Joy of Hari Raya Aidilfitri
Local celebrities tell about their fondest memories of Hari Raya Aidilfitri gatherings
THIS is the season to forgive, give and receive because Hari Raya Aidilfitri is here! It’s the opportunity to spend time with family, catch up with relatives and bond with our loved ones over lemang, rendang and the like.
From collecting duit raya as children to stuffing ourselves with too much rendang, we all have our fondest memories of Syawal. And it’s no different for celebrities. Afifah: “I will always remember our Hari Raya celebrations back when we were living in Australia years ago. Celebrating Syawal abroad is a bittersweet feeling as it is an entirely new experience and it makes you miss home so badly.
“When we were in Australia, my family and I gathered with the Muslim community to celebrate Raya together. There weren’t many of us so we became like family.”
Anzalna: “Being able to celebrate with Muslims of different ethnicities opened my eyes to other cultures. It was a good experience, something my sisters and I will always remember.”
This year, the sisters will be travelling to Muar, Johor and Penang to meet relatives.
Afifah: “Raya mornings will be busy as we have a big extended family. There’s something about Raya morning madness that gives me comfort. When the men are at the mosque performing Raya prayers, the women are at home getting ready, and it’s always such fun catching up.”
Favourite Raya dishes: Lemang and rendang.
Favourite Raya songs: Air Mata Syawal and Nazam Lebaran by Siti Nurhaliza. Lisa: “What I miss most during Raya holidays is my late father. He was all about spending time with the family and made things really fun. For example, when making visits, he made everyone squeeze into one car so that we could all be together. Although when we got married, we started our own traditions, every year, we go house-hopping to visit relatives the first few days.
Yusry: “My children, Leo and Leanne, make our Raya even more special, compared to when it was just my wife and I. It’s exciting to prepare for Raya with them around.” Besides spending time with his family, Yusry is also looking forward to having his cup of coffee.”I’m a big coffee drinker and I usually have one in the morning but sahur (predawn meal) is a little too early for me to down it. “Come Raya morning, Lisa will prepare a really nice cup for me to kickstart my day before we celebrate.”
Favourite Raya dish:
(Lisa) Laksa Johor, because my father was a Johorean. Oh, and kuah kacang (peanut sauce)!;
(Yusry) I’m a pretty simple guy, I’m good with lemang and rendang.
Favourite Raya song: Selamat Hari Raya by Ahmad Jais first one I celebrated after marrying into Scha’s family. I don’t have a kampung so that balik kampung experience when we travelled to Scha’s hometown in Sg. Petani, Kedah was awesome.
(This year, the couple won’t be heading to Sg. Petani and
Anzalna and Afifah Nasir Yusry and Lisa