CELEBRATING Hari Raya without your loved ones is never easy, but life goes on for an elderly couple who will be on their own for the second consecutive year.
Retiree Ismail Din, 76 and his wife Feridah Md Isa (sic), 64, will only get to celebrate with their neighbours and offer prayers at a mosque nearby their house in Kampung Tanah Liat, Bukit Mertajam.
They have five sons aged between 32 and 44, and a total of 12 grandchildren, but none of them would be coming home due to the interstate and inter-district travel restrictions.
However, thanks to technology, the couple get to communicate with their children and grandchildren via frequent video calls.
They could still share videos and photos showing what they have cooked for Hari Raya or what festive cookies they have prepared.
“That is how we celebrate Hari Raya during a pandemic. At least we can still communicate, ” he said adding that their grandchildren would be the most excited ones whenever they make video calls.
Ismail said he had more or less expected the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) as the number of Covid-19 cases showed no sign of coming down.
“Hari Raya is a time to catch up with family members and eat
good food together but the usual merry-making will be missing again this year.
“My children are staying in Johor, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and even the one who stays on Penang island will not get to visit me due to the inter-district travel ban.
“Guess they have also accepted that we won’t be able to celebrate together. We will surely miss our grandchildren, ” said Ismail, whose grandchildren are aged between four and 17.
Despite being on their own again, Feridah still made ketupat and rendang for the festive occasion.
“These are my family favourites and a must-have in every Hari Raya celebration.
“I still made them albeit in smaller portion, good enough for the two of us and our neighbours, ” she said.
Feridah urged Malaysians to adhere to the standard operating procedure (SOP) and strictly follow the regulations set by the authorities.
“It is important to follow what the government has outlined for us in breaking the chain of infection, ” she said.
She hopes that the pandemic will be over soon so that they can reunite with their children and grandchildren again.
All of Malaysia is under the MCO until June 7 in view of rising Covid-19 cases described as a “more critical and vicious third wave”.
The rules and restrictions include no inter-district and interstate travel except for work and economic purposes, health matters, emergencies, vaccination appointments and long-distance couples.