I promised earlier that I would get back to describing my host family, so I'm going to do that now. I have a host mother, host father, and a host grandfather staying here. The host grandfather is my host father's dad, and I have met my host mother's parents, who live in Batu Gajah, a nearby suburb of Ipoh. Also, I have 4 host siblings: two host sisters aged 14 and 7 (the younger one is turning 8 tomorrow) and two host brothers aged 12 and 11. Hanging out and practicing Malay and Tamil with my host siblings is really fun and informative. My host family also has a cook who stays with the family. She is originally from India and is really funny.
Usually for fun, my host family goes out to eat, plays tennis, watches movies, or travels. I can't wait to do more of this during the Hari Raya holidays the next two weeks. Hari Ray ("Celebration Day") a is a Muslim holiday also known as Eid al-Fitr and celebrates the end of the month of Ramadan and the Muslims' fasting. Here in Malaysia, Hari Raya is a public holiday, and schools are let out for one to two weeks. During the actual day of Hari Raya, people in the cities return to their rural kampungs ("villages") to celebrate the festival. This is known as "balik kampung." During Hari Raya, Muslims wear traditional clothing, such as the Baju Melayu and Baju Kurung (pictures below). I can't wait to get a Baju Melayu and experience Hari Raya in person!
Typical Baju Melayu-worn by men
Typical Baju Kurung-worn by women