Villagers of Kampung Ribu in Enggor continue with the ‘pelita panjut’ tradition despite MCO

One of the two ‘pelita panjut’ displays created by Nur Hidayah Mohd Sabri’s family in their house compound. — Pix by Farhan Najib
One of the two ‘pelita panjut’ displays created by Nur Hidayah Mohd Sabri’s family in their house compound. — Pix by Farhan Najib

PADANG RENGGAS, May 20 — The villagers of Kampung Ribu at Enggor have been putting up pelita panjut (traditional bamboo oil lamps) during the last week of Ramadan and the first week of Hari Raya Aidilfitri at the field of SK Ulu Ribu to brighten up the nights since 2014.

This year, villagers decided to tweak the event by only putting up the lamps closer to home due to the movement control order (MCO).

Persatuan Pengemar Panjut Kampung Ribu chairman Amiruddin Mohd Lazim said the committee had initially wanted to postpone the event this year due to MCO but some villagers felt it should be continued to educate the community that MCO did not mean being tied down.

“Activities that have been previously held can still be continued as long as the standard operating procedures are adhered to,” he said.

Despite the last minute changes to the village tradition, the celebratory tone of the ‘pelita panjut’ decor was evident.
Despite the last minute changes to the village tradition, the celebratory tone of the ‘pelita panjut’ decor was evident.

“This is in line with the government’s call that there should be a new norm in our daily lives now.”

Speaking to the media when met at the village about 50km from Ipoh, Amiruddin said unlike previous years where the lamps are put up by villagers at the school field through ‘gotong-royong’, this year the lamps can only be put up by family members of the household.

“This year, we managed to gather 10 families at the village to put up the lamps at home,” he added.

Unlike previous years where villagers are given themes to work on, this year they are given a free hand on the matter.

Kita Jaga Raya Kita became the village theme.
Kita Jaga Raya Kita became the village theme.

“Due to funding issues and the short time frame, we let the villagers decide on their oil lamps design,” he said, adding that the committee only decided to have the event last week.

In previous years, villagers used up to 2,000 bamboo poles as the lamps’ main structure which takes different shapes each year.

Last year, it was the frame of Taj Mahal, the ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna River at Agra, India.

One of this year’s participants Nur Hidayah Mohd Sabri said it took her family about five days to complete their effort in front of their house compound.

Nur Maisarah Othman, 33 and son, Nur Qaseh Zullaikha Muazri admiring the pelita panjut put up at Kampung Ribu.
Nur Maisarah Othman, 33 and son, Nur Qaseh Zullaikha Muazri admiring the pelita panjut put up at Kampung Ribu.

“We work on it different times of the day as we are tired from puasa,” said the 20-year-old, adding that four family members including herself work on the lamps.

Nur Hidayah also said she felt saddened that the village could not organise the event on a big scale this year.

“The atmosphere is just different but I am still thankful that we get to do it at our homes,” she added.

On its design, which consists of a mosque and tagline ‘Kita Jaga Raya Kita’, Nur Hidayah said the family used about 50 bamboo poles and 500 oil lamps.

Related Articles