Have you seen the following image of the giant rat that went viral on social media a couple of months ago? The photograph was taken at a rat catching campaign that was organised in a suburb not too far from where we live. My first thoughts were......OMG! It must be the genetically modified foods our rats have been feeding on and they mutated! Either that or our city has beome so filthy, it has pretty much become rat heaven and our rodent friends have gotten big and fat from all that partying and feasting!
Turned out, Ratzilla was just a regular sized rat and the image was either photoshopped or captured by the photographer at an angle that made it look ginormous. Apparently, a Facebook user has uploaded the image to make a point - that the standard of cleanliness in the precinct was sub par and a breeding ground for rodents and other pests. In defense, an image was later uploaded by a spokesperson of the municipality showing the actual size of the purported rodent at a different angle. Phew! However, residents are still claiming to have seen rats the size of cats in the area!
A huge rat, nonetheless!
A scene from the movie Ratatouille
I was going to make Remy (the would-be-chef from Ratatouille) cookies but I just couldn't get the image of Ratzilla out of my head. While I have no qualms about cute talking rats who wear chef hats and know how to prepare five course meals, Ratzilla isn't that kind of rat I want invading my lovely neck of the woods. Thank God, I live in a condo and the only rodent you find in our home is our big fat guinea pig!
I don't mind these invading my neighbourhood though!
In a week's time, Muslims worldwide will be celebrating Eid al-Fitr. In Malaysia, we call it Hari Raya Adilfitri. Hari Raya in Malay literally translates as ‘celebration day’ and Hari Raya Aidilfitri is the day that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of dawn-to-sunset fasting.
Over here, the festival is a major public holiday and offices and schools officially close for 2 days.
On this day, Muslims don new clothes and go for prayers in mosques at dawn. Then it’s off to see the parents. Muslims traditionally ask for forgiveness from their elders for any wrongs committed during the year. More visits are made to see relatives and friends and a lavish spread of food awaits Some even have 'Open House' - a Malaysian concept like no other anywhere else in the world! Open Houses are held during religious and cultural festivals like Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Chinese New Year, Christmas and Deepavali. An Open House event connotes that anyone , regardless of religion or race, can visit the home of a friend or associate during a particular celebration. When we were kids, we used to hop from house to house and stuff ourselves full with all those yummy cakes and cookies!
It is customary for Muslims to wear traditional clothes on Hari Raya. The men generally wear Baju Melayu (a loose shirt with trousers) with kain samping (a short sarong) and a songkok (cap), while the Baju Kurung is often worn by the ladies. Families usually dress in the same colours to represent unity.
Those green thingies are ketupat, a type of dumpling made from rice packed inside a square pouch that is woven from coconut leaves. Ketupat to Hari Raya is what Easter eggs and bunnies are to Easter. Images of ketupat are often used as decoration to celebrate Hari Raya or Eid ul-Fitr.
From the 20th day of Ramadan, oil lamps are lit in homes and mosques and burned until the end of the festival