Aidilfitri: Modern celebrations vs traditional practices

Modern influences shape rituals, attire and culinary traditions.

11 Apr 2024 09:00am
Photo for illustrative purposes only - 123RF
Photo for illustrative purposes only - 123RF

SHAH ALAM - Hari Raya Aidilfitri marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims worldwide.

It's a time for joyous celebration, reflection, and communal gathering.

Over the years, the observance of Hari Raya has undergone a remarkable transformation, with modern influences shaping rituals, attire, and culinary traditions.

Rituals reimagined traditionally

Hari Raya begins with the sighting of the new moon, signalling the end of Ramadan.

Families gather for prayers at mosques or in open spaces, followed by the exchange of heartfelt greetings and forgiveness.

While these customs remain deeply ingrained, modernity has introduced innovations in the way rituals are observed.

In contemporary times, technology plays a significant role in enhancing the experience of Hari Raya.

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Muslims around the world utilise social media platforms to extend wishes to loved ones beyond geographical boundaries.

Virtual gatherings and live streams allow families separated by distance to come together in spirit, if not in person, fostering a sense of unity amidst the global diaspora.

Additionally, charitable acts, such as giving to the less fortunate, have taken on new forms with the advent of online donation platforms.

This blend of tradition and technology showcases the adaptability of Hari Raya in a rapidly changing world.

Attire: From traditional elegance to modern chic

The traditional attire for Hari Raya, known as 'Baju Melayu' for men and 'Baju Kurung' for women, has long been a symbol of cultural pride and identity.

These garments, characterised by intricate designs and vibrant colours, reflect the rich heritage of Malay culture.

However, contemporary fashion trends have influenced the way Malaysians dress for the festive occasion.

While some still prefer the timeless elegance of traditional attire, others opt for modern interpretations, incorporating elements of Western fashion or experimenting with fusion styles.

Designers and retailers now offer a diverse range of options, catering to varied tastes and preferences.

From classic silk Baju Melayu to stylish dresses adorned with sequins and embroidery, the choices are endless, allowing individuals to express their unique sense of style while honouring tradition.

Culinary Delights: Tradition Meets Innovation

Food holds a central place in Hari Raya celebrations, with families preparing elaborate feasts to share with relatives and friends.

Traditional dishes like "Rendang," "Ketupat," and "Lemang" have been passed down through generations, each recipe carrying with it a story of heritage and heritage.

However, modern lifestyles and changing tastes have led to adaptations in culinary traditions.

While the essence of traditional dishes remains intact, there's a growing emphasis on convenience and health-consciousness.

Families may opt for ready-made sauces or incorporate healthier cooking methods without compromising on flavour.

Moreover, globalisation has introduced new culinary influences, inspiring creative fusion dishes that marry Malay flavours with international cuisines.

From "Nasi Lemak" burgers to "Satay" pizzas, these innovative creations reflect Malaysia's multicultural identity and its openness to embracing diversity.