By Wan Muhammad Aslah Wan Razali
KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 (Bernama) -- Thanks to the close-knitted community of Malaysians living abroad, Aidilfitri does not feel so lonely for students residing thousands of miles away from home.
Medical student Rashid Tharek, 26, said that he would be celebrating Aidilfitri in Moscow, Russia, this year as his exam finals are closing in around the same date.
He added that during the first morning of Syawal many Malaysians would gather at the Malaysian Embassy's hall in Moscow to recite the Eid-Takbir and performing the Eid prayer, bringing in the community from different walks of life together, once a year.
“The Malaysian embassy here in Moscow puts a great effort in hosting a large Raya open house for us (Malaysians). I think it is greatly appreciated by our community as everyone is invited, especially in bringing our community together once in a while and catering for us Malaysians.
“Although I’m sad not being able to spend the Eid with my family back home in Johor, I’m looking forward to spending it here with my friends as I consider them as like my second family,” he told Bernama.
Final year engineering student of National Institute of Technology Gunma College in Japan, Nur Atiqah Syazrina, 22, said it had been three years since the last time she had the chance to return home to celebrate Aidilfitri in Malaysia and despite being in a place with only a handful of Malaysians, it didn’t stop her from celebrating.
“I don’t think I would have enough time to go back to Malaysia since Eid is not considered as a holiday here... and usually during Syawal we would have exams just around the corner or other important assignments that need to be submitted,” he said.
According to Atiqah, she and her fellow Malaysians would usually cook up Malaysian dishes to celebrate the big day before going out to Tokyo while wearing their baju Raya just to get that spirit.
“Its really fun, we often get stopped by locals in the streets complementing us on how unique our clothes are and even for me as a hijab-wearing woman. I don't feel any discrimination at all as everyone here is so friendly and helpful,” she added.