It was last night that this writer realised that Hari Raya is one week away (didn’t Ramadan just start?), which led me to search Youtube for this year’s Raya ads. Warm of course, but 2018 isn’t shaping up to be a vintage year for tear-jerkers. Then, I stumbled on Toyota’s Raya ad today and it’s my new favourite.

When one’s in a sentimental mood, there’s nothing like reminiscing about the good old days, and festivals are all about family. The well-worn but still mightily effective theme is the love and sacrifice of our parents, and that it’s never too late to give some back in return.

The C-HR is a rare cool modern Toyota, but it’s overshadowed by the old timers here

The proverbial rose-tinted glasses is common among car enthusiasts, too. Old cars are always “better” than their modern counterparts. “They don’t make them like they used to, bro,” they say. We’re progressing and/or greying, but our four-wheeled dreams are perpetually stuck in our formative years. Some of us are still living in Japan’s glory days, while the boomers remember European cars fondly.

Toyota’s Raya ad combines both. It follows the life of Afiq, who remembers rides in his dad’s Liteace van (this was before MPVs) around the taman. He grows up, gets restless and does very well for himself. Extremely well in fact, when you had an AE86 as a young man, have a big house, the gorgeous Sarah and what must be the cutest daughter in the world. Jealous, man!

Hero Afiq has done very well for himself, but he never realised his father’s love for him

Afiq then gets an epiphany just in time for Raya, making the busy man realise that he has a great dad. Awakened, our hero does a very sweet gesture for his old man, ending in smiles for the family and tears in our eyes. Oh, what a feeling!

The four-wheeled props are amazing too, but did everyone in Malaysia drive a Toyota back in the day? Surely no, but we salute the effort to ensure every car in every frame is a Toyota, mostly period correct. Gosh, it makes me want to pop up my Toyota’s headlights now and drive home to buy my old man dinner.

Stupid onions!