KOTA KINABALU: It is common among Sabahans of different faiths to celebrate festive occasions together.
For the family of retired firefighter Narul Andua, Christmas will see his multireligious family coming together at their village in Tamparuli.
Narul has four children - two of whom have converted to Islam - reuniting for a good time together, even when all four of them work in Peninsular Malaysia.
On his Muslim children, Narul said: “Even though they practice a different religion from me now, my children, including the two who are Muslims, come home to help us prepare for Christmas.
“They help clean up and decorate our house and also help put up the Christmas tree. They also help in the cooking around the house as families and relatives join us for the celebration, ” he added.
However, he said this year, his youngest son was not able to come back due to work commitments.
He said that apart from celebrating Christmas, the family also celebrated Hari Raya Aidilfitri together.
"Most of my children and their respective families come back home to celebrate Aidilfitri with us.
“We have no problems and our different religious beliefs has never been a problem in our family get together, ” said the 70-year-old Narul, who will be representing Malaysia in Canada next year for veteran’s athletic meet in Toronto, Canada.
His second daughter Melissa, who is Muslim, said celebrating Christmas as a family was one of the days they looked forward to every year.
"I am thankful that I can celebrate Christmas with my family. Though our religious beliefs are different, being with my parents and my siblings on Christmas is something we really enjoy every year, ” she added.
Narul said that he was glad that Sabah declared Christmas eve an additional holiday as it would give other family members a chance to return to their village, Kampung Telibong, located on the foothills of Mount Kinabalu.
Narul’s family is among one of the many families in Sabah that celebrate various religious festivities in harmony, irrespective of their religious beliefs.
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