Light upon light: Malay kampungs dazzle nights with colourful lighting to receive Hari Raya Aidilfitri

Colourful fairy lights illuminate Malay kampungs in Kuching city. Photos taken on April 7 and 8, 2024.

By Shikin Louis

KUCHING, April 9: As Hari Raya Aidilfitri approaches, Malay kampungs (villages) around Kuching city dazzle the nights with colourful festive lights.

Among them are Kampung Kudei Lama, Kampung Kudei Baru, Kampung Nombor (six numbered villages in Satok constituency) and Kampung Tabuan Haji Drahman (Tabuan Foochow) where local villagers have put up beautiful light decorations to illuminate their respective neighbourhoods.

Colourful fairy lights illuminate the neighbourhood in Kampung Tabuan Haji Drahman, Kuching on April 8, 2024.

This is in fact a tradition called ‘bertuntong’ which is practised by the Malays in Sarawak to brighten their house with pelita (oil lamps) or colorful electric fairy lights outside and around their homes ahead of Aidilfitri celebration.

Some even go the extra mile to adorn their homes with various ornaments such as ketupat decoration made from ribbons, Raya angpow packets, as well as crescent and hanging decorations with mosque motif.

In some areas, children could be seen playing with fireworks and fire crackers.

According to Zulaikha Ramzi, 35, a resident from Kampung No 3, she and her family had spent about RM1,000 on their home decoration for this year’s Raya as they aim for the top spot in ‘Bertuntong and Lampu Cabik Competition’ organised by Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) for N8 Satok constituency.

Zulaikha Ramzi’s residence located at Kampung No 3, Satok on April 7, 2024.

She explained that apart from reusing the lighting and hanging decorations from the previous years, the family further enhanced the overall decoration by putting up a wooden arch, a photo booth and a backdrop in front of their residence.

“This is the third time that we are participating in the DBKU’s competition. We are the reigning two-time champion and we wish to defend the title for the third time,” she said when met recently.

Children playing with fireworks in Kampung No. 3, Satok on April 7, 2024.
A row of houses draped in colourful fairy lights at Kampung Kudei Lama, Kuching on April 7, 2024.
Several men photographed decorating the lights at their home in Kampung Kudei Lama, Kuching on April 7, 2024.

– DayakDaily