A tradition home to many Southeast Asian nations celebrating notable festivals, the idea of open houses is one that’s deeply stemmed in culture and tradition, and Eid-al-Fitr is not exempt from this excitement. It’s a great opportunity to invite friends and family over for a few hours to reconnect as everyone shares food and stories together. However, when one brings together that many people, there’s bound to be a few special personalities that stand out in the sea of colourful clothes.
The first face you’d see upon entering the house, complete with a giant grin that’s bordering on being a little scary, the Host usually invites you in with exclamations of how grown up you look, despite having graduated university two years ago. They’re absurdly cheerful, and would tell you to make yourself at home and help yourself to the many, many snacks available on the coffee table.
The one that talks about the economy of the country for hours on end, the Uncle is synonymous with his stories of how the past was better and has about a million and one theories of how current politics work. It’s a bit impossible to tune him out when you’re stuck in the same vicinity as him for a good two hours, listening to his spiel about how young people just don’t appreciate hard work these days.
“When are you getting married?” “What are you studying?” “Oh, you’re working! Where? How much are you getting paid? Oh, that’s not a lot…” “When are you going to have a kid?” “When are you going to have another kid?” “Can you be a dear and read this text for me? My eyes aren’t what they used to be *laughs*.” “Don’t you know you can get cancer from sleeping with your phone next to you?!”
They mean well, or at least that’s we tell ourselves when we’re faced with the inquisitional squad at every Eid open house.
The Anti-Social Kid
They’re the kid that walks into someone’s Eid open house and the first words out of their mouth are, “What’s the WiFi password?” Once they’ve acquired the prized possession, they find the furthest corner away from everyone else and proceed to park their butt on an armchair or a spot on the couch, phone/tablet/gaming device in hand. God help you if you try to get their attention at all.
You’ll hear them before you even see them dressed in their finest outfits for Eid, all giggling shrieks and screams of, “OMG, you look amazing!” The Squad are the ones hogging the stairs, the front door and the backyard garden for endless photo shoots. They’re the ones willing to go the extra mile to provide good lighting for individual squad members, and they’ll use this opportunity to update their Instagram with their group photos, probably captioning it with “You wish your squad had goals *insert fire emoji*”.
An Eid open house is not complete without amazing food, and the Foodie knows this. They will unashamedly come back for third rounds if the dish is worthy of their attention and appetite, and usually, the only person to appreciate their devotion to making sure the food is being well taken care of is the Host. But they’re not doing it to gain attention from them.
They just really like the food.
The Matching Family
You’ll see them coming from a mile away, because they’re all wearing the same colours and patterns as one another. No matter how many members are in their family, they just seem to all meld together as one unit, and usually the Mum of the family would be the one to approach anyone in the nearby vicinity to take photos of them, and then repeating the cycle at every single Eid open house.