Syawal 2020 was not the same as Eid celebrations in the past. New norms would have been the key-word here. First, city dwellers were not able to ‘balik kampung‘ to be with their families, due to interstate travel was not allowed to stop the chain of Covid-19 infection.
Then the visiting of the graves, which used to be part of the tradition, were not encouraged too. And there were definitely no huge families gathering to cook festive delicacies such as ‘lemang’ or ‘dodol’ or even just gather to play fireworks outside the house.
However, this was one special celebration most important thing out of this adversity was the togetherness spirit of a family. While we are still in Eid celebrations, we at myHarapan felt that this is an experience worth sharing and to be remembered. So we asked a simple question to all our team members:
How was your Raya 2020 celebration experience?
“Eid this year was special. It was different, but it wasn’t without love, forgiveness, and gratefulness. Every moment spent with the family was made more precious. We celebrated the simple things in life, giggled to bad jokes, and ‘main bunga api’. We truly do shine brightest in the dark!” – said our Master Yoda.
Syarina Hisham, Asst Manager, IMC
So, this is my RayaStory. I’m sure many of us share a similar story, especially during this pandemic. Usually, we will be in Kota Bharu, Kelantan with the rest of my family members but obviously, with the restriction of movements, this is the best we can do! Virtual salam-salam and wish! Our family a little havoc and mind you this is NOT ALL of them! There’s more but I guess this is enough to show how big of a family we have. Celebrated Eid at home, even though up to 20 were allowed, we still did it our own. We had time slots for FAMILY only visitors and we checked their temperature before coming in and made sure they use or sanitizer we prepared near the front door. It was fun! why? Cause we made sure of it through the small groups of time slots chatting and eating together. A very good arrangement I must say! Quality sangat!
And, one of our team member celebrated her Hari Raya away from home this year. Here’s her experience of Raya celebration back here in KL.
My eid celebration was not the same as the past celebrations. City dwellers like me, of course, could not ‘balik kampung’ to be with my family. However, the Raya celebration went on! I’m lucky because my brother is staying nearby and we celebrated our eid together this year. A day before, we cooked simple dishes like ‘rendang ayam’ and ‘kuah kacang’ for the next day. Even though we did not celebrate with our family in kampung, we had a video call with them in the morning of Raya. It was a simple yet meaningful celebration!” said Nor Hasanah, Executive, Funding.
“This year, my wife and I prepared some Raya dishes and I took the initiative to order some frozen satay and cook them in the oven on the first day of Raya. I want my wife and family to have that Raya vibes by gathering and eating at my parent’s house.” said Asyraf Bustaman, Executive, Youth Engagement.
“The Raya celebration this year started with cooking rendang, then morning prayer with family members. Neighbors start exchanging food with us. We started with three dishes and ended up with more than 9 dishes (excluding ours since it had been fully distributed to my neighbors) on the table. All is homecooked: Nasi Dagang, Lemang, Rendang, Lontong, Sayur Lodeh, Serunding, Ketupat Palas. This is the first time Eid Fitri prayer was conducted with all family members in the household. My brother gave the sermons on an elevated platform: my mom’s treadmill. Finally, Raya ended with a photography session in our living room followed by video call sessions with our relatives” said Qadijah, Executive, Funding.
The Raya this year was different not only to those who celebrated but to non-Muslims too.
Here’s how the non-muslims felt about this Raya 2020.
“The less festive ambiance could be felt everywhere. One of the things Malaysians look forward to during Ramadan season is the lively Ramadan food bazaars. They’re considered the annual highlights of the fasting month. As crowded or stuffy as they usually are, many still flock to these bazaars without fail to buy their favourite food and drink, like murtabak, roti john, and other delectable delights” said Shaarane Jaykumar, Senior Executive, IMC.
“Celebrating new norm Raya 2020 gave me new experience during the pandemic. I’m a crazy fan of bazaar Ramadan. I have never missed any bazaar Ramadhan except for 2020 due to movement control order. Even though we were given the chance to order food online yet the feeling of seeing the variety of traditional Malay food with the aroma can’t conquer the real bazaar Ramadhan. Yet, knowing that the only way to control Covid19 is to follow the SOP mentioned by the government. So we stayed home and cooked our favorite meals and enjoy the food at home” said Lega, Senior Executive, Accounts.
“This Raya would be different not only for Muslims but for everyone. As a non-Muslim, I miss Ramadan Bazaars. I miss going to different places to try out the buka puasa menu. I miss shopping Raya. I miss hearing the Takbir Raya and seeing people going to the mosque. I miss the firecrackers. I miss the open house. I miss how easy it was to get lemang, rendang and satay. And while I’m missing all these, I am consoled that families are strengthening their bonds virtually and keeping one another safe. Let’s stay safe and look forward to better celebrations ahead” said Vasanthi, Senior Executive, HRDF.
“This Raya was something very unique and special. It was Unique because we were under quarantine and Raya was celebrated only among family. That means no open houses or Ramadhan Bazaars. It was special because my nieces cooked dinner, and it was such a rare occurrence in my house since they hardly go over to the kitchen. Raya 2020 is an occasion I will cherish in my life”, said Jeya Sheila, Head of Academy.
Finally, we hope all Malaysians had a joyous Hari Raya and we all should get used to the new norms, new habits of physical distancing, good hand hygiene, and staying safe in our households.