Ties that bind at Dataran Merdeka


Norazman (centre, back), Zanariah (centre, front) and their family maintaining a 30-year-old tradition of visiting Dataran Merdeka and taking photos there.

KUALA LUMPUR: Revisiting their dating spot on Hari Raya Aidilfitri has been an annual tradition for Norazman Abd Ghani and Zanariah Abdul Razak.

Dressed in green traditional attire, the married couple were spotted at Dataran Merdeka capturing the sweet and joyful moments they have shared for three decades.

They were joined by their four children aged between 21 and 11.

Norazman, 47, who works at Tenaga Nasional, said he met Zanariah, 45, some 30 years ago.

Ahmad Khamsa (left, back) joining his big family in taking a group photo at the square. — ONG SOON HIN/The StarAhmad Khamsa (left, back) joining his big family in taking a group photo at the square. — ONG SOON HIN/The Star

During their courtship when they were both mere teenagers, they had often gone to Dataran Merdeka.

After they got married and had children, the couple decided to make the outing an annual event.

“We will take our family photos here every year,” said Norazman, adding that they would visit Zanariah’s family in Melaka afterwards.

There were many families seen gathering at Dataran Merdeka, all dressed in coordinated outfits and posing for their family portraits with the beautiful city landmark as the background.

A large number of foreign tourists were also seen taking pictures on the expansive lawn to mark the occasion.Jawariah Harun, 49, a single mother and confectionery seller, arrived early at the Sultan Abdul Samad Building with her four children, all donning traditional Malay outfits in green.

“We have relatives in Pahang, and after taking our family portrait this morning, we plan to join them for a festive gathering this afternoon,” she said.

Jawariah expressed her pride and resilience in looking after her children with her hard work and savings from her late husband, who passed away in 2017.

Her eldest daughter Nur Amirah Izzati Nerzali, 24, helps with the family’s confectionery business, while her sons Muhammad Amirul Izzat, 22, Muhammad Amirul Ikhwan, 20, and Muhammad Amirul Irfan, 18, are still studying.

“Today, we dressed up in matching colours for a photoshoot with my mother and brothers to share on social media and preserve our beautiful memories,” Nur Amirah said.

Ahmad Khamsa Deraman, 40, from Terengganu, planned a festive gathering in Kuala Lumpur with his mother and relatives before returning to their hometown.

Normally celebrating in Terengganu, they decided on a change this year with a two-day stay in Kuala Lumpur, including a reunion with relatives from Putrajaya and Kajang. The family of 20, comprising three households, will reconvene in Terengganu for another gathering.

After taking photos at Dataran Merdeka, they planned to visit Putrajaya to capture more memorable pictures.

“Despite the economic slowdown over the past two years, it’s important to celebrate festively with family. We buy new clothes every year – peach-coloured last year and emerald-green this year – to look our best as a family,” said Ahmad Khamsa.

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