25th and 26th June: Save the date! No, it’s not a wedding. No, the world won’t be ending. It will be Hari Raya! Most importantly, you can go to a Hari Raya Open House.
First, what is Hari Raya? Heard of Eid al-Fitr? You’re either cast away like Tom Hanks was and you have a volleyball for company OR you live under a rock and you talk to the wall when you are bored. Hari Raya Puasa is a festive celebrated by Muslims in Malaysia. It is the day that marks the end of the month-long Ramadan fasting month. In the Middle East, it’s commonly known as Eid al-Fitr and people feast and stuff for days as celebration.
Now that you are a not a noob and have graduated from the school of noobs that didn’t know what Hari Raya was, Fat Mike will show you what an Hari Raya Open House is like!
Open House is” literally translated from the Malay term “Rumah Terbuka”. Muslims will have a small gathering where well-wishers irrespective of race or religion are invited to attend. What goes on at an Open House? Read on to find out more!
Arrangements to celebrate Hari Raya are usually made at least one week before the celebration. Don’t be surprised if your local friends go home or back to their home towns a bit early because they will most probably be in a flurry of activity. Everyone helps, either to cook or make sure everything is prepared to receive visitors on Hari Raya.
Hari Raya Gear
They will also buy Raya clothes: ask your friends to take you to a Raya bazaar. You will be blown away. People buy clothes, gifts and food in anticipation for the big celebration.
On the morning of Hari Raya, special prayers are held in mosques. Some do them at home. Other practices include asking forgiveness from parents or elders, visiting relatives and friends. Muslims will customarily ask forgiveness from their parents for the wrongs they have committed in the past year. After that, the celebration begins! The whole family will be dressed in their best traditional clothes and will await family and friends to congregate on the day. They will usually greet you by saying “Selamat Hari Raya!”
Makan – Makan
The host (could be one of your close friends or a classmate or even your lecturer) will usually prepare traditional Malaysian delicacies such as Rendang, Nasi Impit topped off with Kuah Kacang, Ketupat.
The food might be a bit spicy lah, so be warned!
Did I forget to mention Biskut Raya? So many sweet treats to go around: you have to try dodol, bahulu, wajik sirat, kek lapis, karipap, bingka labu, kueh angkoo, krepek ubi, agar-agar gula batu. Ask your Malay buddies so that they will know what you may want to try when you crash their houses. There is so much food to go around so make sure you go hungry!
There is also a practice called Duit Raya. In Malay custom, a green envelope with money is given to by the elders to the young children during Raya time. Before the “duit raya”, Malays used to give away sweets and candies as a token of appreciation. Too bad you are old now. LOL. They usually get RM5 or RM10 at a time. Lucky punks.
What is the purpose of Open House? This custom promotes openness and inclusiveness during the festivities. SO don’t be shy when your friends invite you over. Enjoy this wonderful experience and bring a camera with you: golden memories of such a heart-warming event.