Capturing the Raya spirit


District’s pride: Dungun District Office employee Rosdiyana Ngah arranging lamps in the shape of a turtle for the Pelita Raya Beautiful Terengganu 2021 event at Terengganu Cultural Village. — Bernama

KUALA TERENGGANU: The unique way in promoting each of the seven districts in Terengganu has captivated visitors to the Terengganu Cultural Village in Losong here.

The cultural village is the venue of the Pelita Raya Beautiful Terengganu 2021, held since last Thursday.

One of the visitors, Muhammad Nizam Awang, 37, said the brightly-lit oil lamps of various shapes, which were designed by the staff of the participating district offices, are symbols that are synonymous with the districts.

For him, the scenario at the village evoked the joy and merriment of Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

“The flickering light of the lamps arranged in the shape of an airplane at the traditional house decorated by the Kuala Nerus District Office, for example, symbolises the Sultan Mahmud Airport in the district, while the Marang District Office has its oil lamps in the shape of a squid as it is the host district of the annual squid jigging festival, which is held in the waters off Pulau Kapas.

“Dungun district has its oil lamps arranged in the shape of a turtle while the bridge shape is by Kuala Terengganu, cannon (Hulu Terengganu), the fisherman’s house (Kemaman) and mosque (Setiu). They are all beautifully decorated and the focus of visitors, ” said Muhammad Nizam, a private sector worker.

The Pelita Raya Beautiful Terengganu 2021 programme, to be held until May 11, is an initiative by the Terengganu government through the state Tourism Department.

Its aim is to revive the tradition of lighting oil lamps during Ramadan.

Visitors are excited with the brightly-lit lamps as they take selfies or wefies and then upload the photos on Facebook and Instagram to participate in a competition held in conjunction with the event.

Civil servant Nabila Hishamuddin, 40, said Hari Raya this year would not be as lively as in previous years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but her visit to the cultural village brought back the nostalgic moments of her childhood when celebrating the occasion with her family members in their hometown.

State tourism, culture and digital technology committee chairman Ariffin Deraman said in previous years, the programme involved the participation of villagers who would decorate their house compound.

“However, this year, we have to change the format by involving the participation of district offices in complying with the Covid-19 SOP.

“The number of visitors to the village is limited to only 300 people at one time, ” he said after visiting the village on Friday night.

The programme involved the participation of all districts in Terengganu except Besut, as the district is under the movement control order from May 7 to 20. — Bernama

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