Moderate Raya celebrations for M’sian students in Japan

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian students in Japan managed to mark the start of Syawal in the Land of the Rising Sun on Monday (May 2) with a moderate celebration even though they had classes to attend.

Muhammad Khair Nadil Khairudin, 23, who is a pursuing bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Nagaoka University Of Technology, Nagaoka, said they performed Aidilfitri prayers at the campus surau along with about 40 other Muslims from around the university.

“After Aidilfitri prayers at the university surau with the Muslim community here, my friends and I had to rush off for morning lectures. The surau is not only used by Muslim students at the university but also by the nearby Muslim community,” he told Bernama on Monday.

According to him, the Muslim community that attended the Aidifitri prayers were of diverse backgrounds, coming from various countries such as Indonesia, Senegal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and also the local Japanese Muslim community.

On Hari Raya preparations in Japan, Muhammad Khair Nadil said he and other Muslim friends could not find the time to cook because they did not expect Syawal to be celebrated on Monday, on top of their other commitments as students.

He said Japan was supposed to celebrate Aidilfitri on Tuesday (May 3) but as the country’s closest Islamic country, Malaysia was celebrating it Monday, the Japanese Muslim community followed suit.

“We were actually planning to have a Hari Raya banquet on Tuesday, but who knew that it would be today instead. Such being the case, we were unable to prepare to host a feast today,ā€ he said.

Muhammad Khair Nadil, who has twice celebrated Aidilfitri in Japan, also said he missed the festive air back in Malaysia.

“The atmosphere in Japan and Malaysia is very different. I miss the Raya mood in Malaysia, especially delicacies like rendang, ketupat, lemang and all that. I also miss celebrating it with my family,ā€ he said.

A fellow Malaysian student in Japan, Nuraiman Mustaqim Nurnasran, 22, said celebrating Raya in Japan was rather boring as he was so far away from his family.

“In Japan, celebrations are rather subdued unlike Malaysia, with rendang, ketupat, lemang and the like. The holiday feast is what I miss most when Iā€™m here in Japan. I miss celebrating Raya with my family,ā€ Nuraiman, who is celebrating his first Raya abroad, admitted.

He noted that having to celebrate Aidilfitri abroad and being away from his family taught him to be stronger in facing challenges and being independent. – Bernama