How the holy month and Eid are commemorated in Malaysia
To name a few things, ‘mosque hopping’ is a pattern amongst those who decide to take a trip to various mosques around the nation to experience late-night prayers.
harmony of sitting on white stairs of the floating mosque, feeling the sea breeze and gazing at the remarkable architectural lighting after performing the prayers are all ethereal. The churchgoers goes on even more into night talking about the charm of Ramzan over ‘moreh’ – the night supper.In Malaysia, Ramzan highlights the finest in everybody. It is a ritual for all government companies, organisations, personal business even school and university alumni to host iftars for orphans and the homeless. From the chef to the arranging committee, individuals of various races are included – not just Malay but likewise Chinese, Indian, Iban or Kadazan. The very same ritual applies across the country; many even participate in the open event of iftars in city parks to experience the dusk dissolve into the night. One such popular event is the Iftar@KL that happens at Dataran Merdeka, Jalan Raja. One is overwhelmed with the city folks sitting on mats or grass, breaking quick with food purchased from food trucks and Ramzan marketplace stalls in front of the renowned historic landmark Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad building – a Moorish architectural beauty that used to be a municipal government which was developed into the federal and high court and now operates as the cultural workplace! As travelers, you are ruined for options on where to have your iftar experience.Eid in Malaysia is a colourful affair and the colours are available in the form of standard costumes ‘Baju Melayu’ for guys and ‘Baju Kurung’ for ladies. Malaysians of multi-cultural and multi-religious ethnic culture commemorate Eid-ul-Fitr for a month, in truth we celebrate all festivals for months.And the one Malaysian experience one ought to never ever forsake is the open-house events which might go on for a month. This long standing custom of open-houses will be held at every level-nationwide, community and individual. Nearly every home will spread the warm hospitality to all visitors; family members, friends or foreigners! So bring along your smile and good manners, delight in warm hospitality, savour the fantastic food and delight in the laughter!-Contributed by Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz. The author is the ministerfor tourist and culture, Malaysia.