Barred from customary visiting this Raya, the siblings celebrate by staying at home.

By Nur Shazreena Ali & Natasha Jee

KUCHING: No congregational Eid prayer, no balik kampung, no open house, no house-to-house visiting — this year’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri is indeed a quiet one and far from what it used to be.

New Sarawak Tribune managed to capture snapshots of how Sarawakians, particularly the Kuchingites, celebrated the first day of Raya with the new normal.

There were fewer cars on the streets, neighbourhoods seemed quiet, and even malls had less people patronising them. This however shows that Sarawakians are complying strictly to the standard operating procedure (SOP) set by the government during festive seasons.

Mimin

Forty-year-old Mimin from Jalan Muda Hashim, when met along Kuching Waterfront, said this year’s Hari Raya is just like a normal day for her.

“As the government said we are not allowed to go visiting, we must listen to them. Indeed, I do feel sad that I cannot meet my family who is staying across river,” she said.

Mahdi

Whereas for Mahdi, 45, from Lundu, he said he is happy to be able to celebrate Hari Raya with his sister at Kampung Tanjung.

“Being able to be with our family members is the most important thing, despite the unusual way of celebrating Raya this year,” he said.

Suraya making sure the tables are clean before customers dine in.

Suraya, 23, from Kota Samarahan, said it is her first time working on the first day of Raya.

“So far the mall has been rather quiet and I only see people going to buy takeaway food,” said the fresh graduate who works at an eatery in Plaza Merdeka shopping mall.

A rather quiet environment at Plaza Merdeka shopping mall.

The Covid-19 pandemic may separate people physically, but as a popular Malay saying goes — “Raya tetap Raya” (celebration must go on) — nothing can break the celebrators’ love and spirit of togetherness.

Empty mosque: No congregational Eid prayer this year in Sarawak.
Ketupat, rendang and lemang… a must have during Hari Raya with or without Covid-19.