[Updated 7 May 2021]
Hari Raya celebrations this year are set to take place under special restrictions. Based on recent news in Malaysia and Singapore, only a limited number of guests are allowed in a house at one time. With the possibility of people making plans to visit their loved ones this coming holiday, we're here to share some etiquette and hygiene tips that are important to practice during a Raya visit.
1. Wear a mask
Wearing a mask has become the norm ever since the coronavirus outbreak and it should be no different for this Raya season. While there's been plenty of back and forth about whether or not a perfectly healthy person should wear one, it's best to follow the SOP set by your local Ministry of Health, which is to wear a face mask. Of course, if you're sick and have symptoms like a fever, cough or runny nose, it's best for you to stay home and recover instead of going out.
P.S. Here are 11 ways you can celebrate Hari Raya at home this year.
2. Wash your hands with soap and water
The words 'wash your hands' have most likely been drilled into your head over the past several months and we can't help ourselves but to say it once more to you! It is the best way to stop germs from spreading since you come into contact with a lot of contaminated surfaces - from the telephone to the toilet. Wash as often as needed and use warm water and soap when you do so.
3. Sanitise your hands
Having hand sanitiser is super helpful as you may not always get the chance to go to the washroom to wash your hands. Remember to pack it along in your bag or check with the person you're visiting to make sure they have some on hand. It is recommended by the CDC to have a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, though to note, there are no similar minimum alcohol-level requirements from other major health organisations.
P.S. Calling your loved ones instead of visiting them? Use these 4 tips for a fun virtual gathering experience this Raya.
4. Maintain a distance of 1 to 2 metres
With Raya being the time for forgiveness, the natural thing to do when you see your family and relatives would be to salam, hug and kiss each other. But considering the current situation, it is best to refrain from such physical contact especially when it comes to young children and the elderly. Not being able to greet them the way we usually do is definitely saddening, but just remember that by keeping your social distance, you're ensuring everyone's health and safety.
Etiquette while visiting someone's home this Raya
1. Schedule your visit or call ahead
Let the host know ahead of time when you are planning to drop by. This can help them to coordinate the timings for other guests to visit and abide by SOPs for Raya visiting. On top of that, confirming your time of arrival will allow the host to prepare themselves and all the necessary things for everyone to have a comfortable and safe visit.
2. Keep your hygiene in check before you visit the house
From washing your hands to wearing clean clothes, make sure that your personal hygiene is up to par before visiting anyone's home. It is your duty to ensure that every aspect of your cleanliness is in check so that it's one less thing for your host to worry about when receiving guests. Plus, it's further reassurance for them and everyone in the house that the risk of exposing each other to the virus is minimized.
4. Avoid sharing food on the same plate
A big part of Raya festivities is the food and you will no doubt be eating a lot of delicious local dishes during your visit. While you're digging into your plate of rendang or indulging in some satay, make sure that you're not sharing your food with someone else while using the same plate. For the same reason that you're keeping a social distance, sticking to your own plate of food will ensure minimal contact and cross-contamination.
5. Use e-transfer for Raya money
One way you can keep your social distancing in place while visiting your loved ones is to prepare e-Duit Raya! Instead of handing Raya money the traditional way using colourful packets, transferring the cash is a much safer method of keeping any sort of contact to a minimum. With Maybank, you can use their e-Duit Raya function while HSBC Amanah offers a function called DuitNow.
P.S. For more options, check out these 6 amazing apps to send eDuit Raya to your loved ones.
5. Try not too stay for too long
It's easy to get caught up in a conversation with your loved ones especially if you haven't seen or talked to one another in a long time. But we're here to remind you not to overstay your welcome. It's likely that you're not the only guest visiting that day, and with the rule of not overcrowding during a visit, set an alarm or inform the host on the length of your stay so they can help keep track of it if need be.
Celebrating Raya in 2021 will definitely be a unique experience and while it may not be as festive as previous years, let's all do what we can to make the best out of the situation so that we'll be able to see our loved ones in a much safer environment.