Karangan saya ” Hari Raya”

Saya disuruh menulis karangan untuk majalah mingguan ofis saya yang dipanggil “New Bytes”. So ini kali ke-dua saya disuruh menulis setelah 2 bulan berada di sini. Adoii, cerita mengenai Hari Raya. So di bawah adalah karangannyee..

Hari Raya Aidilfitri”

” Hari Raya Aidilfitri, which is another important festive celebration to observe, marks the end of one-month fasting by muslims. The words ‘Hari Raya’ translated literally mean ‘day of celebration.’ Hari Raya Aidilfitri is the Malay term for the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Fitr. It has been misunderstood by many that Hari Raya Puasa is the Muslim New Year but the understanding is incorrect. In this this festive celebration, the common greetings are ‘Selamat Hari Raya’ (Happy Eid) and “Maaf Zahir dan Batin” (I seek forgiveness [from you] physically and spiritually). One may ask why are these two greetings so common and popular? This is because Hari Raya is the time to reconcile and foster better relationships with others. It is also a great way to promote harmony in our multi-racial country through renewing ties in this festive celebration.

Hari Raya Aidilfitri falls on 1 Syawal on dismantling Hijriyah, the Islamic Calendar. The determination of 1 Syawal month is based on circulation. As such, Hari Raya falls on a different date every year unlike Christmas which is fixed.

The determination of 1 Syawal also varies, which is set by some individuals. In Malaysia, the period of fasting ends when the new moon is sighted on the evening of the last day of Ramadhan. The actual sighting is conducted by state appointed religious officials at various vantage points (usually at hilltops) throughout the country. If the crescent is sighted, the following day is then declared the first day of Aidilfitri, which is also the beginning of the 10th month of the Muslim calendar Syawal. This year, 2009, Sept 19 has been fixed for the sighting of the moon to determine the date for Hari Raya Aidilfitri, announced by the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal. Waiting for the announcement from the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal in-front of television, is the best part of this festive season. I remember distinctly when I was kid,  one of my counsins told me that if the Keeper had talked slowly, it simply means that Hari Raya will be postponed to the another day and if the Keeper had talked very quickly, tomorrow will be declared as Hari Raya. This is a great clue for me till today.

It is a common practice that on the eve of raya celebrations, family members, especially mothers and housewives, will be busy preparing food, cakes, sweets, biscuits and various delicacies to be served on the day of Hari Raya. Delicacies such as ketupat or rice cake and a meat cuisine called rendang are among the most famous cuisines that are served during this day. Other family members will help in other chores such as decorating and cleaning up the house. But now, most of the delicacies can be found easily at shopping malls or stalls. Just name it and you can get everything you want under a roof. Meanwhile, on the eve night of Hari Raya, Muslims will recite the takbir, which is held in mosques and surau. In some communities, there will be congregations reciting the takbir from house to house.

In this festive celebration, there will be an influx of people hustling in the city or big metropolitan cities waiting to return to rural areas. This is known as “balik kampung” which is translated literally as going back to one’s home town to celebrate Hari Raya with family and friends.

During this period, road safety campaigns are often launched by the authorities a few weeks’ prior to the festive celebrations. This is an effort and initiatives by the Government to lower road fatalities. This year Government has decided to lower speed limit by 10 kph from September 20 to 27 under the latest Integrated Road Safety Campaign to reduce road accidents. Presently, the maximum speed limit imposed on the federal and state roads are 90kph and 80kph respectively. Staff who are on the road are advised to drive carefully and ‘berhati-hati di jalan raya’.

Muslims will attend Eid prayer in the morning and consecrate together harmoniously while taking the chance to meet and greet each other. Once the prayer is done, it is also common for Muslims in Malaysia to visit the grave of their loved ones. During this visit, they will clean the grave, perform the recital of the Yasin a chapter (surah) from the Qur’an and also the tahlil or prayers for the deceased. All these are done in hope that their loved ones are blessed by God and they are spared from the punishment in the grave.The rest of the day is spent visiting relatives or serving visitors.

Now, lets talk about the joyous part of Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Primarily, there are 3 must-do or must-have in this celebration: (1) Food (2) Angpow or “duit raya” (3) Wearing new clothes/attires.

It is compulsory for Malays in Malaysia to wear traditional Malay costumes. Men will clad in baju Melayu and women, baju kurung and/or baju kebaya.  In the name of fashion, baju kurung is still stylishly the same with other add-on features whilst maintaing its signature cut.

Angpow or “duit raya” is money in a green packet which are given out by adults to children; it is normally from parents and elders to their children. Believe it or not, although I am married, I still receive “duit raya” from my parents which is indeed heartening. Therefore, I am always laughing to the bank right after raya celebrations.

Hari Raya two years ago was eventful. This is because I had the joy of celebrating with my first born. My son was born a week after Ramadhan and he was 3 weeks’ old when we were celebrated Raya in which I did not the time to prepare for Raya celebrations. I had no new clothes to wear but there were abundance of new clothes in the form of presents for my baby.This is indeed joyous for me. Not only did my son receive lots of presents but also “duit raya” from his grandparents, uncles, aunties etc.

Before I sign off, I would like to especially take this opportunity to wish all Muslim staff in Wong & Partners, “Selamat Hari Raya and Maaf Zahir & Batin,” and to all non-muslim staff, Happy Holidays. As a new addition to the Company, I hope to extend this festive and other greetings to my fellow colleagues in many more years to come. Lastly, may all of us have a great time in this celebration!

Thank you and Salam,


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