How to Keep The Traditional Raya Spirit Alive

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Have you ever felt like Raya is not as enjoyable as it used to be back when you were just a child? As time passes, the spirit of Raya in ourselves is fading slowly. Our hectic lifestyles might contribute to this feeling (we are too busy, don’t have time to take a long break and lost the excitement of celebrating) or we simply outgrown the rejoice of the celebration. Hence, why not this year we make an attempt to keep the traditional Raya spirit alive? Continue reading this to know how to bring back the Raya that we used to cherish.

1. Send Raya greeting cards

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The culture of sending Raya greeting cards is soon to be forgotten. Now we comfortably think that it would suffice to send Raya greetings and wishes through WhatsApp or by updating status via social medias. No more excitement of buying cards, making a list of whom you want to send the cards to. No more excitement each time you see the postman comes, wondering if there’s any Raya cards for you. This year, start sending cards to your dear ones, colleagues and distant relatives. Ask others to join you enliven this tradition to keep it alive.

2. Decorate the house

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A few days earlier or on the Raya’s eve, spruce up decorations of your house. Work together with your family members to change the curtains, vacuum the carpets, put up Raya decorations like the ketupat made out of weaved ribbons and beautiful decorative lights and garlands. Do not forget to light up the oil lamps (pelita). The decor will help us to get into a celebratory mood for the coming Raya and of course, make the celebration more lively.


3. Cook scrumptious Raya meals

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To cook the meals for the feast is a tradition that needs to be continued despite of having the ease to cater or order the food. Family members should collectively contribute effort in preparing scrumptious Raya meals. The men can busy themselves with the lemang and dodol while the women in the kitchen cook mouth-watering rendang, beriyani rice, lontong and peanut sauce.

Don’t forget to enjoy the traditional Raya cookies. Pineapple tarts, kuih kapit and bahulu will pamper your tastebuds too. Savouring the dishes and cookies will definitely bring back fond old Raya memories.


4. Visit the relatives

This is the time when everyone is available. You get to meet, know more about your families (the cousins, nieces, nephews) and have a good catching up session. Going from house-to-house to ‘beraya’ is a great tradition that will bind and strengthen the family bonds.


5. Ask for forgiveness

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Hari Raya brings everyone together. Use this opportunity to seek forgiveness from not only from your family members but also your relatives, friends and neighbours. Utter ‘maaf zahir dan batin’ (which means forgive the physical and emotional wrongdoings) to show sincerity in seeking forgiveness for what you have done to the person whether it was on purpose or by accident.

‘6. Duit raya’

Last but not least, spread the spirit of Hari Raya through the act of giving. Prepare money packets for the kids, old folks and the unfortunates that you meet during Raya. This is the season of giving and emanating joy. You’ll realize how lucky you are when you are able to share with others.

We do not want these traditions to die out. Raya is not simply donning glamourous outfits and enjoying great food. It is a very meaningful celebration that needs to be treasured with a wonderful company of beloved family and friends. Do you have anything else to share so that we can keep the traditional Raya spirit alive? Drop your suggestions in the comment box below.