The Impatient Sisters with their parents during Hari Raya 2011. Bottom row from left: Irena, Nazeera and Soraya. Photo: Soraya Taib.

We’re a close-knit family. My sisters and I grew up in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail. We had an amazing childhood there. Growing up we attended extra-curricular classes like ballet, piano and guitar lessons. In school, we sang with our school’s choir. Looking back I suppose our lives revolved around the arts and music. It was only much later that we realised we could actually enjoy music together, by forming a band.

Every Raya, for as long as I can remember, we would drive to Kuantan (mum’s kampung) or Muar (dad’s kampung) to celebrate with the rest of the family. In the car, we’d tune in to stations that only play Raya songs. The new songs were ok but the old tunes were our favourite, and remain favourites until today. You just can’t say no to a Raya oldie! That and anything from the “rock kapak” and “jiwang karat” genre (always included in our Raya playlist).

In 2003 we moved to Kuantan. It hasn’t really changed how we celebrate Raya or any other festivities. Aunts, uncles, cousins and the lot will gather to eat, eat, eat and nap. Raya songs will be playing in the background. In the late afternoon, one of us will start playing the piano. Fathers will choose to nap some more but the young ones will start requesting songs like “Ponyo on a Cliff” or anything from “90s Pop Hits” piano book. The fathers will wake up and will start playing songs on the guitar. We always have one lying around.

We learned a lot about 70s and 80s music during festive holidays. Our mum and aunts once spent an afternoon singing along to karaoke videos. I remember searching YouTube for Billy Ocean and countless Abba songs. We have footage if you’d like to see the original Impatient Sisters!

Music has always been present in our family during Raya. It brings back memories, stops time and it brings the family together. Our Raya playlist here consists of songs special to us. What are your favourite Raya songs?

Soraya Taib is one third of The Impatient Sisters and an architect by training. You can usually find her at home playing with her cat, Orange.