KUCHING: The pandemic has robbed people of many things, among them, physical gatherings during the festive seasons.
University students have been affected by this the most, one way or the other.
However, with the borders reopened recently, many have taken the opportunity to fly back to their hometowns to see their families and friends.
Indeed, the Hari Raya celebration this year is more meaningful.
Some university students spoke to us on how they feel about celebrating Hari Raya soon with their loved ones after two years of absentia.
Atieqah, 24, who is from Kedah, enthused that she would like to make this year’s Raya a joyous one and being able to celebrate with friends and families makes the celebration extra special.
‘’The Raya spirit is very much alive this year, with the return of long-time traditions, from balik kampung to visiting friends and family’s houses, something I appreciate,” said Atieqah.
She opined that Raya custom should never be taken for granted and must be practiced and appreciated.
Another student, Muhammad Izzul Rafiq, 23, from Raub, Pahang said he and his family would be celebrating Hari Raya in Perak this year.
“Finally! I feel that this year we will have such an amazing time gathering and celebrating.”
However, he cautioned that everyone should always adhere to standard operating procedures and not compromise the safety of the vulnerable, especially the elderly folk.
Separately, Nur Sabrina, 24, from Negeri Sembilan said she felt incredibly blessed as this would be her first time in two years celebrating Raya with her parents and her family.
When asked what were the things she missed most, she laughed, “Food! Feasting on the variety of goodies, and most importantly, duit raya.”
A student from Tanjung Malim, Perak who studies at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Nurul Arifah said she missed celebrating Raya at her grandparents’ house.
“It is such a relief to be able to celebrate and gather. I am glad that I get the chance to celebrate Hari Raya together with friends and family.
‘’I have learned to appreciate the freedom of celebrating Hari Raya.”
When asked what she looked forward to in this year’s Raya, she said, “Being with my grandparents and reliving the Hari