These Muslims addresses the misconceptions about celebrating Chinese New Year with their families

01 Feb 2022 07:49pm
Rus Mezani, Adam and Eleda when talking to Sinar Daily yesterday via videocall.
Rus Mezani, Adam and Eleda when talking to Sinar Daily yesterday via videocall.

SHAH ALAM - In multicultural Malaysia, Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, marks a momentous occasion celebrated with rich cultural significance.

Being as diverse as we are, we know that it is not only celebrated by the Chinese community alone but in Malaysian society in general.

Sinar Daily spoke to three people who are of mixed Chinese-Malay heritage on how they celebrate the festivities as Muslims.

Eleda Zaaba, 31, shared her excitement on heading to her mother’s hometown in Batu Pahat, Johor where she can’t wait to celebrate Chinese New Year after last year’s movement restriction.

“I am very excited to celebrate Chinese New Year this year since it was quite depressing last year as we didn’t get to celebrate normally due to the travel restriction.

“We only had Zoom phone calls, so it was pretty muted,” 6she told Sinar Daily.

The Public Relations Executive said one of the common misconceptions people had of Chinese Muslims like her who celebrated Chinese New Year was that it was ‘haram’ and against Islam.

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Saying that it was ridiculous, she hoped that more people will have this sense of awareness that celebrating Chinese New Year was not ‘haram’ and they were not changing their religion if they celebrated the festive season.

“It’s not about that but instead about togetherness and appreciating your loved ones. Of course, it’s also about celebrating and wishing for a very good year ahead for everyone including yourself,” she said.

Meanwhile, Rus Mezani Rozman, 33, shared a common question people would ask when the new year drew closer.

She said many would ask about the food she had with her Chinese family was ‘halal’ or if there were any issues with the cutlery and eating utensils used during the feast.

“However, this is not an issue for me since the non-Muslim members of my family will gladly cater to our specific needs by making sure the food is halal and the cutlery can be used by a Muslim like me.

“For the past 33 years, I have celebrated Chinese New Year with my Chinese family and there has never been an issue like that,” she said.

She stated that Chinese New Year after lockdown is something she really looks forward to because she will finally be able to reunite with the rest of the family members, especially those from her mom’s side.

“The celebration this year will be massive, even my uncle from Melbourne is coming down and it’s something we look forward to after so long.

“To those celebrating, Gong Xi Fa Cai and hope you have a prosperous and new year, insha Allah,” she said.

Adam Razlin Khoo, 27, also cleared the common misconception as he shared that his Chinese family is considerate for the food they eat to celebrate Chinese New Year.

“My Chinese family is really understanding where every time we have a meal together or a family reunion, they will always bring us to halal restaurants because they are very respectful of my religion,” the Mun Coffee Cafe owner said.

When asked about how he celebrated the festive season this year, he explained that he will be going back to his hometown where he is happy that he will get to spend quality time with his family that he has no opportunity to meet often as they live in different states.

“To everybody who is celebrating Chinese New Year, ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’ and I’m really excited to go eat the chicken bak kwa,” he added as he mentioned the food that is traditionally eaten during the Chinese New Year.