Sparks of happiness flying high during Hari Raya celebrations. Photo Source: IQI Global
- Reminiscing the most significant annual celebration for Muslims, Hari Raya.
- It’s those days where you can get ‘duit raya’ and sing ‘Balik Kampung’!
Hari Raya is a significant celebration for Muslims all over the world. Every time the term ‘Hari Raya’ is mentioned, everyone gets excited. Not only Muslims, but even non-Muslims get excited for Hari Raya! As we are already approaching the last few days of the fasting month, Ramadan, we can see how the preparation of Hari Raya is already ongoing everywhere and in every household.
Celebrating Togetherness: The Heart of Hari Raya
After speaking with several people, it is clear that Hari Raya is all about togetherness. During Hari Raya, relatives and family members gather together, making it a special occasion every year. During these annual gatherings, people from various generations in the family prepare for Hari Raya, even two or three days before. Mothers and women cook together, while fathers and men handle tasks like house decoration and preparing the famous Raya dish, ‘lemang’.
All the family members are busy preparing food for Hari Raya. This is the time where the ‘spilling tea’ session happens! Photo Source: Sirap Limau
The Joy of Childhood Memories: Fireworks and Duit Raya
The children and adults alike will have fun playing with fireworks and firecrackers together. These are the times where they can reminisce about being a child, playing with their cousins. Personally, this is also one of my favourite occasions that I have always looked forward to every Raya. The sound and colours of the fireworks, together with everyone’s laughter and excitement, create an atmosphere of pure joy and anticipation for Hari Raya. Hearing the sound of the fireworks marks that Hari Raya is just around the corner.
Another core memory of Hari Raya is none other than the ‘duit raya’! It’s funny how the adults start to get anxious about getting cash from the bank to give ‘duit raya’, while the younger ones eagerly anticipate receiving it from their parents, older siblings, relatives, and other elders. That’s just how it has always been.
Memories of Balik Kampung
“Balik kampung.. Oh.. Balik kampung!” Does it ring a bell? I am pretty sure everyone knows about this Balik Kampung song by Sudirman, a famous Malaysian singer even until today. It is a must-listen and sing along song when you are on your way to go back to your hometown. Everyone would start reminiscing how we used to always sing our hearts out when it comes to this song. We still do honestly, right? Because I am in my 20s now and I still do! This song never gets old and the kids today still sing it very passionately.
That exciting feeling to reach your hometown as soon as possible. Photo Source: Carsome
Imagine being in the car, rolling down the window, and singing this with all your family members while stuck in the traffic (it always happens), definitely a core memory. A long journey won’t feel boring and we are simply just excited to reach the ‘kampung’ and meet the other family members.
Smiling from ear to ear, showing off their ‘duit raya’. Photo Source: Berita Harian
Adapting to Change: Celebrating Hari Raya in the Pandemic
As the years go by, things change, especially after we have been hit with the pandemic Covid-19. We used to splurge on any Raya expenses but nowadays we are more aware of the current situation and have started to value being together with our loved ones more than anything during Hari Raya.
Most people from the older generation shared with me that they are noticing that the younger generation today, compared to the old days, lack social skills. Most younger generations are so focused on socialising through their gadgets instead of interacting with people in real life. I understand and acknowledge the elders’ worries on how it somehow would alter the younger generations’ perspective where they don’t really emphasise the real meaning of Raya which promotes togetherness and strengthening bonds.
Nevertheless, the pandemic has made us appreciate the value of family even more. With the travel restrictions, many families are unable to reunite physically but technology has allowed us to connect with our loved ones virtually. Though it’s not quite the same, it has made us realise the importance of cherishing the moments we have with our family and friends.
Hari Raya is the day you get to enjoy all the delicious food with your family! Photo Source: Perfect Livin
Hari Raya: A Time for Renewal and Reflection
As we celebrate Hari Raya this year, let us take a moment to reflect on the past year and appreciate the little things in life. The pandemic has taught us to be more resilient and to adapt to change. Even though we may not be able to celebrate Hari Raya the same way as before, the spirit of togetherness still remains strong.
Let us continue to cherish our family and friends, near or far, and strengthen our bonds with them. Let us also remember those who are less fortunate and do our part to help them. As we enter a new year, let us renew our commitment to be better versions of ourselves and to make positive changes in our lives.
Hari Raya is more than just a celebration. It is a time to reflect, renew, and appreciate the value of togetherness. Let us continue to celebrate Hari Raya with love and gratitude, and may it bring joy and happiness to everyone’s hearts. Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri!