Family Days at Merdeka Carnival

[dropcap]E[/dropcap]very year, my family gather together on the grounds of Brickendonbury Manor for the Merdeka Carnival. Think of a British garden fete meets Malaysian Independence day and that’s Merdeka Carnival! Malaysian expats all over the country come down to eat (no word of a lie- it’s seriously a national pastime) meet friends, and have a lovely family day out. We do it every year- aside from Christmas, it’s the only time in the year we gather together as a family. When my niece was 5 days old, my sister still came along!  So, we ‘re pretty serious about it. My family always pick a spot by a shady tree, plonk down picnic blankets, chairs and a tent (in case the weather fails!) and take turns making the rounds of all the food stalls to bring back treats to share.

ME2
PICNIC
PULUT2
PULUT1

My gang of nieces and nephews love it- there’s so much for little kids to do like face painting, a bona fide Punch & Judy show, mini teacup and train rides and this year, bungee trampolines! And all of it is free. The bubble guns however, were not. All of the kids made sure bubbles were in healthy supply for the afternoon!
BUBBLESME
DADBUBBLES
DADBUBBLES2

Even in a bubble storm, my big sister is still embroiled in her reading! Take that Rory Gilmore. My other big sister (stay with me here, I have three older sisters!) and I went to get some munch, and being the noodle heads that we are, we went to get some noodles.

NOODLES
WOK

Sorted! We made our orders and watched them fire up the wok for our lunch. Noodles in hand, we collected a few extra goodies- steaming cups of sweet, milky tea- and walked back to our picnic spot. The queue for Roti was enormous, so I’m gutted we didn’t get any this year! I captured a few pics of it being prepared instead. The ghee soaked dough is slapped, flattened and fried and it’s the tastiest thing in the world.

TEHTARIK
STALL
ROTI
ROTI2
ROTI3

Look at these knuckleheads

BOYS

They are awesome. Boys, man. Boys and wrestling are like peas and carrots. Boys also make sweet accessories for their dear old aunties….

LOOMBANDS

Pretty fetch, no? (“Stop trying to make fetch happen!” wink wink)

Afterwards, my Dad, sister and I went to say hello to the war veterans, who tug at my heart strings every year. I love rifling through their photo albums, so lovingly and thoughtfully put together.

VETS
VETS7
VETS4
VETS5
DADMILVETS

I listened in as one of them traded stories with my dad “I was in there in ’57” “I was there in ’69” and then left them to chat. One memento was a special menu for a 21st birthday at the army base- what’s Queen Pudding, anyone know? I love that this was carefully saved after all this time. From where we were standing, we had prime spot to watch the raffle giveaway and the tug of war. My other sister won a night’s stay at the Hyatt in town, yeeha! Every year, we also go ballistic over the Lion dancing- there’s something about those beating drums and big lion eyes that gets me every time- I can vividly picture how exciting and scared I used to be watching it as a child! Also, this year was all about the Kung Fu demo. Always know your Kung Fu!

TUGOFWAR2
LIONDANCE
LIONDANCE3
LIONDANCE2
KUNGFU

The rest of the day was spent hanging out with these little munchkins, eating treats that my mum kept mysteriously pulling out of endless bags, and enjoying the Autumn sunshine. After a day spent with my family, I always feel like my batteries have been recharged, that I’ve been fed chicken soup for my soul, and maybe a new laughter line on my face.

BUNNY
LEILAJUMP
DILLONJUMP
MEFACE
PJSTALL
CUPS

Till next year Merdeka Carnival- it’s been another great year.

 

Author: Angela Shek

just a clueless mama in East London

5 thoughts on “Family Days at Merdeka Carnival”

  1. THE FOOD! Thanks for the tip – I’ll be looking this up for next year 🙂 I’ll be in Malaysia in 10 days’ time and I’m salivating at the thought of all the things on my EAT IT ALL list

    Like

  2. I’d love to go to the Merdeka Carnival, the teh tarik looks goooood! And roti canai is my favourite thing ever 🙂 Craving Malaysian food so much after going to Malaysia Night, and seriously can’t wait for my next trip back! xx

    Like

  3. Oh my goodness, this looks like so much fun – and the FOOD!

    Seems like such a good way to catch up with everyone too.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.