One of the best things about Malaysia is the endless number of cultural festivities that we have. And as school students, we look forward to these occasions for a moment to skip the books for a day. LOL.
Awal Muharram is undoubtedly one of the days that students are fond of for the many activities that are rolled out.
For our Non-Muslim readers, Awal means early in Malay and Muharram is the first month in the Islamic Calendar. To put it simply, Muharram is the equivalent of Gregorian Calendar’s January. So as with any celebration of a new beginning Muslims celebrate it with prayers and other religious practices to usher in a new prosperous year.
Now that we’re all grown up, it’s fun to be able to cherish memories from school that are close to our hearts. So we are compiling a few fun moments from the Awal Muharram celebration at school to switch on the nostalgia mode.
#1 Dress To Impress
Image from sksgbuloh.blogspot.com
Growing up with movies like Clueless, Mean Girls and High School Musical does make you feel like you wish you could dress up to school. Since we Malaysians are obliged to wear uniforms, we look forward to every occasion that we could flaunt our best outfits to school and Awal Muharram is one excuse to dress up in your baju kurung and baju melayu with your friends!
#2 Awal Muharram Procession
Image from cari.com
Also called Perarakan Maal Hijrah, the procession may be dreaded by some but enjoyed by others. During the procession, you walk around the school while chanting out the greatness of God and prophet Muhammad. During this procession, there are two types of chanter, the silent or the one that screams their heart out. Oh yes, there’s always that one same person that will hold the picket sign, are we right?
#3 Maal Hijrah Song
"Hijrah Itu pengorbanan.. Hijrah itu perjuangan..”
We’re pretty sure that almost every Muslim student that attended government school know this song. This song is almost like a compulsory song to sing during Awal Muharram at school. Some schools would distribute small paper cutting of the lyrics in case you didn’t memorise it.
#4 Nasyid Competitions
Image from saterianews.wordpress.com
Any Islamic religious celebration is a time to hold a nasyid competition, and this is the time for the best singers of your class to shine. And there’s always that one boy that is famous for his melodious Azan (Call to prayers) voice that participates, and would almost always win.
#5 Bubur Asyura
After a day of processions, prayers and sermons, for sure you would be suuuuper hungry. Not to worry because who could forget the famous Bubur Asyura distribution at the end of the day.
Bubur Asyura’s recipe differs across countries and it is also known as Bubur Lambuk. It is a savoury porridge that is served during the 10th day of Muharram but some schools serve it during the celebrations. They will always be given away in that round plastic package and we know that some of ya’ll don’t even eat it. You bring home and then leave it rotten in the fridge..
Hope you enjoy our compilation of some of the fondest Awal Muharram memories at school. Did any of you feel just a little too nostalgic you’re starting to tear up?? We are.. Some more with this Covid.. all types of celebrations are just not the same anymore. *Cues sad song*
But it’s okay the spirit of celebrating public holiday is in our hearts and embedded into our DNAs as Malaysians just as Keren Bala is in this episode Surely Malaysian - Episode 4: Public Holidays.
Salam Awal Muharram everyone! Stay safe and happy holidays from all of us at Rojak Daily.