Sunday, June 02, 2019

Selamat Hari Raya 2019: What 'Balek Kampong' Means: A Tradition: Freda Hanum

Ms. Freda Hanum, a member of the Teepees girl group from the 70s, has gotten herself into a writing mood and sent me her thoughts about Aidil Fitri, i.e. when 'Puasa' (fasting) month of Ramadan ends and the month of  Aidil Fitri continues to celebrate the season. She discusses the kampong (village: above image) tradition with depth and feeling.

Thank you Freda. Wishing you and your family, Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri.


Beautiful Raya Song

I have attached this beautiful Raya song that I like to share with you, 
my family and friends. It brings back my special feelings of the typical kampongs that I have been to a long time ago. 

Just before the celebration, our makchik (aunts) and relatives prepare the raya kuehs (cakes) that are so nice with that typical kampong taste. These sweet-bits are delicious!

Meanwhile the kampong houses would brighten up the night with colourful light bulbs as we sit along the corridors surrounded with so many fruit trees and watching the bonfire while they smoked the *lemangs. Makchik would stir the big pots of pudding, bringing such an overwhelming, emotional feeling for the Raya. 
Lagu Raya: Kepulangan Yang Di Nanti: Aman Shah. YouTube video.

The Raya celebration at kampongs are incomparable and different from the way the festivities are handled today. Kampong folks and neighbours witness eager and happy faces of parents, siblings and other members of the family as they greet their sons coming home from far away cities where they had worked or studied. These scenes usually bring joyful tears to both the seniors and young. This song interprets these moments of emotions...

As the thoughts come to my mind, beautiful original structures of kampong houses along the outskirts of Malacca conjure images of those years. Wishing so much to go back there each time during this momentous season. The family though, no longer exists...

Selamat Hari Raya to all Muslim friends readers, and everyone else!

(In Malaysia, Indonesia and SG too, thousands of Muslims return home from their places of work to celebrate the Raya month with their loved ones in their own hometown. It is typical of the Chinese who do so in China, where they too have thisyearly migration home.)
*Lemang is a traditional South East Asian food made of glutinous rice, coconut and salt. The mix is cooked in a bamboo shoot lined with coconut leaves. The lemang is usually eaten with a meat and dry gravy dip.  It's a traditional delicacy eaten to celebrate the end of the fasting month.

Google and a Private Collection.
Copyrights Reserved.
Article written by:
Freda Hanum from The Teepees.

Connect to read:

Traffic jam back to kampong. 
Picture from Davy Chan [Facebook].



writes about the kampung tradition in the mid 20th Century and explains what a LEMANG is. Listen to a traditional Malay song that accentuates her reminiscent of those years gone by. PLEASE CLICK THE PIX TO READ HER STORY.

Andy Young
Wow Charlie that was fast. And thanks for the company that day. Cheers.

Jalani Mohamed
Tq my gd fren Andy Young.. peace to u n family.

Koh Sui Pang
You ada balek kampong tak ..Andy ????

Andy Young
Thanks Jalani and Sui Pang for both your good wishes. Kampong saya di Singapura nyonya manis.:-) Wow! Sixteen LIKES for Ms Freda's story about LEMANG and the trad. song too. Thank you all.

Freda Hanum
I can't express my most gratitude . You are one of the most kind soul I've met I don't think anymore that your blog is for fun only.. To me it's the most honourable place where you put with great effort on histories, stories and valuable information on our society for readers to read. I thank you again ANDY. I wish ALL THE MUSLIMS A VERY HAPPIEST HARI RAYA SEASON, "SELAMAT HARI RAYA, ZAHIR DAN BATIN" in advance .DRIVE SAFE back to kampongs and home towns THANK YOU.

Thank you Freda.
Appreciate your understanding too. Writing about the past helps the psyche to re-orientate itself to understand our present and future. Thinking of wanting to go back to the past, ah, that's a problem... Just enjoy the other stories too ,written by friends I meet on the blog and during my chats with local music makers... :-) SELAMAT HARI RAYA IDIL FITRI to all Muslims friends, and us too. We celebrate most festivals in SG.

Thank you all for the kind messages.


Living In Jalan Sempadan in Siglap, seven miles East Coast Road.
Only two Chinese houses, in a Malay kampong.
The most beautiful upbringing in my lift.
Near the sea were two millionaire homes
But Hari Raya Puasa was my favourite.
Our Malay machiks (we call them aunties) are all fabulous chefs.
After all a way of kampong life is the abundance of early morning food;
Nasi lemak, lontong, satay, mee rebus tahu gorent, goreng pisang.
Plus the corner shops selling ice kacang, etc
Even some Chinese push carts would come to the kampong to sell their:
Pohpiah, Chestnuts, rojak.
Yes love them all.

But going back to the machiks,
Every evening, food would be shared with the neighbours of the best possible
Nasi bryani, curries and sweets...
It was bliss.

Eusoof Angullia said...

Absolutely nostalgic memory.
Of kampong days.
Emotional too brother.
My days in Jalan Yasin.
Thanks for sharing.


Reading it gave us a warm and soothing feeling.
What memories.


Selamat Hari Raya to you in advance.

It should be the norm, where everyone wishes each other on their special occasion.
Only then will peace prevail.

God Bless.


Thanks to all on this list that you LIKE this post:

Stephen Han
Freda Hanum
Ann Rowena Lim
Jimboeykokkoonb Boey
Jimmy Appudurai-chua
Ericbronson Wong
Koh Daisy
Jalani Mohamed
Koh Sui Pang
Charlie Yap Locomotion
Yip Dick
Ho Victor
Wong K C EuNike
Davy Chan
Kali Dass S
Kok Koon Boey Jim
Roland Shepherdson
Jennie Law

FACEBOOK said...

Thanks Bob Moo for sharing.

Freda Hanum

Freda Hanum
My friends thank you so much for your thumbs up (read inside or not hahaha) TO:-
BOB, SINA, LINDA, JOHN, ANN, LESLIE, JUDE, THERESA, AZMAN, and last but not least MR STEPHEN DANKER. Have a most wonderful Raya holiday season ....

Freda Hanum
My special thanks to you Mr Andy Young for taking an interest in my sentimental Raya story and song to put it up on your blog.. I feel so honoured and most obligated to you.

Thank you dear brother JERRY FERNANDEZ

Jerry Fernandez
U most welcome.
Stay Blessed and wonderful days ahead .

Andy Young
There you are FREDA.
Now you can continue to write your music stories and cultural heritage on your own site as you have been doing for some time.
Cheers. :-)
The applause is indeed heartening!

Jerry Fernandez
Jude De Rozario
Stephen Danker
Sina Sinarajah
Azman Mohd Noor
Linda Tan
Bob Moo
Leslie de Rozario
Ann de Rozario

FACEBOOK said...

reminds me of an interesting experience when I had in Granada, Spain-Catholic country 1971. I lived off students from Peru who happened to be Moslems. During Ramadan, they seemed sullen and hard to get along with. But they surprised me by suddenly becoming happy and cheerful on Hari Raya. Is the story the same as what you had in Kampon?

Jimmy Appudurai-chua
Thanks for sharing..Andy. I was referring to the hari rsya puasa period... RAMADAN

Andy Young
In reply to HIROSHI DEGUCHI's informative comment. It is a quiet month of Ramadan where the Muslims are fasting. But at the end of their 'puasa' or fast, they celebrate it with the Raya festivities. APOLOGIES for not replying earlier, because I thought it best if the proper person replies.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

And my dear Hiroshi,
a KAMPONG is a VILLAGE in the Malay/Indonesian language but also accepted as a loan word by the chinese community, so we have Malay Kampong, Chinese Kampong. Cheers.

Andy Young
Grateful to Hiroshi for baring his thoughts. Thank you sir. It's always good to learn about another's culture and heritage. Like me I'm totally unaware of the great Japanese culture that we have today. But I'm learning...

In fact thank you each and everyone of you for reading FREDA's kampong story. Now you know what BALEK KAMPONG means.

Adler Eagle said...

You have a great blog. keep giving us useful information.

Music & Entertainment

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you Adler.

It's people like you, from out of the blues, who write in to provide that thumbs up needed.
I shall try but age is catching up and I dont know how long I can carry on.

Again thanks Adler, and the rest of my friends and readers out there.
Support is so important when you write a blog...


Great write up, Freda.
Nostalgic for those who miss the simple kampung days.
I was born in Jln Eunos kampung but have no memories of it as I was just too young.
I wish the traditional lemang dish is easily available here in modern Singapore.

Freda Hanum
Perry Koh Thank you dear Perry, missing friends in Singapore so much, praying hard and hopefully all will be well soon.
God bless 🙏


Balek Kampong can also mean go back to where u belong especially a bad performer will usually get this message instead of compliment. Cheers from SS
Shiok Sindiri


Koh Sui Pang
Stay home stay safe for this Raya guys...

Freda Hanum
Koh Sui Pang Thank you for your caution,
yes indeed stay home stay safe!

Jimmy Appudurai-chua
What a lovely setting

Freda Hanum
Thanks Jimmy, Really cannot forget the nice and exciting feeling travelling to kampongs away from the buzzing busy cities, haha.

Jimmy Appudurai-chua
Agree x

DAVY CHAN said...

Malaysia avoiding polis at highways. Jammed

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi Davy, a very significant picture of 'balek kampong'. Truly symbolic of Raya days, especially this year. Hope they will reach their families and neighbours soon.