Sunday, 27 September 2009

Hari Raya Open Houses

Ramadhan is over and 1st day of Raya was on Monday this year. That means that we are now in the busiest party season for the locals, their Christmas in a way. They are now celebrating by decorating their houses, both with oil lamps and electrical lights; they set of huge amounts of fireworks and they hold Open Houses.

The Open Houses take part mostly during this first week after Raya. We've been lucky enough to get invited to a few, and yesterday we did two Open Houses in the afternoon.
Here is Lucas, getting ready to go and see one of his class mates (the bear is named Barnaby, he is the class bear and he is with us this weekend - hence he has been coming everywhere...):

It's really exactly what it says, an open house. Usually they set a time of three to six hours when you can come, you show up, get greeted and showed to the food, you eat, chat a little bit (if the hosts are not too busy), and leave! It's not really a party in our sense of the word, more of a kind of "walk-through", ha ha!
Here is Nathan, chatting with the host and Lucas' teacher Mr Jolly and his wife:

The kids were just playing, here Lucas with one of his friends, and Barnaby:

People come and go and come and go, here's a group shot of the kids who were at this house at the same time as us:

When you leave again, the children get small green envelopes with a few dollars in them. (The idea behind the envelope is based on the idea of Zakat, where the Muslims during Ramadhan are supposed to give money to the needy. However, today envelopes are given to every guest.) The kids were delighted, of course:

Linnea and I, dressed for the occasion in some of the Scott-Lin tunics:

We then went to another little friend of Lucas'. Same procedure there, although we actually hung around for a bit because there was so many people and we got into chatting away. You always take your shoes of before entering a Muslim house:

The kids were outside playing, it was lovely:

The Dehlis:

Ida, pretty as always! Check out the princess shoes:

Lucas and Adam:

The boys:

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