Finally after one month of puasa, we will be able to celebrate "Hari Raya Aidilfitri" or Hari Raya Puasa with our family and friends on 1st Syawal. Malaysia is a multi-cultural country so even though if you're not Muslim, you still able to learn from your Malay friends about what this day means to us. Well, let me tell you what I’ve learned so far. :)
1. Sight - Let’s not even talk about the Ramadan bazaars which are full of colours and peoples. Just the simple sight of lights and decorations strung across roads and homes before Hari Raya are beautiful enough. That’s one thing I really love seeing during this time of the month. Not to forget the jewel-coloured Baju Melayu and Baju Kurung you see on the streets! I find it so heartwarming that families would wear the same coloured baju when they are together. It really shows the close ties between the family members.
2. Taste - When we talk about festivals, how can we forget the food? A date; A very simple dried fruit used for buka puasa. All the different shaped cookies and kuih-muih are great too but I have to admit the dishes I look forward to every Hari Raya are ketupat, lemang, beef rendangs and of course! Dodol! :D
3. Touch- The Muslim style of “handshake”, or salam, and kissing the hands of older persons as a sign of respect while asking for pardon is one of the most beautiful physical gestures. I think it is really great that we all get a warm feeling in the early in the morning when people gives us hugs or even just a simple handshake with strangers. (yeah, sometimes we just have to admit that we can only meet them on that day!) So can you imagine how our loved ones will feel if we greet them that way? It is just a simple way of showing love and respect to each other. and on the other hand, not forgetting the touch of the receiving green packets! :D
Hari Raya Puasa is a time to forgive and forget for our Muslim friends. But for you, non-Muslims, I think you have a lot to learn from this time too. :)