KUCHING: Hari Raya Aidilfitri is a meaningful time during which the Muslim community looks forward to coming together with family, friends, and loved ones for the joyous festivities.
It concludes the Ramadan fasting month and celebrants are usually filled with excitement while carrying out preparations in the build-up to the celebration.
However, the celebration this year will undoubtedly be dampened due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This year is the second year that Aidilfitri is affected.
Muslims residing in different states and countries will especially feel the effect. Nevertheless, they are adopting an optimistic attitude.
Nurse Izzah Azyan Bujang, 25, expressed sadness that she would not be able to celebrate with her family this year, adding that this would be her first celebration away from home as she is working in Sibu.
“As someone living in a red zone, I know the importance of keeping my movement as minimal as possible. So, before you go anywhere, think about the risk you put upon yourselves, your family, your colleagues, and the community.
“I will bake cookies and cakes with my mother’s recipes. Even though I will be away from home, the familiar taste will bring me closer to home.”
Scotland-based postgraduate student Radina Mohamad Deli, 39, advised the public that wherever they were in the world, they should make the most of their Aidilfitri celebration but be sure to follow local Covid-19 guidelines.
“We’ll be at home enjoying our homemade Raya-themed delicacies like rendang, satay, and Sarawak laksa.
“Let’s be on our best behaviour. Celebrate safely but meaningfully with those who matter most – family. To our big family in Kuching, have a great Hari Raya!”
Meanwhile, Erisya Raayah Khyrell Anuar, a 20-year-old student, said many students were stuck in their university campus due to the current circumstances.
“My advice is to stay put where you are in hopes that we can help to flatten the curve. Raya or not, the SOP should still be implemented.”
Another student, Syahmi Fakhri Suharto, 20, said that while he would miss his family and friends, he felt that staying put in Perlis would be better.
“For sure, I will video call my family and friends. My mother and friends also sent me cakes and biscuits, which I very much appreciate and I will be sharing these with my friends here on campus.”
For private employee Fairul Man, 37, this would be his second year not returning to Kuching.
“What I miss the most about Hari Raya is gathering with family and friends and praying at the mosque together. I miss my mother’s cooking and I also miss visiting my cousins.”
Police personnel Mohamed Harith Suip, 26, said he would be celebrating in Sabah together with his wife. “Due to my duty and in compliance with SOP, I will not be returning to my hometown.”
Housewife Nor Azlin Su’ip, 23, said this would be her first year celebrating Aidilfitri away from her family as she is with her husband who is on duty in Sabah.
“This will also be my first year celebrating Raya as a wife. Certainly, Hari Raya will be different this year.”
Fire and Rescue Department personnel Mohd Zulnurain Hossen, 27, said even though he was far from his family in Kampung Tambirat, Asajaya, he continued to pray for them, especially his parents.
Although he had nothing special planned this year, he hoped that the Sarawak government would allow people to return at a later time.
Housewife Ziana Ali, 27, said she and her husband would not be going back to their hometown.
“I have done simple preparations here such as making biscuits and cakes to eat together with my husband and children. I truly wish to go back to Sarawak, but I am abiding by the SOP.”
Policewoman Nur Rynni Ifdani Sanat, 25, planned to celebrate with friends as they are not allowed to take leave and return to Sarawak.
“I miss the festive atmosphere back in my village. However, for the sake of our duty, we abide by the directives set.”