More than a week before Hari Raya, singer Marsha Milan Londoh has already put up Raya decorations in her home.
"We wanted to get the mood going from early on. I think it's important to create that Raya environment in our homes and put some positivity in our heads so we don't feel down during Raya," Marsha tells StarLifestyle.
The 34-year-old, who rose to prominence in the mid 2000s as a contestant on reality singing series Akademi Fantasia, says those who are not able to balik kampung this festive season shouldn't feel like they're far apart from their family members.
"In the end, it's all about protecting ourselves, yet being close to our families virtually. Technology brings us closer together. It's not wrong to do video conferencing during Hari Raya.
"Marsha, who stays with her in-laws in Kuala Lumpur, doesn't usually go home to her side of the family in Tamparuli, Sabah for Hari Raya.But being so far away from her family during the Covid-19 pandemic hasn't been easy for the 34-year-old. She relies on video calls to stay in touch with them.
"Connecting with my family in Tamparuli has been interesting. My mum and dad don't know anything about video calls. All they know is picking up the phone and giving me a call. But because of the MCO, they have been on Zoom and WhatsApp calls. I'm glad we're able to connect with the whole family through that.
"Marsha says the MCO has given her and her in-laws the opportunity to pray together as a family, strengthening her faith in God and their relationship with each other.
"My husband has been teaching me a lot of new things about the faith during Ramadan," says the Sumandak Sabah hitmaker, who embraced Islam in 2015.