Festive Cheer: Going Home for Raya

Famous words by the Muslims during Hari Raya. Photo by Nizam Ahmad.
Famous words by the Muslims during Hari Raya. Photo by Nizam Ahmad.

Many people will be taking to the road and driving back to their hometowns this week. The reason for this festive cheer is Hari Raya on Friday, 17 July 2015, and Saturday, 18 July 2015. The highways will be clogged with vehicles going up north, down south, and anywhere in between to enjoy the off-work atmosphere. The highway rest stops and petrol stations will be packed with passengers taking toilet and coffee breaks in order to break up the monotony of having sat for far too long in the car.

It is always during a festive period when travellers, be it newly weds, families or soloists, will make the preparations to get behind the wheel. Vehicles must be tuned up, tire pressure checked, gas valves inspected, petrol tanks fuelled up and snacks stocked up in the car to keep the children quiet and content. Parents will want and hope to spend peaceful hours looking out the window or catching zzz’s for those not driving. Children will look forward to seeing their relatives, cousins and/or grandparents upon reaching their destinations. It is truly a sight to behold.

And it is always during this time when travellers are at their weakest. Some will want to spend as much time on the road without breaks to quickly reach their destinations. Others prefer to take their time, stopping occasionally to smell the roses before climbing back into the driver’s seat and hitting the road again. It is wise to drive carefully. It is always better to be safe than sorry. You’ll want to be celebrating with your family, not mourning the loss of one or more in a careless accident. Drive safe. Rest well. Take care of your health. For you are the one who stands between arriving in one piece and sending your loved ones down a dark and spiralling abyss.

Driving is an activity that will require your attention, focus and concentration. You’re not going to the convenience store for a packet of Twisties. Respect your life and respect the other drivers on the road. The last thing you need is to find yourself in ICU, or worse, 16-feet underground. Don’t endanger yourself. Don’t endanger your family. Admitting that you need to rest is not a sign of weakness.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to everyone, and happy long weekend!

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