Reminiscing Malam Tujoh Likor

Neither do I know the origin of this most anticipated night nor exactly why we celebrate it. But we celebrated the night with lots of joy and happiness. It was the night where we, the kids have a bit of freedom from the other nights in Ramadhan to venture far into our neighbouring territories, and feasting our eyes with the glitter of flickering light from the many pelita on fire.

It was the 27th. night of Ramadhan. To most of the generation who spent most of their time playing PlayStation or indulging themselves until the wee hour of morning with facebook, we called that nigh Malam Tujoh Likor. This is the story of many years back, a story of a night, which suddenly became lively when the dark befall and the atmosphere became shrouded with smoldering smoke and thundering sound.

A day or two before the night, you can almost sense its present with a hive of activities. Kampung folks started the preparation by collecting used ‘tin susu’ from the coffee shop (kedai kopi) and for a more creative citizen like my tokki, he cut down a bamboo which is abundance, around the village to make ‘pelita’ and also our cannon. The ‘tin susu’ will be cleaned, fitted with a ‘sumbu’ normally made from old rugs or jute straw. The bamboo will be prepared the same way, either as a single ‘ruas’ (joint) or a series of one long bamboo consisting of up to 10 ‘ruas’ mounted and supported on two sticks, and both were filled with kerosene or cooking oil (minyak kelapa). That was how the pelita were made and they were now ready for the grand finale.

On the day itself, the old surau or masjid was full to the brink of almost kissing the ground. The ‘moreh’ was exceptionally special that night (Malam Lailatul Qadar could fall on the same night – you’ll never know). The kids after the isya’ prayer and probably a few rakaat of terawikh – killed their time playing ‘police sentry’ or ‘hide and seek’ close by before the main event – firecrackers, carbide cannon and touring other neighboring villages in a big group.

After the terawikh, we hurriedly back to set up our battle arsenals, which were ‘meriam buluh’ or ‘meriam tanah’. The girls and the unadventurous lads were just settled down with firecrackers and making sure the pelita won’t die off during the night.

We, the more daring and ‘lasak’ guys straight away went to our specially chosen spot for our long awaited and anticipated activity. Meriam buluh was made from a special thick-walled bamboo (buluh duri) and not the normal bamboo used to cook lemang. The bamboo will be bored (normally my tokki did this few days earlier) and filled with carbide which later mixed with water. To strengthen the bamboo my tokki wrapped it with steel wire. The ‘meriam tanah’ on the other hand was actually another version of cannon, made from a square mold (normally from used cooking oil tin) in an elevated ground, under a house (imagine kampung houses with lots of wooden tiang) which strategically face a paddy field.

My kampung buddies and siblings – brothers-in-arm in the battle, placed the cannon in a row, facing the other villages. It can be a tough competition, because our rivals were aiming the cannon toward our village as well and ready for a good melee. My tokki watched his grandchildren enjoying their time in a safe distant. We were ready to rock. You can hear the distinct hissing sound from the chemical reaction which tell you that it was just about time to light it. Fire in the hole….Kaboooommmm! Kabooommmm! The night then filled with continuous hair-raising sounds. We didn’t stop until we had run out of our carbide supply. Which was normally past the midnight. As if everybody came to an understanding, (sort of mutual MoU I guess) the sound died off suddenly and the night became eerily quite and serene again.

With ourselves strongly smelled with carbide, we then rode our bicycle to our neighboring villages scouting for their battle secret and at the same time feasting our eyes with their creative light decorations, which by now glowing and flickering brightly and beautifully. Occasionally we stooped to greet them and they treated us with some sweets. The night end when we have no more energy to cycle or our tummy has started to grumble, longing for our take away food, normally tucked safely in our sarung which was taken from the moreh earlier that night.

That was my Malam Tujoh Likor


27 Responses to “Reminiscing Malam Tujoh Likor”

  1. selamat hari raya, maaf zahir batin doc…keep 'ceria' selalu

  2. hani@debumelukut Says:

    Yes..i am re'living' my past. reading what you wrote nearly make me cry..those were happy days where children can be children without fear of being attacked violently by muggers,rappers and so what not.Doc, You express yourself well here..that little boy does not grow up eh? still trapped inside? So does this little girl…God, its good to be kids again once in a while..hehehee

  3. :)baca entry ni mengingatkan nostalgia kabommmm…kabooommm masa catz kecik2 dulu..jiran2 lelaki yg duk berlawan2 meriam buluh..btw,selamat hari raya, maaf zahir dan batin.berhati-hati memandu. utamakan keselamatan.:)

  4. selamat menyambut aidilfitri kepada DrSam sekeluarga yermaaf zahir & batin

  5. Wan 0806012 Says:

    nampak best jer…..

  6. Salam dr…amazing kid dr dulu erk… :)nway…eid mubarak…maaf atas silap dan salah…Selamat Hari Raya…

  7. would like to wish you and family "selamat menyambut aidilfitri" dr sam!

  8. CaBaiKeRinG Says:

    oh my… how i miss my experience on malam 27… especially the part where waiting for the nasik kenduri masjid! hahahacabaikering…

  9. dr sam,Alhamdulillah after all the kakaboooomm booommm…you are stiil perfectly intact with all your kaki and tangan..he he he.Selamat hari raya…maaf zahir dan

  10. selamat hari raya uncle…semoga aidilfitri kali ni beri sinar yang lebih cerah kepada kita smua…teja susun sepuluh jari minta ampun n maaf andaikata pernah terkasar bahasa dan terlebih bicara dgn dr sam ye…macam biasa yang akan teja pesan ngn suma org…prepare duit raya for me..ahaha


  12. Dinda, moga ketemu Lailatul Qadr. Ameen.

  13. aliff muhammad Says:

    Salam Doc.Sam,Firstly, wishing you a happy Hari Raya Aidilfitri 1430 H. Used to play with "meriam tanah" as for "buluh duri" is quite scarce in my village. Used to run around the village when the neighbors call the police after a very thunderous battle of meriam tanah among my friends. Speaking of old time and "malam tujuh likur"..sigh..

  14. umie@kakyong Says:

    Salam DrSam…Sempena hari yg mulia ini, umie dan keluaga mengambil kesempatan utk mengucapkan Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri maaf zahir batin…sekiranya ada kesilapan dan keterlaluan bahasa dalam komen2 sebelum ini… TQ

  15. Semoga bertemu Ramadhan akan datang…EID MUBARAK!!!

  16. selamat hari raya maaf zahir batin…

  17. salam DrSam..Selamat hari Raya..:):)Semoga selamat ke destinasinya..

  18. Salam Dr.Sam.Selamat Hari Raya dan Maaf Zahir dan Batin..

  19. salamzi wish i could join malam 7 likor!anywaySelamat hari rayamaaf zahir batin take care

  20. nak ucap selamat hari raya to uraya mana tahun ni dr sam?

  21. a nice dose of memory about malam tujuh likur doc.Selamat Hari Raya dr sam. Thanks for enlighting my days with your takes on life and everything under the sun.

  22. DrSam…missed those good old days…It has been 45 years since I started playing meriam buluh and meriam tanah in my kampung…wish I could do that again..Salam Eid.MZB

  23. encik ariff Says:

    selamat hari raya.:)

  24. Yes doc, the girls would just play the bunga api.I remember made one of my own.I took my mum's berus periuk and tied it to the end of a stick.Then I d immerse the berus periuk into a kerosene and lit a fire.I d hold the other end of the stick and swing it 360 degrees for a few rounds.Sparks of fire would fall off from the berus periuk.Beautiful…Salam aidilfitri buat doc sekeluarga.

  25. Selamat hari raya buat dr sam dan keluarga…maaf zahir dan batin.

  26. selamat hari raya!

  27. PerantauSepi1306 Says:

    yup.. i can still remember teh panjut, meriam buluh and all thos antiques that we hardly get nowadays… a story beautifuly told, Dr 😀

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