Former popstar ND Lala with his daughter, singing sensation Shila Amzah. -- The Star/RAYMOND OOI
Stars like Shila Amzah, Forteen, Aizat Amdan and Halim Othman reveal their most memorable Hari Raya moments.
With Hari Raya just a few days away, some of the local entertainment industry’s most prominent faces and voices spill the beans on their most memorable experiences, favourite dishes and their plans for the upcoming Syawal.
Singing sensation Shila Amzah recalled a time when her family celebrated Hari Raya with nothing but each other.
“I was about 13 at that time. My dad’s business suffered a drop. We couldn’t afford to have a normal Raya like other people. We didn’t have any new Baju Raya. We didn’t go back to our hometowns,” revealed the 24-year-old Malaysian vocalist who has been making waves in China after appearing on two Chinese reality singing competitions in the last two years.
“We would tell one side of the family that we were celebrating Raya with the other side of the family and vice versa. But actually, we just stayed at home. And when people came over to visit, we just sat still because we had nothing to offer them,” she continued.
Shila’s father, the popular 1980s singer ND Lala, chimed in: “But looking back, we realised that situation was a blessing in disguise. It brought our family closer.”
He also revealed he was RM1.3mil in debt at the time and the family of six was chased out of their house and had to move seven times within the same neighbourhood, as they could not pay rent.
“We had nothing but we had our family. That’s all that matters. Maybe we just had one nasi lemak, but with my family around me, all six of us could just share,” the Patah Seribu singer reflected.
Shila, who currently resides in Beijing, will be back home in Hulu Langat, Selangor for the festivities for just two days this year. The singer will fly to Shanghai on the second day of Raya to make preparations for her solo concert in China on Aug 16.
Comprising Ariz, Ameer, Izzue Islam and One, the boys of local pop quartet Forteen reminisce their most indelible Hari Raya experiences.
“My late great grandfather used to give us duit raya in the form of 10 sen coins. We used to complain a lot but looking back, I realise that was a sincere gesture from him,” recalled Ariz, 25.
Meanwhile, One, 24, has fond memories of making Hari Raya confections. “We don’t do it anymore since my grandfather passed away. But I remember the atmosphere where all my relatives stirred the dodol mixture together at night,” he shared.
Ameer, 23, also particularly enjoys the experience of communal cooking and eating, inviting his relatives and former schoolmates to a barbecue. “I gained 5kg last year!” he exclaimed.
For the 24-year-old newly married Izzue Islam, celebrating Hari Raya with his wife’s family for the first time last year was definitely an unforgettable experience.
“It was so festive and lively, as my wife’s family in Klang joined my family from Kelantan for the celebration. There were so many people and I love a big family,” he enthused.