Stomper shares highs and lows of celebrating Hari Raya during Covid-19 circuit breaker period

Submitted by Stomper Sheereen

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For many Muslim families, Hari Raya Adilifitri (May 24) was a completely new experience this year.

Usually a time for visiting and reunions, because of the circuit breaker period implemented after the outbreak of Covid-19, families have had to stay home.

However, thanks to technology, many found a way to still be social despite social distancing measures.

Stomper Sheereen shared with Stomp her own personal experience celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri as part of the new normal.

Like many, she used Zoom, a cloud-based video conferencing service, to "meet" her relatives.

"It was a different experience, and definitely a sad one," she said.

"Meeting my relatives virtually still lacks the warmth that face-to-face visiting has.

Sheereen added that there were some struggles organising a Zoom call with everyone in her family.

"Trying to get all the families to come together was already a challenge," she said.

"Some seniors like my grandmother and uncles are not so tech-savvy, so it was a struggle to get them to come onto the platform.

"It was also a huge challenge when everyone started speaking at the same time, it was so kecoh (chaotic)!

"Eventually we started a queue system to speak."

However, Sheereen sees the positive in this new way of socialising as well.

"This new experience was quite exciting in a way, as all my relatives have not used this platform before.

"Everyone was quite excited about coming onto Zoom, decked in their traditional Raya outfits.

"We get to do this in the comforts of our own homes and not have to sweat it out like how we do during past Rayas."

Nothing can replace the usual array of food and kuih though.

"Most of all, we miss the different food and kuih each family would prepare when we go visiting," Sheereen said.

"Each house would have different dishes and it was like catching Pokemon.

"You go to each house to 'catch' certain foods which that family is good at making.

"I also miss the act of asking for forgiveness from our loved ones and elders.

"We could still do it over Zoom but the feeling of asking for forgiveness was definitely different.

"I would usually cry when asking for forgiveness from my grandmother."

Despite missing the traditional Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations, Sheereen still feels keeping her loved ones safe is still paramount.

"As much as we would like to continue meeting our relatives, staying at home is more important especially when there are still positive coronavirus cases everyday," she said.

"We may never know if we are carriers, and visiting our elders might endanger their lives eve more.

"So me and my family would tell each other, we shall have a bigger round of celebration during Hari Raya Haji (hopefully)!"

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