PETALING JAYA: The mood this Hari Raya will be a little muted but many Malaysians are planning to brighten things up using modern technology.
In Kuala Terengganu, Nurul Eda Saadah, 38, plans to offer Aidilfitri greetings to her family in Kedah via video conferencing app Zoom.
Dhia Shaharudin, 26, is determined to keep the “duit raya” tradition alive but instead of handing out envelopes with cash, she is sending it via online banking.
Traditionally, Muslims would throng mosques for prayers on the first day of Hari Raya before attending open houses to celebrate with family and friends.
But with restrictions on movement and the need for social distancing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the traditional way of celebrating the festival has been ruled out.
Nurul Eda said she would usually “balik kampung” to celebrate Raya with her mother and siblings in Kedah but with the current restrictions, she would celebrate it this year with her in-laws in Kuala Terengganu.
She considers herself lucky as she will have her husband and one-year-old daughter to celebrate with.
“Somehow, it feels different this year. I miss my family but thanks to technology, I can still see their faces and hear their voices when we greet each other,” she told theSun.
She agrees that it is right to abide by the regulations under the conditional movement control order to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Since she will not be hosting an open house, Nurul Eda will place a notice on her gate to say they are not accepting visitors.
But to keep the festive spirit alive, she will be making various cookies.
“This is also the perfect time to focus on loved ones and to strengthen my relationship with my husband and in-laws.”
Dhia, who works at a bank in the Klang Valley, told theSun she would share a video call through FaceTime with her sister who lives in the United States.
“With modern technology, I think it won’t be so bad.”
She said she bought some Raya cookies online but there will not be any new “baju Raya” this year.
The family has already made plans for board games, movies on TV and to enjoy each other’s company.
Khairul Azhar Mohamed, who has been selling Raya cookies, expects the occasion to be gloomy.
He said profits this year are about 20% to 30%, down from last year.
“So this Raya, I have to be prudent in my spending,” he said.
“Usually, I would buy new clothes for my wife and two children, both aged below 10, but not this year,” he added.
However, Khairul is thankful his family are in good health.
“That is most important.”
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Keeping Raya traditions alive online