Our annual Hari Raya celebration was warmly initiated with the obligatory Malaysian style open-house, on the weekend following the first day of Syawal. Being as it was the freshly picked 2008/2009 committee’s first ever event, tremendous effort was put in and a wide range of ideas considered to try make this the ultimate Raya event for everyone.
The background of the celebrations was to be none other than the Buranda Islamic center (located in the eastern suburbs of Brisbane). Although situated relatively far from the majority population of Malaysians in Queensland, such logistical issues proved not to be an issue for those determined to make this an event, a home away from home. People came in excited clusters, Muslim and Non-Muslims alike, undergraduates and postgraduates, the young and the young at heart. All superficial differences put aside and unified on a concentrated effort to feed the Hari Raya mood, just like back home in our beloved Malaysia.
The served delicacies were undeniably scrumptious. The food preparations had been made in advance, per order, making the anticipation of the feast all the more savoury. The familiar likes of beef rendang, nasi minyak, satay and air bandung which were present on that day brought a homely ambience even if it was only in everyone’s tummy.
Dr. Nasir, our MSD director was our guest of honor, of which we were extremely grateful to be celebrating Hari Raya with us. Guests were entertained with classic Hari Raya songs booming throughout the PA system, contributing to the festivities. And everyone surely dressed the part for the special day, with their neatly styled hair and freshly pressed Baju Raya.
The Raya festivities served the purpose of unifying all fellow Malaysians and providing us all with a Raya experience ‘just like home’. As such, it would only be right to acknowledge the project managers of this event, Azrina Iqbal and Ridzuan Amin, and to thank them for helping make this year’s Raya festivities possible.