Raya time is family time

She weaves festive favourites into her outfit

Ms Nur Aida Sa'ad's outfit and card designs feature familiar images such as families chatting away together and Aidilfitri goodies.
Ms Nur Aida Sa'ad's outfit and card designs feature familiar images such as families chatting away together and Aidilfitri goodies.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Muslims around the world celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri today, marking the end of the fasting month. In Singapore, many will get together with family, friends and neighbours - including those from different races and religions. It is, after all, a time for food, charity and renewing bonds of friendship and kinship. Nur Asyiqin Mohamad Salleh finds out how five Muslims will celebrate and what Aidilfitri means to them.

From families chatting in the backs of trucks to youngsters snapping "outfit of the day" shots at the void deck, familiar festive scenes will make an unexpected appearance today on illustrator Nur Aida Sa'ad's Hari Raya Aidilfitri outfit.

She designed 20 scenarios depicting typically Singaporean behaviour during Hari Raya Aidilfitri, and had them printed on fabric.

This was then sewn into the one-of-a-kind baju kurung Ms Aida, 26, will be wearing this year.

She had asked friends and followers on social media for their favourite festive sights and experiences. "I got a flood of suggestions, and a lot of them listed the same things. It really showed that we share these common experiences that form such a colourful part of our identity," she said. "And I wanted to wear these scenes out and about because I'm proud of our culture and traditions."

It is the third year she will be wearing an outfit of her own design. The past two years, she silkscreened her outfit with quirky prints of festive favourites, such as pineapple tarts and kuih lapis.

"Hari Raya is a big, fun personal project for me each year. I like finding new perspectives to play with, while still conveying what's so special and dear to us about the festivities in Singapore," Ms Aida said.

Ms Aida also creates Hari Raya Aidilfitri cards... They depict Aidilfitri goodies in monster form, with rhyming words of caution, such as makan ketupat, baju tak muat (If you eat ketupat, your clothes won't fit).

"Like my past two designs, my outfit features the 'silly' and more light-hearted side of Hari Raya that I like to celebrate in my designs, because I believe they make us who we are as much as the traditional themes and customs do."

Ms Aida also creates her own Hari Raya Aidilfitri cards to mail out to family and friends. They depict Aidilfitri goodies in monster form, accompanied by rhyming words of caution, such as makan ketupat, baju tak muat (If you eat ketupat, your clothes won't fit).

"We always like to joke about how 'Yeah, sure, you fasted for one month. But you gain all the weight you lost back in one day'," she says. "It's these little things about the day that all of us can relate to, and that I want to tap into. It's a day to celebrate what makes us us."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 25, 2017, with the headline 'She weaves festive favourites into her outfit'. Print Edition | Subscribe