OTHER WORLD Malaysian family of nearly 700 gather for Eid reunion

Gathering brought together about 683 people from 100 families

August 21, 2012
Image Credit: AFP

Kuala Lumpur: 
Nearly 700 descendants of the founder of a village in northern Malaysia gathered in what is believed to be the largest family reunion for the Muslim Eid Al Fitr celebration in the country.

Family head Syeikh Ala’a Al Deen Syeikh Abu Bakar told AFP on Tuesday the gathering brought together about 683 people from 100 families descended from Kampung Paya Pahlawan’s (Warrior’s Swamp Village) founder Tok Nai Din.

“We only know that he came from Thailand in 1792 and his tomb is in Paya Pahlawan. He may have been involved in the 1821 war with Siam,” he said, referring to the Siamese kingdom’s conquest of the state of Kedah.

The village no longer exists, having been converted into a cattle farm, and the gathering took place 20 kilometres away in Alor Setar, the state capital of Kedah.

Among illustrious members of the family are former Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi and a member of his successor Najeeb Razak’s staff, Ala’a Al Deenclaimed.

Muslims, who form the majority of the population of around 27 million, make the yearly exodus to their hometowns after the holy fasting month of Ramadan to meet their extended family members.

It was the family’s 39th annual meet and saw members coming from as far as Britain, United States, Saudi Arabia and Mexico, and cost 4,000 ringgit (Dh4,692)) to cater.

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