Imagine a rave party where everyone contributes to the playlist, not just the DJ...
At the raffia string barrier to the rave party, one guy asked what 'house music' do I like. A question that was to serve as a secret handshake for admission. I told him the DJ is playing techno, not house. (I like techno too, though).
Reminiscing a bit: I spent a year, almost every night, at the decadent and legendary Backroom KL , the clubbing venue that was famous globally, in its relatively short lifetime.
It was finally busted for opening past 9 am daily and for clubbers possessing every known designer and recreational stimulant.
Continuing my series on festival day in the ghetto. A little Burmese Muslim girl is dressed in her Hari Raya best.
She's sitting on a squashed box by the roadside. Those red spots on the pavement are not colour run from her brand new dress. They are betelnut spit spat out by the many chewers here.
The girl has grabbed a front row seat, behind the raffia strings cordoning off the area. People are milling around, looking serious, waiting for something.
Behind the wall of spectators, is an exciting game of sepak takraw. The community organises some informal events for the special day of Eid.
Fittingly, one of the events is Sepak Takraw, a favourite sport played here on Sundays. Sepak takraw is a kind of foot volleyball played with a woven rattan ball.
Some historians believe the Burmese 'Chinlone' artform (single-player takraw-style kicking) was derived from Cuju (catch ball), a form of military exercise from ancient China circa 3rd century BC.
He made another turn into yet another dodgy back lane and I can hear a roar this time. Around the corner, was a wall of people, several in traditional Burmese longyi sarong. They were watching something.
Hameed turned to look at me before assimilating into the crowd. As we both panted and try to catch our breath, he shouted: You go ahead and enjoy watching. Don't go asking strange questions again, OK?
I spent a weird but wonderful Hari Raya with the Burmese Muslim community in KL. It started with me visiting my Rohingya friend Hameed for Eid.
Unfortunately, he wasn't home when I went calling. His housemate suggested I take a walk in the neighborhood, and I should find him.
So off I went walking and ran into this old cock by the kerb. When I asked whose chicken is this, people became nervous, agitated, turned away or bolted. Strange, right?
Finally, one brave guy whispered from my back: What are you doing???
It turned out to be my friend Hameed. Haha.
Selamat Hari Raya.
Warmest wishes to Muslim friends and followers in Malaysia and from around the world celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr.
Sunset photographed at a mosque in Gombak yesterday.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 50, f22, 1/8000 sec.
Historically, the Minangkabau people of Sumatra were of a migrating (merantau) culture. Many left home to start new lives in other Indonesian cities, as well as at regional countries. Soon, Padang restaurants were everywhere.
But there was one problem when they wanted to take food along their long journeys through rivers and oceans. Refrigerators weren't available in the 16th century.
To add a little explanation for international followers; the delicious dish known as Lemang is believed to be Minangkabau (Indonesian) in origin.
The glutinous or sticky rice is mixed with coconut milk and a little salt. It is then wrapped in banana leaves and cooked over fire in a hollowed-out bamboo tube.
In Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, one can see stalls popping up during the Eid al-Fitr Festival, where the delicacy (including the accompanying curry) is cooked and sold from the roadside.