Family from China finds Aidilfitri celebrations in Malaysia more festive

A story from the Malaysia Star about Chinese Muslims in Malaysia. Thanks to Hajar for the tip.

Family from China finds Aidilfitri celebrations in Malaysia more festive

By ZAZALI MUSA
zaza@thestar.com.my

(From right) Abdullah demonstrating the Chi nese brush painting-inspired Islamic calligraphy as Mariam and Fatimah look on at their booth at the Galleria @ Kotaraya in Johor Baru.(From right) Abdullah demonstrating the Chi nese brush painting-inspired Islamic calligraphy as Mariam and Fatimah look on at their booth at the Galleria @ Kotaraya in Johor Baru.

JOHOR BARU: A family of Chinese nationals, who has been living here for the past 10 years, is looking forward to celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri with their Malaysian friends.

Businessman Abdullah Ishak, 59, wife Fatimah Habibur, 57, and daughter Mariam, 26, said Hari Raya here was more festive than in China.

The family, who is from Gansu province in central China, said Hari Raya in their home country was a private affair as Muslim families there did not visit each other for the occasion.

“We only visit our close relatives and not our friends. There is no such thing as an open house,” said Mariam in Bahasa Malaysia when met at the bazaar Ramadan in Galleria @ Kota Raya here.

“We like Hari Raya here because we can also sample a wide variety of local food such as ketupat, lemang and rendang,” she said, adding that noodle soup was the must-have dish for the first day of Hari Raya in her hometown.

She said unlike the different types of coo­kies available in Malaysia during Hari Raya, they only had you goo gou (deep fried bread with honey filling).

Mariam, who graduated from the Inter­national Islamic University in 2011, said she also loved the seafood in Malaysia while her father loved tom yam and her mother, chicken rice.

The family had set up a booth selling costumes and jewellery from China at the Ramadan bazaar in the Galleria @ Kota Raya shopping complex here.

Abdullah, who is a self-trained Islamic calligrapher, also sells his artwork at the bazaar.

Equally fluent in Arabic, he said the Chi­nese brush painting-inspired Islamic calligraphy was popular among Malaysians and Singaporeans who patronised the shopping complex.

“I have been doing calligraphy for 20 years and I take less than 10 minutes to paint verses from the Quran,” he said.

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