Celebrating Aidilfitri 'together' amid circuit breaker curbs

Ms Liana Rosnita Redwan-Beer on a Zoom call with her sister, Ms Lilies Roseita Redwan, last Thursday. Ms Liana aims to set up a Zoom call with her extended family to mark Hari Raya Aidilfitri electronically. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH
Ms Liana Rosnita Redwan-Beer on a Zoom call with her sister, Ms Lilies Roseita Redwan, last Thursday. Ms Liana aims to set up a Zoom call with her extended family to mark Hari Raya Aidilfitri electronically. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Visiting family and catching up with relatives during Hari Raya Aidilfitri might be disallowed due to restrictions from the circuit breaker, but some, such as housewife Liana Rosnita Redwan-Beer, are determined to usher in the special day.

This morning, armed with a face mask, she will leave her house in Tanjong Pagar to send some traditional dishes, such as beef rendang and sambal goreng, which she had ordered, to her elderly mother, who lives alone in Punggol.

Four of her siblings will also take turns to do contactless delivery at different mealtimes to their mother.

Other dishes include traditional Malay kuih and lontong.

"We are doing this so that she knows that we're thinking of her. My mother lives alone and she always looks forward to spending Hari Raya together as a family," said Ms Liana.

"But we understand the need for safe distancing during this circuit breaker to keep her safe, so this is our way of working around it."

On May 15, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) said that there should not be Aidilfitri visits or gatherings during the circuit breaker period, in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Yesterday, on the eve of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the takbir - or communal prayer calls - were broadcast live on YouTube as well as the Facebook pages of Muis and mosques. They were led by Mufti Nazirudin Mohd Nasir and various religious teachers.

This morning, there will be a live takbir broadcast via Malay radio station Warna 94.2FM, as well as online through the Facebook pages of local mosques.

After the traditional Aidilfitri prayers, Dr Nazirudin will lead a live sermon that will be broadcast over radio and on online channels.

The customary prayer and sermon usually take place in mosques, but all places of worship, including Singapore's 70 mosques, are currently closed during the circuit breaker.

Some Muslim families here are using online videoconferencing tools, such as Zoom, to mark the occasion electronically.

Ms Liana herself aims to set up a Zoom call with her extended family, which includes her sister's family in Australia. She plans to dial in when she visits her mother so that the whole family can briefly spend some time together.

She said: "It will definitely be a memorable one for all of us this year, we've never seen this kind of Hari Raya before.

"But of course, we all miss one another, and hopefully, we will not have to go through another one like this again."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 24, 2020, with the headline 'Celebrating Aidilfitri 'together' amid circuit breaker curbs'. Print Edition | Subscribe