March 21, 2023


The Truth must be told no matter what so Justice can live!

Ramadhan Nostalgia – Kampong Life back in the 60s & 70s!


When I was growing up in my kampong back in the 60s & 70s, the fasting month was really a hive of activity for us, kampong kids! We didn’t have much in those times, especially material wealth but made up for it using our creativity. 

We didn’t have fancy-mancy toys or gadgets back then. We made do with our inventions or adaptations to whatever we wanted to create, to pass our time. Life back then for us kampong boys was simple but full of excitement.

Example of how we used a coconut shell with a candle to light our way through the darkness of the night. The candle would be stuck to the edge of the shell.

When night falls, there were places in our kampong which was really dark as streetlights were only available at the main road and the light poles were quite apart. I remember my using half a coconut shell with a candle as my impromptu torch light, when going to our kampong’s only sundry shop. Kedai Ba. Run by a Chinese family.

The candles we used were the red candles that we took from the roadside offerings by the kampong’s Chinese folks. Being kids back then, we didn’t bother about right or wrong in doing so! 😛 Hentam saja lah! 

There would also be some of us who took great pleasure in scaring others by turning into kain pelekat ninjas and jump out in front of unsuspecting villagers who were going to the sundry shop! Talk about being mischievous!

We would howl with laughter if our victims were young girls who would shriek terrified but run helter-skelter if the intended victims turned out to be vicious gangster aunties! Hahahahaha! It was a dangerous stunt but then we just didn’t care! Naughty! Naughty!


My family was poor. We didn’t have a fridge back then. So, in the late afternoon, the Ice block seller would cycle around the houses, ringing his bell. I would be the one tasked to go buy our supply of ice from him. At times, I would have to chase him as he was very mobile and didn’t stay put at any one spot. It cost only 20 to 30 sen a block!


Usually, we would all get to enjoy Ais Sirap Selasih when it was time to break our fast. Here’s what it would look like!

Back then, going to buy food and drinks at the ‘Ramadhan Bazaar’s was not the norm. Most kampong people prepared our own food and drinks at home. There would be occasional sharing of kueh, bubur puasa, bihun goreng or mee goreng by neighbors. Those of us who were kids then were dispatched to send such food to the neighbors, carrying the tiffin carriers. One tray for a family, etc.


The neighbors who received the food given would reciprocate by filling the emptied tiffin container with their prepared food for us to taste their preparation. At times, I would get a tip of 20 sen too. Made my day! 😀


After breaking fast and having completed the Tarawih prayers, most of the kampong kids would engage in the blasting of ‘meriam buloh’ @ bamboo cannons.

typical meriam buloh

Some kids who were more daring would resort to blasting ‘meriam karbait‘ @ carbide bombs! They were louder and at times shocked the villagers living in the houses nearby! Curses would then be heard as the shocked residents would let fly their anger at the culprits!


Not to forget will be the ‘Bintang Raya‘ @ panjut, handcrafted by those of us who had the skills to make it. I did mine using bamboo, tracing paper, glue and painted using watercolors. A bulb would be hung inside to brighten up the lantern and it surely would set the theme that Aidil Fitri is here.


Nothing beats listening to the classic Hari Raya songs sung by our country’s beloved entertainers like Saloma, Sharifah Aini, Uji Rashid, P. Ramlee, Hail Amir, Sudirman, D.J.Dave, Singaporean artistes such as M.Nasir, Rahimah Rahim, etc.


Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri 1443 Hijrah! A week to come. Insya Allah.

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