Modern day Raya celebration with a difference

By Hamka Rosli

Eid Fitr’ is one of the festive seasons for Muslims to celebrate after fasting for the whole month of Ramadan. Many of us take this opportunity to go back to our hometown and meet our relatives as this is the chance to have a big family gathering. Some of us travel across states just to be with the big family, and some just nearby to their place. But the main point is to have the get-together session with our loved one.

The modern day celebration is quite different from the old days. There have been many changes from the time we celebrate Hari Raya back then and now. One of the reasons could be the fast pace of technological changes.

Before the existence of Facebook, WhatsApp, and other social media, we used to exchange greeting cards for Hari Raya. We would buy the greeting cards and write something nice on them and post the cards to our dear friends and family members. Previous generations had the chance to feel the excitement of receiving this classic way of Hari Raya greetings

Nowadays, with all the easy apps that we have, people are not really bothered to buy greeting cards anymore. We can easily digitalise our Hari Raya greetings. It is convenient of course and less cost required, but at the same moment the joy of receiving the physical Hari Raya greetings has somehow fizzled out.

Furthermore, some of us may spend more time interacting on social media than inter-facing with other relatives. Before the emergence of advanced gadgets, during Hari Raya people will just gather around and chat with each other. There was no social media to fill the gap. If the house is filled with ten family members, then it will sure be boisterous.

Now, some people spend more time with their phones than mingling around with their relatives. On the other hand, that is not a bad thing. With the advanced technology and fast internet connection, we can share our Hari Raya moments on social media and look at the joy of Hari Raya from other people as well. Not just that, those relatives who are far away from home can also be reached on intermediate and real time.

Besides all the technologies that change the way we celebrate Hari Raya, the food on this special occasion also had some transitions. The food transition is not that major but it can be noticed at some point. For example, ketupat as the Malay traditional main entrée, has been replaced  with ‘nasi impit’, the modern version of ketupat. This main course had been a symbol for the Malay tradition when Hari Raya comes.

Today, during Hari Raya, not many houses serve ketupat as many have replaced it with ‘nasi impit’ for it is much easier to cook. On the other hand, other main dishes such as rendang, kuah kacang, lemang, and also kuih raya like cookies for the guests still remain the same.

Apart from that, the modern day of baju Raya too had some transformations. The design of the old days baju Raya was pretty much simple and modest. The Malay traditional dress for Hari Raya is decent and nice to wear, Baju Melayu for the men and Baju Kurung for the ladies. The modern baju Raya has various designs and a bit complex to some extent. Some people also prefer to wear jubah for Hari Raya instead of the Malay traditional dress for the feast.

Despite the differences from now and then, there are also something that remain the same. For instance, the tradition of giving ‘Duit Raya’ is still practised until today. This is a sure remembrance of the tradition, especially for the children as we also once received the token when we were children.

The important thing is that we still visit our relatives and dearest friends’ house after a long time of not meeting them. Hari Raya will always be the moment that we cherish together. No matter how far we are from our home, there will always be a moment to come back and be together with our precious family members. When Hari Raya comes, just go back and be with them to celebrate the momentous occasion..***

photo taken from 4vnu


student of Communication at IIUM. Try new stuff as it is the best platform to gain experience.

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