A different Hari Raya: How Muslims in the region are preparing for the festivities this year

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF AHMAD AFIF ZAINOL, REUTERS, SCREENGRAB FROM INDONESIA'S MANPOWER MINISTRY/TWITTER, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Traditions make way for social distancing as millions of Muslims in the region prepare to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri on Sunday to mark the end of the fasting month. The Straits Times correspondents report from Malaysia, Indonesia and India.

Malaysians find ways to mark a different Hari Raya

Mr Ahmad Afif Zainol putting up a Hari Raya banner outside his home in Alam Impian, Selangor. It comes with the message that the family is not accepting visitors amid the coronavirus pandemic.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF AHMAD AFIF ZAINOL

Malaysian Muslims are preparing to celebrate a novel Hari Raya Aidilfitri against the backdrop of a pandemic that is unprecedented in its scale and impact throughout the world.

Unlike in normal times, everyone in Malaysia is masked and the shaking of hands, let alone friendly hugs, is taboo.

"My siblings and I made a goofy e-card that wishes people Happy Eid, but it also says we'll all die if social distancing is not practised. I hope that's enough to keep people away," joked technician Ahmad Izz Hazriq, 26.

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Indonesians brave the crowds for festive shopping

Tanah Abang market (above) in central Jakarta is among many that have been teeming with shoppers ahead of Hari Raya Aidilfitri on Sunday.
PHOTO: REUTERS

Indonesians packed shops and malls across the country with just days to go before Hari Raya Aidilfitri, braving the crowds and the coronavirus threat to buy festive essentials.

This is despite the fact that Indonesia has the most Covid-19 fatalities in South-east Asia, with the tally reaching 1,278 yesterday. The number of people confirmed to have been infected by the coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, was more than 20,000.

Popular markets, such as the one in Tanah Abang in central Jakarta, were teeming with shoppers keen on getting new clothes for their children for the festive occasion known here as Lebaran.

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Indonesian ministers make music video discouraging homeward-bound exodus ahead of Hari Raya


PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM INDONESIA'S MANPOWER MINISTRY/TWITTER

JAKARTA - Indonesian ministers have come together to produce a music video discouraging people from flocking back to their hometowns ahead of the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holiday.

Indonesian ministers, including Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi and Communications and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate, took turns to dissuade people from a mudik, as the annual exodus is known, in a 55-second clip titled Jangan Mudik, Nggak Mudik Tetap Asyik (Don't Go on Mudik, It's Still Fun without Mudik).

Each minister sang the line either in Indonesian or Javanese in the clip that has garnered 1.4 million views on Twitter since being posted by the Manpower Ministry on Monday (May 18).

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Indians donate to migrants, keep celebrations modest

 AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Charity has assumed greater significance for Indian Muslims this Eid-ul-Fitr as many decide to skip pre-Eid shopping and donate money to help the needy instead.

The hashtag #EidForMigrants featured prominently on social media this week amid calls to support migrants who were forced to walk back home because of the coronavirus lockdown that has left millions of daily-wage workers stranded without work and adequate access to public transport.

Mr Salman Shahid, who lives in Srinagar and teaches grades 11 and 12, took time away from work to prepare videos and posters urging Muslims to stay indoors and help migrant workers.

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