A glimpse of the ‘new norm’

PETALING JAYA: A video depicting a family spending Hari Raya in this year’s “new norm” is tugging at many heartstrings in both Malaysia and Singapore.

It featured an elderly woman eager to prepare for the celebrations, but is left feeling disappointed when her children who are living with her appear somewhat disinterested.In a heartwarming twist, it is later revealed that her children had been secretly planning for a different kind of Raya by arranging for all of them to spend time with relatives via video conferencing.

Set against the backdrop of Covid-19, it showed scenes of the woman’s adult daughter checking for the latest pandemic news while her son, who works in a hospital, arriving home and telling his mother not to get too near to him.

The video was shared by Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, who said this painted a picture of what Raya celebrations might look like for Malaysians this year.

“This year, we will have an unprecedented closed-door, homely Aidilfitri during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In times of crisis, we have the opportunity to appreciate our families and loved ones more,” he posted on Friday.

He urged Malaysians to consider the elderly and those who are vulnerable to Covid-19 when celebrating Hari Raya.

“Please protect the elderly and the vulnerable people at home,” he said.

The video, which is produced by a Singapore-based online media platform, has received nearly a million views.

Facebook user Anisah Salim wrote: “I’m in tears now, missing my aged parents. Been sending food for iftar (breaking of fast) at their door and waving to them from afar. My mask covers my smile.”

Another Facebook user, Muhd Imran, wrote that it was a “beautiful way of showing Hari Raya celebrations can still take place regardless of the situation at hand”.

In its caption accompanying the video on Facebook, online media platform Muslim SG wrote: “We miss our family and friends. We all long for the familiar laughter, hugs and kisses.

“In these challenging times, let’s embrace a different style of Raya. Jauh Di Mata, Dekat Di Hati – We may be apart but we are closer than ever in our hearts.”

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