Berkhatan

Every Malaysian Muslim boy has to undergo this. Berkhatan is Malaysian term for circumcision. Scary stories from our seniors, i.e. those who had undergone it before us, abound. Scary or not, there was no escaping it. Not that one would want to give it a miss, after realizing that it marked the transition from a mere boy to a man. I consider it a rite of passage into adulthood.

During my time, back in 1972, it was quite an event, approaching fanfare level ! My paternal grandparents, who raised me up from birth and with whom I lived until it was time for me to leave for secondary school, made the customary kenduri (feast) preceding it. And I was the only “celebrity” at the kenduri. As a result, the whole village and my schoolmates knew about it, including the girls :)

Nowadays, it was just a quiet visit to a GP at a nearby clinic. Or, as in the case of my son Adib, a not-so-quiet event at the neighborhood mosque. But still, it did not quite match the level that his father had undergone a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

Anyway, technological progress has its advantages. The procedure now was simple, brief, and most important of all, less stressful on the father who had to be in the operations room comforting the son. But berkhatan being what it was, at Adib’s event yesterday, I observed several dads and mums more restless and apprehensive than their sons who were awaiting their turns…

Adib and Ege, his next door buddy

Adib and Ege, his next door buddy

Participants and parents, listening attentively to briefing by Dr Khazali, chair of Masjid Al-Falah USJ 9 2009's berkhatan's organizing committee

Participants and parents listening attentively to briefing by Dr Khazali, chair of Masjid Al-Falah USJ9 2009's berkhatan's organizing committee

Dr Khazali giving the briefing, with a staff from Klinik Rumah Khitan who sent two doctors for the event

Dr Khazali giving the briefing, with a staff from Klinik Rumah Khitan who sent two doctors for the event

Parents with their sons who were participating in Masjid Al-Falah USJ9 2009 berkhatan event

Parents with their sons who were participating in Masjid Al-Falah USJ9 2009 berkhatan event

Cikgu Tipah, a member of the organizing committee, giving clarification to Ege's grandpa

Cikgu Tipah, a member of the organizing committee, giving clarification to Ege's grandpa

On the operations table - a brave boy who did not need his dad to comfort him during his moments of trials

On the operations table - a brave boy who did not need his dad to comfort him during his moments of trials

Lokman, Adib's friend was number 4 to came out of the operations room. Here he was proudly held by his smiling mum and Cikgu Tipah, with his smiling big brother and sister looking on

Lokman, Adib's friend was number 4 to come out of the operations room. Here he was proudly held by his beaming mum and Cikgu Tipah, and his big brother and sister smiling, giving moral support

Adib and his friends, awaiting their turn to go into the operations room. Adib was number 25 in line. There were 36 boys in total

Adib and his friends, awaiting their turn to go into the operations room. Adib was number 25 in line. Altogether 36 boys particapated in yesterday's 6th December 2009 event at Masjid Al-Falah USJ9

Adib and his friend Amirul, who was number 31 in line, both seemingly unconcerned that their turns were creeping nearer

Adib and his friend Amirul, who was number 31 in line, both seemingly unconcerned that their turns were creeping nearer. They were playing in the corridor of the mosque next to the ops room

Finally, the long wait had ended. Adib in his sarong, just out of the operations room, with Ege besides him

Finally, the long wait had ended. Adib in his sarong, just out of the operations room, with Ege who was number 6, besides him. Congratulations for being so brave!

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