Klang Valley residents thankful for chance to celebrate in hometowns

Norshah (right) says she will be cooking for her extended family this Hari Raya Haji as it is the annual tradition when everyone gets together.

THERE are two Hari Raya celebrations of religious significance that are observed by Muslims in Malaysia.

While Hari Raya Aidilfitri is welcomed with much gaiety after a month of fasting, and celebrants donning new clothes, Hari Raya Haji is less festive but of equal importance, nevertheless.

Also known as Hari Raya Aidiladha, the celebration takes place approximately two months after Hari Raya Aidilfitri, according to the Islamic calendar.

It is a more subdued event as it marks the end of the Haj, when Muslims around the world journey to Mecca in Saudi Arabia to perform the pilgrimage.

As such there is no shopping frenzy ahead of Raya Haji nor are there nostalgic songs on the airwaves which is common during the period leading up to Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

The giving out of duit raya to children is also not practised during Raya Haji.

However, many people are looking forward to this year’s Raya Haji as they can balik kampung to visit their families.

Muslims who celebrated Hari Raya Aidilfitri on May 24 and 25 this year were prohibited from returning to their hometown due to the movement control order (MCO).

Now that the ban on interstate travel has been lifted, some people plan to seize the opportunity to visit their family in their hometowns. There are also others who are opting to stay at home in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

StarMetro spoke to a few people to find out what they have planned for the celebration tomorrow.Jeffrey Mohd Johan Ng, 29, from Ara Damansara said he would be travelling home to his hometown in Kluang, Johor.

“Raya Haji is usually not as festive as Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

“But this year, it is a much-anticipated event because it is the first holiday that we can spend together as a family.

“Although, we had a virtual gathering via video call during Hari Raya Aidilfitri, it is not the same as being able to spend time together under the same roof.

“I have applied for leave from work for a week to go back home and will buy some lemang to celebrate with my family, ” he said, adding that his mother had planned a barbecue for the family.Melaka-born Nadilla Zainoolrizam, 29, who is residing in Petaling Jaya, said she would head home to Batu Berendam, Melaka for three days.

“I will be going back this Raya Haji because I was unable to do so during Hari Raya Aidilfitri due to the MCO.

“My family is expecting a more quiet celebration at home and will not be going anywhere because the Covid-19 pandemic is still ongoing, ” she said.

Meanwhile, Mimi Nur Syazwani Ahmad Daud, 27, from Wangsa Maju said she would remain at home with her husband and would not be returning to her hometown in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.“Even though interstate travel is allowed, I am concerned for our safety as the Covid-19 pandemic is still not over.

“Although I miss my family very much, I will call to check on how they are doing, ” said the 27-year-old IT executive, adding that she would cook rendang and kuah kacang for the day. Father-of-one Mohd Faiz Djamil, 33, said he was looking forward to spending quality time with his wife and two-year-old son in Ampang.

“I will not be going out of state as all my family members live in Kuala Lumpur.

“My wife and I will only be visiting relatives who live in Klang Valley, ” he said, adding that he would help his wife cook rendang for the celebration.

Norshah Kassim, 65, from Taman Keramat said she had purchased some supplies to cook for her extended family.

“It is a tradition among my family to dine together on the morning of Aidiladha.

“All of us live in the Klang Valley so none of us would be going out of the state for balik kampung, ” she said.

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