KUCHING: Most people would think that being apart from their family and away from their hometown during Ramadan could be a great challenge for Muslim youths from the peninsula working or furthering their studies in Sarawak.
However, a survey by Bernama revealed that they are actually overwhelmed by the moderate way Muslims in the state observed the fasting month with their own unique culture and customs that make ‘outsiders’ felt very much at home.
Lance Corporal, Nur Hawanie Abdul Jalil, who is from Teluk Intan, Perak, said it was an eye-opening experience for her to observe Ramadan and to celebrate Aidilfitri in Sarawak because of the various races and ethnicities celebrating the festivity together with a strong sense of unity and tolerance.
“In terms of food, I can still enjoy the special dishes from the peninsular like ‘nasi kerabu’, ‘nasi kandar’, and ‘kuih akok’ which I can buy at the Ramadan bazaars here, which also offer a variety of Sarawak’s traditional delicacies,” said the 30-year-old policewoman who has been working in Sarawak for six years.
Meanwhile, a primary school teacher at Sekolah Kebangsaan Mejar Jeneral Dato Ibrahim, Mursyida Azizan, 33, said despite being away from home over the last seven years, she always looked forward to celebrating Aidilfitri here.
She said, what amazed her the most was the one-month long lively celebration with an abundance of layered cakes in every house that made it unique compared to her hometown in Gurun, Kedah.
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) student, Mohammad Aiman Hamli, 22, said, he really felt touched by the consideration shown by non-Muslim students, staff and lecturers during the fasting month and breaking of fast.
“What really touches my heart is how great the tolerance of non-Muslim students, staff and the lecturers here, which shows the gracious and great respect of Sarawakians towards non-Sarawakians”, he added. —Bernama