Hari Raya all about family

In the run-up to Hari Raya, we’ve been asking people what their favourite memories and wishes for the festive season are


By Jude Toyat


Hari Raya all about family


FOR SYERIFAH FARAH, 35, a radio announcer and producer for REDfm RTM Sarawak, Hari Raya may be the time for her to seek forgiveness from her parents, family and friends but it is also celebration that brings her together with family and friends.


A collection of Farah's sweet memories from Hari Raya

A collection of Farah’s sweet memories from Hari Raya


The youngest of six siblings, Farah celebrates Hari Raya with her family here in Kuching, their hometown. “The first day of Raya, the first thing we do in the morning is join the Eid prayer at the surau. After which, the family gathers at our parents’ house to seek for forgiveness and then give the kids Duit Raya.

“We always have this food potluck during the first day, so we tend to have variety of Raya food on the table, then we begin our ‘makan’ session with a prayer, as a sign of syukur. Later on, we will go for visiting to houses of our family members. We also do open house to treat out family and friends.”

Her favourite Raya moment is from her childhood spending time with her parents, siblings, cousins, aunties and uncles. “I used to collect lots of duit raya when I was a kid, that was the best part of Raya.”

She remembers an old tradition practiced exclusively here in Sarawak. “Back then, at night, we had this ‘bertuntong’ tradition, of which we can only find it here in Sarawak, it is a light festival, where each house is decorated with ‘pelita’ and colourful Raya lights in their compounds. We even had the ‘bertuntong’ competition back then. It was so exciting.

“During this joyous occasion, I would like to grab this beautiful opportunity to wish my big fat family, a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir dan batin, kosong-kosong okay. May we all be blessed, always. InsyaAllah, may we all get better each day and each moment. Please enjoy your Raya with your loved ones, be safe and stay healthy during this wonderful celebration. To all family and friends, you are all invited to come to my house, and let us celebrate this 1Malaysia Raya with joy, peace and harmony.”


Changing roles and responsibilities during Hari Raya


Meanwhile, Nurhafeezha Ali, better known as Pija, 24, said that Hari Raya would not be complete without her family.

“Usually during the first day of Syawal, as a lady, I will help my mother in the preparation of meals to bring along as sadaqqah to the mosque and continue there to pray.” After they are done with their Raya prayers, the family will gather together and ask for each others’ forgiveness.


Pija now working with more responsibilities for Hari Raya.

Pija now working with more responsibilities for Hari Raya.


She remembers how as a child, her parents would prepare everything for Raya, and how happy she was when she received new clothes and duit raya.

“But now, since I’ve started working, the responsibilities have automatically been passed down to me. My most memorable Raya moment would be when my siblings and I have had to bake Raya biscuits until the next morning because of the overloaded orders.”

“I wish every Muslim, especially my family, relatives, friends and those who knows me, a joyous raya, Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir dan Batin, and may everyone enjoy this year’s Raya with blessings.”


Bittersweet memories


“Hari Raya is a very meaningful celebration apart from the holy month of Ramadan for all Muslims around the world,” said Nur Yasmin Abdul Halim, 21, an aspiring model and student from Kuching.


Yasmin with her beloved mother

Yasmin with her beloved mother


Better known as Min, her most cherished memory of Hari Raya is with her best friend. “My most memorable Hari Raya moment would be celebrating the festivities with my best friend who passed away two years ago. That has made me rather gloomy especially in times like Hari Raya.”

“I would like to wish Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir dan Batin to all Muslims around the world, and may this year brings us more blessings together will our beloved people around us, especially our family and friends.”


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