What does Hari Raya mean to you?

New baju? Time to eat kueh? Is it a day to get Ang pows? A day to catch up on readings? To complete assignments due after the holiday? A public holiday to get away from it all? Or is it just another day to while the time away?

For those who have the privilege of spending a day with your family, i suggest you put those tasks aside maybe for just an hour or so, and just enjoy each other’s company.

If you are not in the habit of spending time with each other (e.g. “Ahh.. My family is not like that !! We don’t like each other !”), it doesn’t matter then. Just take the time in your head to appreciate and cherish the fact that they exist in your life, and maybe it is a good time to start mending ties and bridge gaps.

For those whose families are far apart, take heart in knowing that there are those who love and cherish you, even though they may not be there in person. And don’t ever feel lonely because it is not the day that matters so much, but the relationships you maintain and the bonds that you keep that are important.

Of course I am taking a very idealised approach towards this, but is this not a time of forgiveness, and of remembrance of the past, as well as an embracing of the present?

Whichever religion or faith you are from, I hope you have the most wonderful and meaningful day. I know for some of us, Hari Raya seems to lose meaning each year. I’m not just talking about the age you can no longer get ang pows, mind you lol.

Its because we are ” too busy ” with other things in our life. Of course, I am not without guilt, and there have been years when I always felt that i have something better to do, why do i need to go visiting to see people I hardly know?

But I guess we are the ones who create meaning for what we do. And something that may seem pointless won’t actually have a point until you give it one (this should be one of Newton’s laws)

Like for years, I’ve wondered why I need to visit people I hardly know, and let alone talk to them ? Like waste my time only . .

But then I’ve realised that these people are important to people I know, and love, and my presence there, is a mark of respect towards them.

That alone is enough meaning for me. and to see the joy when they see us, when they see that there are people who bother and care about them, it makes me realise what all this “family spirit” (or community spirit, for that matter) is all about.

Having said that, I hope everyone will have a wonderful Hari Raya and I seek forgiveness for any wrongdoings that I have done.

And for some of us, I guess the most important thing would be to forgive ourselves (not self-serving bias) because sometimes we are too hard on ourselves (i know i am sometimes).

To all my friends and family, have a Selamat Hari Raya, maaf zahir dan batin and have a meaningful day, however you spend it

Emy Lomazzo