Keep the Raya spirit alive by bringing back these traditions in the new normal
Hari Raya is not cancelled
Hari Raya is just around the corner and while most of us are thinking of ways to adapt to the festivities amid the 'New Normal', not being able to balik kampung to welcome Aidilfitri at the end of the month is a blow for many who miss their loved ones.
But why not make an attempt to keep the Raya spirit alive? Revisiting the traditions in our new norm of living can help to revive the celebration. Here's what you can do:
Send out Raya greeting cards
Giving and receiving Eid cards speaks volumes—and definitely holds more weight compared to sending a simple text message. It reminds you of the good old days and the very essence of the celebration. Reconnect with your loved ones this Raya by sending them festive greeting cards (e-card counts too!).
Bring out the decorations
This can be a great activity that you can do together as a family. Get your loved ones up on their feet to spruce up the house by setting the table, changing the curtains, put up Raya decorations like DIY weaved ketupat, light up the traditional pelita (oil lamps) and pretty decorative lights. Getting the house all clean and tidy will get you into the Raya mood in no time.
Cook up a storm
Food brings people together and cooking at home is a great way to unite your family. Cooking for the feast is a self-explanatory tradition that needs to go on—despite having an abundance of food delivery options during this pandemic. Share the cooking responsibilities among your loved ones—one prepares the mouth-watering rendang, while the other can work on the dessert. Let’s not forget about the pineapple tarts and kuih bangkit; those will definitely bring back fond old Raya spirit.
Since going from house to house to ‘beraya’ is pretty much history, you can still visit your families and friends virtually. We know it is not the same as doing it face-to-face, but let’s try to make the best of what’s in our hands at the moment. Make video calls on Zoom, Google Hangouts or any video-conferencing tool of your liking to experience each other’s Raya.
As we are going through social distancing, we cannot hand out money packets physically. Fortunately, there are other ways to give money back to our old folks, kids and the unfortunate during this season of giving. e-Duit Raya is a service currently provided by several banks in Malaysia that you can try this year. The service is designed to help people who cannot be with their families but still want to prioritise the tradition of giving money to their loved ones. Alternatively, you can opt for online transfer option—all transactions can be handled easily and are most definitely contactless.
Even if the government lifts the CMCO in time for us to celebrate Aidilfitri, let this year serve as a reminder to celebrate the significance of it. Perhaps from this year onwards, we will learn to be more mindful and humble in our words and actions—and hopefully celebrate the holidays without unnecessary wastage.
While it may be possible to soak up the celebrative spirit this CMCO, it's necessary to exercise our responsibility as a citizen of Malaysia and practise social distancing . Let it be a little hard for a while now so that we can escape the shackles of the COVID-19 pandemic in the long run.
For more Raya-related stories, click here.