Slices of the areca nut is wraped in betel leaves and chewed for its mild stimulant effect. Lime and sometimes other spices like clove and cardamon or even a tobacco leaf or two are added to the wrap. Chewing it blackens the teeth and stains the mouth deep red. Chewing of the areca nut is a tradition that dates back to thousands of years. This ritual used to be pratised widely by the local people but now it is not so popular among the younger generation.
There is even a malay proverb, "bagai pinang dibelah dua" which can be translated to "like an areca nut cut into half". It is used to denote newly weds who are very compatible with each other.
Today also marks the day when the sighting of the moon is conducted at 29 separate locations throughout our country to determine the date for Hari Raya Aidilfitri (aka Eid ul-Fitr). The results will be announced by the Keeper of the Rulers' seal. Thereafter the public will be notified through the mass media. I hereby would like to wish all muslims around the world:
Happy Hari Raya !
Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri !