Hari Raya is just around the corner, and businesswoman Iza Ibrahim is preparing her home for the festival. The Hari Raya outfits are ready and freshly pressed. Just yesterday, she received an assortment of biscuits and dates.
But this time around, Iza bought all her Hari Raya essentials online.
With the movement control order (MCO) in place, Iza has not been able to purchase items from her favourite brick-and-mortar stores for Hari Raya.
With many shops closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Iza - like many Malaysians - has shifted to online shopping.
“Before the MCO, I would pick up most items at shopping malls, as they would also have Hari Raya bazaars and Raya sales. But this year I bought everything online.
“With just a few clicks of the mouse, I’ve ordered Hari Raya clothes, shoes, biscuits and desserts for my family, ” says Iza, 42.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, she believes e-shopping is a safer option.
“During the MCO period, it’s best to stay home and stay safe. Online sales are generally cheaper due to the direct sales transaction and lower overheads.
"Plus, the options are endless. It saves time going from one place to another physically, ” says the mother-of-one, who has been buying most of her groceries via online platforms during the MCO.
Since this year’s Hari Raya will be low-key, Iza has purchased minimal items needed for the festive season.
“Previously, I used to spend over RM2,000 on clothing, gifts, food and house decorations. But this year, Hari Raya will be celebrated on a smaller scale, with just my immediate family.
“With the economic uncertainty, it is important to think twice about spending our hard-earned cash and be stringent with expenses.”
“Baju Raya signifies a new start and fresh hopes for Hari Raya. Dates and biscuits are a must as they symbolise sweetness and happiness, ” says Iza, who owns a herbal health supplement business.
Due to the MCO, Iza’s mother Sharifah Intan Syed Amir, 76, has also learned how to shop on her smartphone.
“It has been a new experience for me to buy food via WhatsApp, and to see how sellers are promoting Hari Raya products on Facebook and Instagram.
“It is interesting to scroll through my WhatsApp messages and look through promotions on everything from biscuits to frozen meats, ” says Sharifah Intan.
The grandmother of six has ordered serunding, lemang and fresh meat through WhatsApp chat groups.
“In previous years, I’d drive around Kelana Jaya and buy lemang by the roadside. But this time around, I’ve had to order lemang through one of my chat groups.
“The lemang is coming from Cheras, and will be delivered to my doorstep on the first day of Hari Raya.
“The MCO and Covid-19 have changed our lives, and slowly but surely, everyone will need to get adjusted to these new changes, ” says Sharifah Intan.
Iza will be celebrating Hari Raya at her mother’s place in Kelana Jaya.
Although Iza will miss having her friends over for Hari Raya, she is looking forward to meeting her siblings and parents.
“On the first day of Hari Raya, we will gather at my mother’s place after prayers in the morning. We would have our ritual ‘minta ampun’ session and give out duit raya. After that, we will devour Ibu’s lavish spread comprising rendang, ketupat and sweet treats.”
“Though this year’s Hari Raya will be low-key, what’s most important is everyone comes together to seek forgiveness, and we renew the ties. And this tradition helps to strengthen the family bond, even during the MCO period.