The Lemang dUCk

Ok so 2019 doesn’t seem so bad now, huh? I’m sure we can all agree that 2020 has been a jaw-dropping year so far with the coronavirus pandemic. The first day of Ramadhan marked five weeks of the nation being quarantined at home, and it was definitely a tearful day for me. Full of nostalgia and loneliness, especially because I live alone. Not in a million years would I have thought I’d have to break fast with my parents via video call on the first day of Ramadhan.

Eid undoubtedly won’t be the same this year. As I write this, it’s uncertain if I can even travel back to my hometown and tears are streaming down my cheeks. Oh, I miss my family so much. The smell of Mom’s cooking, my nephews’ laughter while playing Pop Pop, and the warmth of Dad’s hug.

I remember the day I talked about the design for this year’s Eid dUCk. I had excitement in my eyes as I explained the concept of a lemang design to celebrate the beloved Eid dish - lemang! I told the story of our family tradition with Tok Ma making lemang in her kampung - how chaotic it would be with the chitter-chatter of the elders, the kids playing with the bamboo like swords (and getting scolded by my aunts), laughter filled the air. Life filled the air.

Suddenly I realise that life can always fill the air. It’s how we choose to handle it. Instead of being sad, I chose to feel happy, that we have technology so I can see my parents everyday. Instead of being in grief, I chose to feel excitement for the end of this pandemic and when I’ll get to hug my parents again. Instead of feeling anxious, I chose to feel grateful for the time at home to self-reflect and reconnect. Because being apart doesn’t mean we are apart at heart. If there’s anything The Lemang dUCk has taught me, it’s that we need each other. Each grain of rice needs the other to stick together - if they give up and let go, they can never be whole. Let’s stick together like lemang, dUCkies. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, know that we will always have pieces of each other in our hearts. Happy Eid and Maaf Zahir Batin from me.