIT:The city is aglow with residents’ efforts to decorate their homes with traditional ‘pelita’ and ‘ketupat’-shaped lamps for Hari Raya
MANY Muslim families in the city are busy decorating their homes with LED lights, ketupat-shaped lamps, flowers and pelita to usher in Hari Raya.
Streets checked on a few families to see how they were all sprucing up their homes to look festive for Hari Raya on Sunday.
Although traditional Hari Raya must-haves like the bamboo lampu panjut is scarce nowadays, they were not disheartened as similar decorative items could be found in hypermarkets.
The festive mood was evident as many kampung houses, flats and terrace homes were adorned with the colourful lights to welcome Syawal.
Roziana Abd Rahman, 28, decorated her 40-year old kampung timber house to let her children feel the Hari Raya spirit.
The house in Kampung Cheras Baru belongs to her mother, Tijah Abu, 64, who hails from Rembau, Negri Sembilan.
"I've decorated the house so that my children learn that Hari Raya is something to look forward to," she said.
She spent less than RM50 to decorate her 3,72sq m compound with blinking lights and rattan-made pelita.
"I kept to a budget as we have other expenses to consider," she said.
However, she said, as the price of kerosene, needed to fill the pelita is now RM5 per 1.5 litres, she would only light the lamps for a couple of hours at night.
Roziana has also placed hanging baskets of petunias she had bought from Sungai Buloh on her pergola. Complementing it are yellow and green ketupat made of ribbons.
"We gave our house a new coat of bright chocolate paint in 2010. It still looks good so we did not repaint our house," she said.
Her husband, Mohamad Ehsan Sulaiman, 28, said his children looked forward to Hari Raya as family members get together to put up the decorations.
"Children from the neighbourhood love to come around and we also receive many compliments from visiting friends," he said.
Roziana's sister, Rozilah, 44, said the house was dear to them as all of the siblings grew up and even got married there.
"Those are nostalgic memories. We greeted our guests on the green mosaic floor of our porch (serambi), accessible from our tiled staircase," she said.
The staircase resembles those of the traditional homes of Malacca.
"My mother said the sturdy timber used to build our house was treated to extend its shelf life. It has withstood termite infestation," she said.
Her husband, Jalil Sabtu, 41, helped out with the wiring and weaving of the ketupat for decoration as well as for cooking.
Residents of Perumahan Awam Seri Labuan, Jalan Adil off Jalan Bakti, Bandar Tun Razak, here, had also decorated their balconies for Hari Raya.
Varying light decorations can be seen from the main road, while children from different blocks in the neighbourhood play with one another .
Jahirah Muzayyanah Jona, 10, was admiring the decorations with her friends, Nur Amni Nadhirah Azahari, 9, and Nur Amesya Sofia Azahri, 7, all attending SK Bandar Tun Razak 1.
"Amni's house has flower-shaped blinking lights," Jahirah said in excitement.
There were lights that changed colour from blue and green to red and orange every 10 seconds. Some strings had a wave pattern and some a fishnet arrangement.
Mohd Sabri Md Daud, in his 40s from Kuala Krai, Kelantan, said as Hari Raya drew nearer, more residents would be decorating their balconies.
"My wife, Junaida Arifin, 37, contributed ideas for our decoration. We also bought string curtains this year to add some 'glam'," he said.
Kamaruddin Abdul Manap, 49, who lives on the ground floor of Block Eight said ketupat lights along the streets were put up by City Hall.
He said when all the neighbours beautified their homes, the flats looked vibrant even from afar.
In Kelana Jaya, Russiah Rahmat, 57, has made it a tradition for the family house to be decorated by her creative children. Her daughter, Milda Rayhana Mustafar Kamal, 32, lives next door.
"Not all the youth had experienced life in the village. My grandchildren know that Hari Raya is coming when we put up pelita around the house," Russiah said.
She said decorating was a healthy activity especially for the youngsters.
"I have seen arches beautifully-decorated with pelita in villages of Kuala Kangsar, Muar and Malacca," she said.
Russiah said she would rather welcome her children's friends to the house instead of letting them roam about after terawih prayers.
"I have five children. They will also help to decorate my mother's apartment in Bedok North, Singapore, during our Hari Raya visit," she said.
Russiah said her son, Marzuqi Ridhwan Mustafar Kamal, 24, made pelita from drinks cans when he was younger.
Marzuqi said his siblings adorned a 24-year old pine tree and a small coconut tree with blinking lights as well as ketupat lamps.
The trees are on a 10sq m plot of land by the walkway between Russiah's and Milda's house.
Milda said Hari Raya was more delightful since she moved there in 2009.
Russiah's youngest son, Mustaqim Raziqin Mustafar Kamal, 20, was eager to shop for Hari Raya decoration.
"We spent about RM180 on items from Tesco, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Mydin Emporium and Giant Hypermarket," Mustaqim said.
He said they also used tennis balls in place of pebble stones to decorate the lawn.