Sunday, August 28, 2011
Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri
In two days' time all Muslims around the world will be celebrating the end of the fasting month, i.e. the month of Ramadan. The arrival of the month of Syawal signifies the end of the fasting month and a celebration of thanksgiving in fulfilling one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
Malaysia, being one of the uniquely unique multi-racial and multi-cultural countries in the world will experience the annual activity where people from all walks of life, different races and cultural backgrounds come together harmoniously to join in the festivities in the form of open houses. Family and friends of the Muslim people will spend time with them catching up with each other, especially for those who are not able to do so during the normal time of the year due to work, family and other life commitments.
Many different types of Malay and Muslim traditional foods, cakes and cookies will be served during the open houses. Many perennial favourites such as beef rendang (dried curry), lemang (glutinous rice cooked with coconut milk in hollowed bamboo sticks), ketupat (rice dumpling cooked in woven palm leaf pouches) and kuih bahulu (little sponge cakes, crispy on the outside and spongy on the inside) will be served during these open houses.
The Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays will also witness an exodus of many Muslims who are working in major towns and cities throughout Malaysia travelling back to their respective hometowns or villages to be with their respective extended families. This will render most major towns and cities to resemble ghost towns as they will be devoid of the usual crowds of people and vehicles, which can be quite a welcomed sight for native town and city folks like myself.
However, although most major towns and cities may be akin to ghost towns, there will still be some activities going on, only that they are in a more subdued manner. For those people who will be not celebrating like myself, it is time to heave a sigh of relief from the daily grind and hustle and bustle of life in the major towns and cities.
Nevertheless, I would like to wish all my Muslim friends a blessed and wonderful Hari Raya Aidilfitri. May this holiday season be a meaningful one, as all of you are spending some quality time with your loved ones. Not to mention, please remember to keep safe when travelling on the roads.