Foreigners get into the Raya spirit

PETALING JAYA: Visitors to Malaysia are looking forward to experiencing the joy and atmosphere of Hari Raya Aidilfitri here.

Jia Liu, 42, arrived from China on Wednesday and was excited about her four-day stay, which will coincide with the celebration.

Although it is celebrated by Muslims in China, she said the atmosphere in Malaysia was different.

“I’m visiting Malaysia for the first time with my husband, and it’s lively (even before) the celebration,” she said.

Jia said she came to Malaysia to enjoy the different culture, and she had a wonderful first impression because of how friendly the people are.

Although she will be celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri away from her family this year, Huda Issa from Iraq said she won’t be lonely.

The 34-year-old PhD student in information technology said her family was previously in Malaysia with her during the celebration.

This year, Huda is looking forward to being with her Malaysian friends.

“I am not used to Ramadan and Hari Raya Aidilfitri without my family here, but the locals here are friendly and treat foreigners well.

“I have already planned a trip to Genting Highland with my friends for this year’s long Hari Raya Aidilfitri holiday.

“I will also be calling to say hello to my family on the first day of Hari Raya,” she added.

Philippa Bolton, an Australian, said she would be returning home with her family in a few days and regretted not being able to celebrate Hari Raya.

The 44-year-old said they had already been in Malaysia for two weeks.

“We had no idea this trip would fall during Ramadan and Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

“Unfortunately, we are leaving Malaysia; I adore Malaysia, and this is my second visit,” she said.

She added that she would return to Malaysia again and hoped to fully experience the festive atmosphere then.

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