The Reason



There comes a time in your life when the festive season has turned more like a chore than a celebration. First there’s the spending. You spend more than five hundred ringgits on new clothes and dresses, many will only be worn once or twice afterward. Especially so for my baju melayu which I see no reason to wear on other occasions. Not to mention the money you have to set aside to give out to kids and my relatives. I don’t know how you guys do it, I can barely set aside money for my savings let alone spend freely on others.

And then there’s the annual balik kampung exodus. That’s the worse of the lot. Despite my meticulous planning, taking alternative routes and shortcuts, I was still stuck for 15 hours on the road last weekend. And for the return trip I spent almost the same amount of time on the road. There’s no escaping from these horrible but expected jams during the festive season. My final grouse is how I was made to visit relatives that I practically never see or care for during the rest of the year. Yeah I know I sound like a jerk but I’m introvert and anti-social, what do you expect? My ideal day during a festive season is just hanging out at home, playing games, going out for a run in the park or just doing nothing. No need to spend lavish amount of money on things I don’t need and spending time and energy on stuff I don’t really care about.

Yet I am still doing all those things year in and year out, without fail. Why? Because it’s the socially acceptable things to do. Because sometimes in life it matters not about my happiness but those dear to me. I spend hundreds of ringgit once a year so that my wife and kids could celebrate Eid with shiny new clothes and dresses because apparently that’s what made them happy. I give out money to my nephew, niece, cousins and my relatives because it’s the tradition and also it makes them happy too. Finally, I spend over 24 hours on the road for a return trip to my home town and my in law’s place because it’s what make my wife and kids happy. She get to see her parent, her siblings and my kids get to play with their cousins. And also my grandma and mom would be glad to see me (I presume) for only the fifth or sixth time in the year. You see even if I don’t like it, I still do it anyway for reasons stated above. It’s for love, for tradition. I don’t want to raise a generation who will forsake their tradition and responsibilities just because I didn’t like it.