We are within the last 10 days of Ramadan and apart from increasing our ibadah for our spiritual upliftment, we are also thinking about the eid celebration to mark the end of Ramadan. The aim of the celebration is the same but there are cultural differences in the manner of celebrating the occasion. In Malaysia, the concept of “rumah terbuka” or “open house” is common. When you have a “rumah terbuka”, everybody is welcome and strangers whom you have not met before become your invited guests. Organising it can mean setting up marquees outside the house and blocking the road to accommodate the huge number of guests. It causes disruption to traffic flow but the inconvenience is often tolerated and taken as a pleasure by the neighbours. “Rumah terbuka” is an occasion to know someone and whom you have seen before but never had the chance to say salam or hello. It is also an occasion to build relationship with your neighbours or make new friends. So it is not uncommon to have people organising “rumah terbuka” throughout the month of Shawal as there are many households that need to be visited and neighbours mutually scheduling their turn.
Unfortunately the practice of “open house” is not practical in the UK for various reasons. This is also not practiced by the other Muslim communities. In other words the concept of “rumah terbuka” is alien to the Muslim community in the UK. Without a big garden, the space inside the house makes it difficult, if not impossible, to accommodate many guests. Furthermore if eid falls in winter months, the garden is not an option. So we have to resort to organising eid events in public places that can accommodate more people. Melayu UK in the past have organised many eid parties and have attracted a lot of members who were willing to travel long distances to meet up with other members. The prime motivation for attending our eid parties was not food, as better options for food can be obtained at other nearby events or by simply going to good restaurants.
Melayu UK will not be holding any Eid-ul Fitri party this year. Instead, we will be joining the Oxford Eid Extravaganza where we will have a food stall with the aim raising fund for Melayu UK. We will be sharing the stall with the organisers of the event which is a bonus to us. This a huge public event that will be attended by thousands of Muslims and non-Muslims. It is a great event for integration and mutual understanding between different communities. We hope Melayu UK members will attend this event for us to bond our relationship. We are also still looking for volunteers who can help in the preparation on Saturday 8th June and the sale of food on Sunday 9th June 2019. There are still many things that need to be done and finalised. We also welcome ideas and other forms of contributions. Those who are willing to help can contact any committee members directly.
Please visit Oxford Eid Extravaganza Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/OxfordEidExtravaganza