Monday, August 10

Muslims accept ‘new normal’ of celebrating Hari Raya

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A couple spoilt for choice over the pile of carpets at one of the shops in town.

Noor Haj

SIBU: Muslims here are accepting the fact that it would be safer to celebrate the coming Hari Raya Aidilfitri under the ‘new normal’ with family members only.

Housewife Muyah Mah, who hails from Kampung Betanak, Daro, agrees with the directive by the state government not to hold open houses and go house-to-house visiting during this Hari Raya to help break the chain of Covid-19 infection.

“As the decision is clearly for the good of everyone, there should not be any excuses for not adhering to it (directive).

“We are very fortunate that the state government allows family members to be together but the number should not be more than 20 people in a day during the festivity,” said the 49-year-old when met in town while shopping yesterday.

Muyah added, as they would only be celebrating among family members, they would only prepare kampung food such as beef and chicken curry, ‘ketupat’ and ‘rendang ayam’ or beef as well as bake some cakes.

“For my family, it is a must to serve these kampung foods during Hari Raya as they boost up our mood with their aroma that will fill up the air in the kitchen of our home,” she said.

As for another local who only wished to be known as Ahim, 63, the new normal of celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri is good as it helps to prevent senior citizens from getting infected by Covid-19.

“If house to house visiting is allowed, the Covid-19 pandemic will likely spread like ‘wild bush fire’, especially to senior citizens who are at high risks.

“We never know which guest is infected with Covid-19,” he added.

He said they will still decorate their home, put on ‘Baju Melayu’ and songkok as well as cook traditional Malay cuisines like ‘ketupat’ and ‘rendang’.

“We will never let the Covid-19 pandemic let our mood down. To be able to celebrate it with our family members at home is something very meaningful,” he added.

Ahim is not worried about being not able to visit other family members and relatives as they still can get contacted through social media apps.

Another local, Noor Haj, when met said her family had decided to celebrate Hari Raya on a small scale.

“In other words, we are not really preparing anything like we used to do in the past many years.

“We prefer to save money for rainy days instead of spending it now,” she added.

The 39-year-old said they might just buy some cakes and prepare some drinks to celebrate it among their own family members.

“Unlike some others, we are not even planning to buy any new clothes for the celebration. We will just wear the previous clothes which are still in top condition.

“For us, the festive mood is not there. The Covid-19 pandemic has really affected the normal life of the people, not only here in Sarawak but all over the world,” she added with a sad tone.

Meanwhile, shoppers were seen wearing face mask while shopping for Hari Raya in town yesterday.