Sunday, October 14, 2007

Selamat Hari Raya Eid ul Fitr

Eid Mubarak

I wish EVERYONE Eid Mubarak and Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri.

I havent been back to my parent's place and celebrate Hari Raya with them for years. When we lived in Telok Panglima Garang back in the nineties, I used to be back at the village for Hari Raya. I liked the festiveness of Hari Raya celebration in Malaysia. People counting Hari Raya as if it goes on for one month. Hari Raya pertama, kedua etc.

Let me tell you about Ramadan and Eid ul Fitr in New Zealand.

No doubt the centre of Muslim community would be the masjid. So almost all activities is centred at the masjid. During Ramadan the masjid usually serve iftar for people who want to break fast at the masjid.
Food is normally rice pulao (that rice with juicy meat/chicken/lamb) or couscous (again, served with chicken/meat/lamb). So if you can, dont miss iftar at the masjid.

This year I didnt go to masjid for iftar, not even once. My BOSS said; " I cook for you and you want to go to masjid looking for food?"

So I go to terawih instead.

Eid ul Fitr day is normally decided by sighting the new moon. It has always been decided by sighting the moon, either, Ramadan, Syawal or Dzulhijjah. A few of us would go to high places, hill, or a western beach to look for the new moon. A couple of years ago, I went along with a friend to join others looking for new moon at a hill above Christchurch, Port Hills, and learnt what to look for and what time etc.

Normally if there is any report of sightings, it would be known by after Isha prayer. All moonsighting team have to report to Hilal Committee of New Zealand if anyone see the new moon.

On the day of Eid itself, most of us would go to the masjid, join takbir and perform/offer Eid prayer. You would see people in their best clothes, most often their national costume, so the masjid would be like a mini united nations. This is the Muslims, even though we are diverse in our cultural origin, where we came from, we are all the same people, our believe in Allah is the one that unite us. In the Day of Judgement, we will rise like this, and no one is above another.

Because the masjid is too small to accomodate everyone, Eid prayer is usually performed at the Hagley Park opposite the masjid. Just imagine a sea of people each one of different colour, black, white, brown, all wearing different costume, from baju melayu, shalwar khamis, robe and keffiyeh...etc.

Then after Eid prayer..everyone wishing each other Eid Mubarak. Eat and drink food on pot luck basis, and then go home.

That is all Eid celebration here. Nothing more.
NO we dont go to open houses of our friends, well not if not invited. No 'baraan' to every houses in the village until one week after Hari Raya.

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