My Eid experience.

This is an overdue post considering how Eid celebration was a week ago but Happy Eid Mubarak everyone ! Here in Malaysia we say ‘Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri’. It’s only last week we celebrated the glorious day but feel like ages ago now that people are back to their normal daily routine; work, study, etc etc. Here in Malaysia, Raya is celebrated by all the citizens and people look forward to it especially when it comes to food. Our usual Raya dishes include ketupat, rendang, lemang and all sorts of other unique dishes. People go all out for preparation and that involves a lot of cooking, shopping and biskut raya hunting .

Each family celebrates Raya differently although some of the general culture are widely practised like doing house visits, getting the famous duit Raya, apologizing to others. Some celebrate Raya eve with fireworks, do lemang bakar and cook huge pot of rendang and other dishes. Some celebrate it with family, friends, in a kampung or in cities. We all have different Raya experience and I’ll tell you how my Raya usually is.

For me, Raya is about family. Unlike some of you who are very lucky to celebrate Raya the kampung style, my Raya is the city kind of raya. But I have no complains whatsoever because it still means a lot to me. I do lots of house visits, catching up with aunties and uncles as well as cousins, meeting the forever growing group of nieces and nephews ( its not easy to remember their names when every time I come down there’s a few new babies in the family tree). I spend my Raya in Malaysia as well as in Singapore so its usually a total of 4 days of celebration and meeting relatives. The most unhealthy part about Raya is the amount of food served, but as always it isn’t easy to resist. The good part about my Raya is that I get to meet people and do lots of catching up! Since I get to meet them mostly once a year, it’s nice to know what my relatives are up to and how they’ve been. I used to also fussed a lot about my Raya attire when I was younger but not so nowadays. I guess as you grow old, you see it in a different perspective. I also still get duit raya which is nice (though it will be my last year since I’m probably working next year).

Overall I think my Raya is a simple one, go for Raya prayers in the morning, visit my relative in Kajang then go Singapore the next day, do the house visits for the next few days, meet people, talk and listen and laugh, spend time with family. Another good thing about Raya is that I get to see my own family for the a few days and talk to them. We usually drive down to Singapore so that’s like 6 hours of talking in the car. It’s something you’ll learn to appreciate as you grow older and everyone is so busy on normal days you hardly talk to them.

It’s been 22 years and my raya routine haven’t changed much. We did lost a few people along the way and some of the raya routine isn’t the same without these people. I thought it would be boring after a while but I tend to always look forward to my Raya routine. I used to make ketupat and help mum with all the raya dishes but now we’ve cut down on that since we don’t have a huge appetite like when we were younger. We simply just enjoy the Raya vibes now and do more of bonding with others.

But now Raya is over, holidays are done and next is internship. Mixed feelings but definitely looking forward to the new experience !

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A picture taken at Gardens by the Bay during Raya 2016.

the power of social media.

When you talk about social media, some of the apps that comes to mind is Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. Generation today connect with people from all around the world through social media. It opens up a new platform for people to expand potentials and unlock endless opportunities. For some of us, we use the social media to express ourselves, to voice out our opinions and to be heard by others. It is also used for tutorials, education, business, news updates and many more. With these apps, a news is able to reach several countries within minutes, or even seconds. And that is how powerful the social media is. It is definitely something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. While the social media bring forward many benefits and create unlimited opportunities for people, we often abuse the power of social media and cause destruction. The social media abuse is quite known across the world but in some places it is worse than usual which is alarming. This is a indeed a rising problem in Malaysia as more and more citizens find it okay to shame and condemn others using their social media.

Of course I am not saying that everyone does it, but there are some who finds it funny to point out others’ mistakes thinking that it is the right thing to do. Usually, the more followers you have on social media the tendency to be bullied and abused by such issue is higher. I’ve read lots of comments on Instagram and how some people involve themselves in arguments about how wrong and disgraceful the post is. Vulgar words are often present along with judgmental sentences. And then there are also those who will defend the post which creates a stream of hateful remarks and the blame game starts about this person is no better, go reflect yourself, you’re being jealous, you have no life ; it is impressive to read the amount of negativity in a single post.

It is not even surprising when some people use it as an outlet to express their disagreement about country related issues like posting memes of our ministers or make fun of them. Stating your point on social media to be heard is your right, but making fun out of others out of frustration ; that’s already beyond your rights. Some are even to the point of embarrassing and it just reflects how low we can be.

There is a fine line between advising and condemning others. It is something that we Malaysians should always remind ourselves before hitting that keyboard and type whatever we have in mind. If you think that this isn’t something that shouldn’t be taken seriously, you should think again. To receive comments after comments about negative things about you will mess up your emotions and mind in some ways. We do not know to what extend our words might do to others because that is how powerful words can be. It is not alright to be abused and be abusive on social media regardless of your actions. A negative comment by a single person can create hatred all around the country, punishing a person for a single mistake. Some of us don’t even know who we are punishing as we only follow the trend and join in the blame team but do we realize the consequences of our actions?

Yes, there are times that we read something awful and to not say something is killing you inside. But there are better ways than to publicly shame others or point fingers so people are divided between the good team and the bad team. A decent approach shouldn’t be done publicly, not with a million other readers reading it. Don’t you feel embarrassed when your parents scold you in public about your behavior? Or when you fall in front of thousands of audience only to be laughed at, do you feel fine with it? It is not okay right? Well at least for me it is not. We should avoid saying negative things on social media and first respect others. Instead of fighting over who is right or wrong, what the person should post or not post, shouldn’t we empower each other ? Shouldn’t we be using the social media to widen our horizon and educate ourselves? Instead of telling another girl how disgusting her attitude is shouldn’t we supposed to motivate each other to improve?

This is something we should ponder about as a social media user. The power of social media is amazing and fearsome at the same time. Never abuse the power as you don’t know what the consequences might be. Your words on social media can both lift a person or ruin their future. You have the choice to do good or create a chaos. So before you start typing on the keyboard, think and think again about what you’re about to say. If possible, say only good things, encourage others, empower the people around you to change for the better. Let’s change our mentality from condemning to empowering the people we know.