KOTA KINABALU: Muslims from other states or parts of Sabah, who cannot return for Hari Raya due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, say they are prepared to make the best of current situation.
Information Department officer Asmidar Zainol said this would be her first Raya away from her family in Perak.
All her siblings are married and she would usually be with her mother for the celebration.
“Yes, I am sad. I am usually with my mother during Raya since my dad passed away over 10 years ago, ” said Asmidar, who is currently in the Nabawan district.
To make herself less homesick, Asmidar will prepare whatever Raya dishes she can and share them with her neighbours.
“I will also distribute Raya goodies and food to those on duty at the Nabawan disaster operation control centre, ” she said.
She is also planning to video-call her mother, siblings and relatives, so that they can spend Raya together, albeit virtually.
Part-time makeup artist and businesswoman Norhaizan Ahmad Solikhin, 38, from Sepang and her husband Norhilme Kamarudin, 42, from Kedah, said they would use the opportunity to explore Kota Kinabalu.
“I moved here with my children in December while my husband has been working here as a chef for a year, ” she said, adding that she had never missed Raya with her family.
They also lost two family members recently, and compounded feeling of loss and homesickness.
The couple are planning to take pictures of padi fields and beaches to remind them of Kedah and Sepang.
“We’ll also try to get a photo of Mount Kinabalu, ” said Norhaizan.
Her children have been video-calling their grandmother every day as they miss her very much, but they understand that safety is what matters most now.
“They’ll ask to see the view back home with all the decorations, while children there play with firecrackers. They can’t do that here as we are living in a condominium, ” she said.
Normimie Diun, 45, usually returns to Beaufort district with her husband and four children.
The former photographer with Star Media Group said they had to stay put in Kota Kinabalu due to the movement control order.
It will be a simple Raya for them with prayers and home-cooked meals.
“But we will still stay connected with our family members through the phone, ” she said.
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