Monday, August 9, 2010


Assalammualalaikum Wr Wb

I was told that in Bawean, most of the people there will do ziarah to cemeteries or Maqams 
of known figures a few times during the year or at least once a year.
They call it Kuburan.
It's kind of like Qing Ming Festival in Singapore, minus the burnings of offerings.

Usually it will be during 1st Muharram, Eid Adha,
few days before Ramadan and of course on 1st Syawal.
Sometimes they will bring with them food and drinks.
No, it's not meant for offerings like what is the norm in other parts of Indonesia.
It's for own consumption.

Most of the cemeteries in Bawean has pondoks or ambins which is basically a hut for visitors to take refuge in case of rain or from the scorching hot sun.
Or simply just to rest.
The cemetery at my ancestral village has one too.
Used to be just a quite dilapidated wooden structure the first time I was there.
But Arwah Nenek has it replaced with a more condusive brick structure 
during one her returns in the past.

The people of my ancestral village now have a better place to rest after ziarah-ing their beloved.
And of course to also tuck in into whatever they bring along with them
there and then, right smack in the middle of the cemetery.
I can't find the picture that I took during one of my visits there.
It's kind of like weird.
Very weird.
Enjoying home cooked village food with lots of batu nisan (head/tomb stones) as your scenery.

Back in Singapore, Arwah Atuk and Nenek used to the same.
Kuburan....minus the food. LOL!
The only things we bring along during Kuburan, are water,
flowers, shrouds to cover the headstones and small clearing tools just in case the need arises.
It will always be on 1st Muharram, a few days before Ramadan, a few days before Syawal (they given up the idea of going in the morning of Eid as to avoid the massive go-kubur-once-a-year crowd lol!),
and a few days before Eid Adha.
There's also special visits during certain times like,
before and after they hold a wedding ceremony for any one of their children.
And some other times as well.

Alhamdulillah, all our ancestral graves that we know of, are in pretty well kept conditions due to the quite frequent visits spread evenly in a year.

During every visit, both of them would always say
"Ingat. Datang kubur ni setakat nak ingatkan diri kita semua tentang adanya mati dan untuk menziarah si mati.
Tetapi janganlah bersusah payah hingga tahap membebankan untuk datang kuburan kerana
yang paling penting adalah doa untuk si mati itu setiap habis sholat."

And both of them never fail to remind all of us that when she and Atuk passed on, do not make elaborate expensive dapur2/tomb as it will only burden themselves with them inside the grave.
Do not waste money on such things which could be used for charity in their names instead.
It would be enough to just have something which could be easily identified
by future generations during their visits.

Arwah Nenek's one advise which really make sense is that there is of no point having a tomb structure made of Italian marble, as regal as it can be but at the end of the day,
none of the family members come to visit nor take care of the grave.
Would be a total waste.

Although both of them never forced us to follow but everybody tries
 to make time to at least go once a year.
That once a year will usually be the one before 1st Syawal.
 I however, followed both of them to all visits, thus I am the only grandchild who knew all our ancestral's graves. CEWAH!

After Arwah Atuk passed away, Arwah Nenek still carry on Kuburan.
It was during the visit before Eid 2008 that we all noticed a new plot of land have been dug for newly deceased, right in front of the plot of land which has Arwah Atuk's remains.

"Alhamdulillah....dekat betul kubur2 baru ni dengan kubur bapak korang."

Nobody paid any attention to Arwah Nenek's statement.
Another of her normal passing statement remarks.
Or so we thought.
A month later, she passed away.
Her final resting place and Atuk's are seperated by just one road.
Perhaps both of them wants convenience for their
children and grandchildren when they come to visit them.

And earlier on today, I carried on the tradition of Kuburan with the advices both of them have sowed to me every visit in the past, deeply rooted in my mind.
Bik Idah and Min accompanied me.

My great-grandfather. Nenek's dad. The man responsible for all our existence in Singapore. Had he not been stranded here in the 40's, I don't think I, or the rest of my extended family for that matter, will be where we are today. Could be our last visit. This is in blok 3 Pusara Aman. Scheduled for re-location by the government next year.

My Grandfather. Noticed the extra tiled ground on the left? His burial plot happened to be at the end of his row. Thus the extra space. Nenek always joked that Atuk had an Executive Corner plot. LOL! She instructed the undertaker company to cement and tiled the extra land as well so that we, the children and grandchildren would be at ease to sit on the ground and recite our prayers for our beloved head of the family.

My grandmother. Noticed that we tried to have the same structure as Atuk? We opt out on having the gold tiles and used the money for alms in her name instead. Furthurmore, this is at the first plot of land which practices the new burial system. In 13 years time, the government will be dugging it up for re-location.

Anyway regarding today's trip to the Pusara,
Not sure whether I should say this but I am disturbed by some of our 
Malay brothers and sisters who ziarah the pusara.
I understand the congestion which looked like as if
Bazaar Geylang is located in Pusara Abadi.
What make me winced is looking at HOW they come to the pusara.

I saw some ladies without tudung and with glaring blond highlighted hair.
One was wearing a top with a low cut on her back, exposing her tattoo.
I am not against them nor am I being stereotypical here but shouldn't they at least practice a bit of decency and a show of respect for the dead?
For the love of Allah, this is a cemetery you are coming to!
Not Zirca!
And when I was at Arwah Atuk's grave, near us is this man who was clearing his relative's grave, talking on the phone and saying out expletives aloud. 
I shut him off my hearing totally by reciting Yaasin to Atuk.
I guess MUIS should conduct a campaign, 
Educating those needed to be educated, how to behave in a pusara!

And as we drove off slowly towards the exit of the Pusara,
on the opposite direction, a pick-up approach.
The back was full of relatives, I supposed, who perhaps descended from  
Sun Wukong wih their different hades of coloured air.
Music was blaring away at the front seat and some of them at the back
were singing aloud too following the music.
Music was Tobat Maksiat by Wali Band.
How apt.


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