By June RamliTweet
After three long years, the Malaysian Hall in Sydney finally organised its much-anticipated Hari Raya celebrations for all to enjoy.
The last time I visited the venue to celebrate Hari Raya with the Malaysian and Singaporean community was in 2019, but subsequent years were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now that the pandemic is somewhat under control, the Malaysian government graciously organised the sembahyang Sunat Aidilfitri and a small makan do.
I arrived at the Malaysian Hall bright and early as the invite requested everyone to be at the venue by 8 am.
I sat next to a lovely young lady named Aina, who told me that her father had been invited by the Malaysian community in Sydney to lead the taraweeh prayers during the holy month of Ramadan.
Her family had arrived last night to experience Sydney for the first time and celebrate Raya with her father, who was already here on the month-long assignment.
After chatting for a bit, it was time to pray.
Once the prayers were done, we got separated, and I never saw her again, although I hung around to take some photos and sample some much-needed Malaysian food.
The food served during these gatherings is usually free of charge.
However, this time the organisers requested that we RSVP our attendance to plan for the food.
This is the first time I recall the Malaysian Hall taking such an approach.
I noticed that the organisers were very organised this year, and I felt that they even went the extra mile to put on a Raya show or two for us visitors to enjoy.
It was not just Malaysian students who were there, long-standing Malaysian diaspora like myself were also in attendance at the open house organised by the Malaysian Hall.
It was great to mingle with the Malaysian students after such a long time.
Once I finished my food, I left as I had another engagement to attend.
I hope that this tradition continues, and more members of the Malaysian community make it a point to join these celebrations when they occur. I would like to extend my gratitude to the Malaysian government and the various other sponsors for taking the time to organise this event.
May Allah SWT bless your good deeds tenfold.
June Ramli is the editor of DailyStraits.com. To stay in touch with June, look her up on Twitter @junesairaramli