IT’S almost a week before Hari Raya and the festive vibes are already being felt all around us in Subang Jaya.

In less than a week, the busy and bustling Ramadan bazaars around us will wrap up and close shop; to return n a year’s time as everyone prepares to get ready to balik kampung for the holidays. Half of the population of Subang Jaya will most likely join the exodus home, leaving those who stay back with peace and serenity that’s often enjoyed during major festive holidays.

This Ramadan, I’ve had the opportunity to rekindle my friendship with many of the enterprising traders plying their trade at the different bazaars. We meet once a year at the bazaars but this has not stopped us from exchanging greetings like we are old buddies catching up after a long spell. It is nice to also bump into friends at the bazaar as they drop in to purchase something for their breaking of fast or just for their dinner.

In Subang Jaya, everyone is a “brother or sister” and despite all the gibberish that’s going on around us, the place we call home is like a kampung set away from the rest of the country. We must have done something right along the way when we decided together that we are Subang Jaya and that itself makes a lot of difference.

Late last month, I joined the breaking of fast at Masjid al-Falah in USJ9. I did not go alone. I was joined by a group of leaders from the different places of worship around Subang Jaya. We joined our Muslim friends as they broke fast with small sips of water and some dates. We then waited for them to pray before making our way to the dining area for dinner.

Dinner was served in a tray set for four persons. The rice was in the middle and the dishes were in small plates to be shared amongst us. We, the non-Muslims sat among the Muslims as we enjoyed the meal that was served. The hospitality extended to us by our hosts was even better than that in a 5-star hotel. We joked; we laughed as we ate and it was this feeling that dawns on me every time –SubangJayaKitaPunya bersama-sama.

I have never been more proud to belong to this big family in Subang Jaya. This is home; and has been home to me for 30 years and it is enlightening to see how we have come thus far. Tolerance and having a give-and-take approach is not a weakness; it is a strength that many of us in Subang Jaya can see. Let us protect this and nurture it even further.

After a hiatus of four years, I am glad to say that JOM DURIAN – We Ate for Charity is back! Homegrown in Subang Jaya, this charity eat-all-you-can durian festival is a very popular event. Many have been asking me when it will be brought back; so now you know – June 22 & 23 2024.More details of this event can be found on Page 19 of this edition.

The heat wave that we have been experiencing over the last 1.5 months appears to be cooling off in the last week or so. Although the days are still hot and dry, the evenings bring rain and thunderstorms. It’s been awhile since I hear the toads croaking away in the garden; a sign that the weather is wet and cool for them to come out and go about their “chores”.

The better weather will mean travelling for Hari Raya will be more pleasant for those who are making plans to head home. Nevertheless, it is best to plan your journey well; stay hydrated and be prepared for longer than normal drives along the highway.

If you are leaving your house empty for the time you are away, do remember to sign up with the police Volunteer Smartphone Patrol (VSP) app to have them check on your home while you are away. Inform your neighbours of your plans and stop the delivery of newspapers for that period.

Here’s wishing you SELAMAT HARI RAYA – Maaf, Zahir dan Batin. Have a safe journey home and happy holidays everyone.