By Nur Najmi Jamal
Duit Raya is something that is familiar for us, especially among kids, teenagers, and me, but not the adult who are married, and have a stable income because that’s where the Duit Raya comes from. I’ve been thinking about Duit Raya on the first day of my first internship because it’s like a speed track to eye for money.
I wonder what is the eligible age and legitimate criteria to receive Duit Raya, is it only for kids in school? Or until university? How about if the person is working but he or she is still young? I’ve been wondering about the criteria set by my uncle and aunty when they give out the Duit Raya.
In Malaysia, it has become a tradition during the celebration of Hari Raya Aidil Fitri to hand out Duit Raya which is considered as gifts from old people to the young.
The money will be handed to the recipients following a hand shake with them seeking for apologies from the elderly. Then comes to the exciting time; a peek on the amount of money in the envelope either it’s blue (RM1) or green (RM5) or red (RM10). You will take all the money without complaint. It’s so exciting when kids go around the village to collect the Duit Raya from neighbours.
However, for those who share the same situation like me or who are in the same age category as me (who are considered old and no more schooling, but not yet earning any income), this is a crucial time to pull the aunty’s and uncle’s attention for Duit Raya. Some aunties will just pass by, ignoring us without giving the money, so here comes the need to work out a strategy.
I have been talking to my friends what they would do to get the Duit Raya, and they said to work out a strategy to own it. “When shaking hands with my uncle and aunt, I will show my empty wallet, which definitely makes them soften their heart and hand the money and then laugh. Raya, after all, is a time for fun.”
Najib Taib, who always feels excited to welcome Aidil Fitri, said other subtle strategy would be, “Speak loudly and frankly in front of your aunt and uncle that you are single so they will know you are still not married yet”.
Duit Raya might not be practised around the globe, but it is widely practised widely in Malaysia, and that is one of the uniqueness of this country that we hold from time long ago until now. It reminds me of words from Mahatma Gandhi, “A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people”. This uniqueness of culture reflects the inner shine of the community.***
picture courtesy: The Malaysian Times