The Mandailing community throughout Malaysia gathered at Pondok Perlis, Kg Mandailing, located at the 9th milestone Chemor recently for their Hari Raya celebration. Numbering over 2000 members, they came from Kg Kerangai, Negeri Sembilan, Gombak Selangor and Ayer Tawar Perak and other parts of the country.
The President of Mandailing Malaysia, En Ramli Abdul Karim Hasibuan in his message stated that the Raya get together was part of the association’s strategy to foster and strengthen the relationship between the Mandailing communities throughout the country.
Some of the prominent Mandailing personalities present that day included Dato’ Rusnah Kassim, state exco for women’s development, former Perak State Exco Dato’ Mazidah Zakaria, as well as Abdur-Razzaq Lubis the author of Raja Bilah and the Mandailings in Perak.
It was indeed a joyous occasion where their cultural heritage was showcased. For an outsider the event was a bonus insight into their lifestyle. The organizers had put up a mock Mandailing wedding complete with traditional costumes as had the dancers who came from Gombak Selangor.
Their lunch menu showcased their traditional dishes with traditional ingredients that included mashed tapioca leaves (daun ubi tumbuk), lemongrass and ginger flower (bunga kantan).
Their full traditional music ensemble, Gordong Sembilan (nine drums) was another bonus. Musical instruments consisted of the nine drums, graded in size from large to small, complemented by two gongs (agung), a bamboo flute called sarune and a pair of small cymbals called tali sasayat.
As the ensemble played, the elders of the community donned their traditional shawls, joined the dancers and danced the Tarian Tor-Tor to the joy of the entire Mandailing community.