Joy of Hari Raya Aidil­fitri

Lo­cal celebri­ties tell about their fond­est me­mories of Hari Raya Aidil­fitri gath­er­ings

New Straits Times - - SPOTLIGHT GROOVE - AN­ZALNA AND AFIFAH NASIR (AC­TRESSES) Syahi­rah Mokhtazar Awal: “My fond­est mem­ory of Raya was the

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

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