It was in the 80s, and it was going to be raya soon. I was watching the preview of the then bengkel kanak-kanak s/bc rancangan aidilfitri for kids. They used to show it every year and I must say, the quality of the kids program then by s/bc was far superior than what they have today. Maybe I am generation-bias. But somehow, being a kid or a teenager in the 80s was sure swell. Anyway, I heard the song Malam Tujuh Lekor sung for the first time. I thought it was really interesting. I knew that after Ramadan was raya where we kids had a blast going around for our ‘duit collection’, but Malam Tujuh Lekor was something I wanted to know more.
The song continued to be played on radio and on television. During the rancangan aidilfitri for kids itself, it showed that during the song, the kids and the adults in there were lighting up ‘lampu colok’ or kerosene lamps on bamboo sticks or in tin cans. I was definitely curious, so to the good old mother I went.
She explained that in the kampungs last time, Malam Tujuh Lekor is the final week of Ramadan, where people did the countdown to raya by lighting up ‘lampu colok’ around the house firstly, to create the excitement for everybody for the coming of the festive Syawal, secondly, to remind the kampung folks of the leaving of Ramadan so do whatever needs to be done pronto, spiritually. Achso…. Maybe there are other variations of this Malam Tujuh Lekor, but that was the version my mum knew, probably told to her by her mum. The song, which to this day remains as one of my favourites was sung by veteran singers M. Shariff and Mariam Maria Bachok.
I suspected that ‘lampu lap lip’ evolved from lampu colok, no?
For me, the idea of the lampu colok is so retro. For the zaman where people stayed in the kampungs and walked around using the ‘obor’. Zaman P. Ramlee in the film Semerah Padi. Of Andika and Taruna. Ahaks !
I have been wanting to have lampu colok for the longest time. But of course, where I came from, in high rise apartments, it was not quite possible. Last year we celebrated Ramadan here in Malaysia as well but in the old house, I thought I could finally have it, but it didn’t materialise. But this year, yes.. finally this year in the home run towards Syawal, in the Malam Tujuh Lekor week, the husband was kind enough to ‘layankan‘ his wife’s retro cravings and got for me my first lampu colok! Cheap thrill, I know but I slept with a grin. Tee hee.
First attempt, too much kerosene !
He bought one for me. And I want more ! more ! And so.. I got my second one..
Did I say I was gleeful ? 😛
And the song that started all of this many, many years ago..