When I was young my grandmother introduced me to strings of relatives. They were mostly grandma's anak buah (nephews and nieces) and hoards of cousins from all sides. When I got married, my husband and I both come from big families ( 9 siblings on my side and 12 from his side ). So logically speaking our children would have hundreds of 1st and second cousins. When we were a young couple we went everywhere visiting relatives, uncles and aunties and cousins. We cared for our relatives a lot that we were the one that went round visiting them. It did not matter if the visits from them were rare or they came only when we invited them for functions. We never made that an issue because we thought we were the lucky ones, we had the time and means to go around. When the fruits season came, we distributed the fruits collection from our dusun to reachable relatives. When we went visiting places eg Cameron Highlands we made sure to bring back some fresh veges as buah tangan ( we love giving gifts. I hope this is not mengungkit which will nullify my pahala). Actually I just feel like telling this story) We were then economically sound that we would have several makan-makan functions in a year. We love doing kenduris, BBQs and celebration each year until our economy slowdown some years back.
We do not entirely blame the others about the presentlack of social intergration, we also blamed ourselves. Now we do not visit some relatives anymore, because we do react to some peoples action towards us. With great care that we do not cut out the relationship outright or 'putus the sillaturrahim' which in Islam is a serious wrong doing, BUT we do not go all way put to visit some people or do everything to please them. Lately my mother sounded her displeasure towards me, telling me that people who putus sillaturrahim will not smell the syurga! I felt hurt but Pak Haji quickly told her mother-in-law that we never do that, its just that we do not go all way out to meet or to please people who had gravely hurt us. Well, they may have their own reasons for doing those things to us but WE WERE BADLY HURT.
Then we changed our lifestyle, for two reasons, first we have not much rms to flaunt to do all the functions, second we embrace a more Islamic lifestyle. We do realise that most people will love to associate with successful people. So we can't blame our relatives if they rarely come to our place these days because we do not do funtions like before.
I am not prepared to tell about what had really happened now, suffice to say that the emotional hurt nearly killed me! (And they said they did not do anything!!) So my poor children have less uncles and aunties to visit and less cousins to romp around with.
However I still hold fast to the beautiful memories of my happy young days with my relatives cum friends. Yes I still remember the days romping around the village with Pak Uneng Din, Pak Anjang Badi, Mak Tam Siroh, Mak Andak Solehah, Mak long Nur,( they are mothers cousins around my age) playing in the river and playing hide-n-seek around the kampung. I still fondly remember my stay over at grand-aunt Chu Timah's house during school holidays. I love her children like my own aunt, they are Mak Lang Tiah, Mak Ngah Wailah, Mak teh Faizah, Mak Andak Solehah and Pak cik Budin. I love staying at their place becauce their house were in the middle of sawah or padi fields (vast open space) while my own kampung has different atmosphere being ar the edge of a pondok settlement (crowded settlement)They in turn love to stay over at our place due the the difference in enviroment.