Derumo

Sunday, January 07, 2007

RAYA HAJI

Tok Ku - Eid Adha Mubarak

I participated in this year Qurban. One Kedah –Kelantan bull for seven of us in the family. We bought it from an oil palm estate. It was rather cheap at RM 4.50 per kilogram live weight for 270 kilo costing RM 1,300 inclusive of slaughter, lapah & transport. After the solat Eid, we went down to the field. The bull is tied to a tree. When the slaughtering team gets the bull on the ground but it was getting wild. Some team member got scared and the bull ran away. Fortunately, there are spare bulls and cow around. If not, I will get the bull shit or the cow dung. I was not daring enough to slit the bull’s throat but just hold the held head and read my niat. The semi pro butcher did the slaughtering and the blood shoot out into the dig drain. The bull did a few “heritage kicks” (tending pusaka) and then laid still.

Then, it was deskinned and degutted and cut into the four quarters which is hung up to be deboned (dilapah). The deskinning (lapah kulit) is very tricky since you have to forgo the meat leaving it stuck to the skin so as not to spoil the hide. This deliberate left over meat is known as the love meat (daging kasih) and I suppose it is called such since it is left there for the love of the hide. It is different from other love meat – the meaty body parts with which you make love. The worst task to be given is to clean the large intestine (perut besar @ perut tuala) and perut tembusu (small intestine) where the unprocessed bullshit or cow dung has to be cleaned. Water is not sufficient to take away the stench but the lime water (kapur) has to be used. The deboned meat is cut into smaller pieces and packed in one kati or one kilo plastic bags to be distributed to the needy. The choice parts of the balls and the tails since they are suppose to have aphrodisiac value.

The bones are good for making soup with still lots of meat sticking to it since those who deboned are amateurs. Nevertheless, when you have cut and slice so much of meat and even you yourself start smelling like meat, you may have no appetite to slurp the bone soup unless it is a special ox tail or testicles plus the tender projectile soup (termed as torpedo soup probably due to its shape or due to its effect on the one who consume it.

If I am no mistaken , qurban is not compulsory for the Hajj ( please correct me if I am wrong here) On the other hand , the dam ( penalty) is obligatory if you break the major hajj rules. The famous penalty is that one has to slaughter a camel that is imposed if you‘re to have sex during the ihram. That’s why the male and female potential hajis and hajjah are kept separate. It is not that many do not want to share a room with the wife (besides it may cost a load of Riyals) but they fear factor of Dam Unta is there. When the period of forbidden sex is over, usually there is one room kept free and some couples may sheepishly get the keys from the manager and try to get some barakah in the Holy land. It is not easy to get such barakah in Mecca especially during the hajj season.

I did my qurban during my hajj. I did not do it through the modern method or buying coupon but by traditional way. During the stay in Mina, we had lots of free time especially after the stoning the devils and shaving bald. Rather than drinking the Arab Tea Tarik which is in fact more of D-I-Y TEA ENJUT - you ‘re given in cup of hot water in a plastic cup , a tea bag to jerk and a few packets of sugar and powder milk and then you start jiggling. I took a taxi with one of the hajji guides and went to the nearest Arab village. There was a place where the Arab Badawi was selling the animals for Qurban sacrifice. The price for each sheep is just one third of the coupon qurban price and so I bought three sheep. Here the guide who speaks Arabic is very helpful in bargaining and that’s how we got it rather cheap. One thing I observed the bargaining by the Arabs is so furious - which is more like quarrelling. I saw one camel on a Nissan pick up beeping away. We try to bargain for it but it was too expansive and we left the camel with its tears literally and physically running down the eyes. There were a number of the qurban butchers around and we can ask them to help with the slaughtering for a small tip. In fact, they prefer the DIY qurban but I was too scared to do it fearing that the sheep may run away half way during the process. Nevertheless, the butcher helped to slaughter it single handedly for all the three sheep. The sheep did not struggle much but seems to be willing to be sacrificed and the camel when not offered for sacrifice having tears in its eyes. These are two things which my grand mother used to tell me stories of her Mecca days that I saw with my own eyes. Masya Allah…..

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