Belait community reunite with loved ones for Hari Raya

National 2 minutes, 1 second

BELAIT

RETURNING home to their families, Muslims in Belait reunited with their families to mark the first day of Syawal yesterday, opening their doors to friends and family.

Following a month-long period of introspection and intensified spirituality, Muslims followed through with the first day of Hari Raya by placing family first.

For those born and raised in the district but have now ventured to the capital for employment, there is “no better occasion” to return home to seek forgiveness and renew family ties.

Close to the border in Kampong Sg Teraban, 78-year-old Hj Kaderi welcomed his 11 children home, along with 45 grandchildren.

“No doubt, this is the time of the year I look most forward to,” he quipped.

One of his sons, a seasoned fire fighter, said that his mother’s passing serves as a reminder that family must not be taken for granted.

“We were born and raised in Sg Teraban. Four of us still stay here with our spouses and kids, keeping my dad company,” said the 50-year-old.

In Kg Pandan, Kuala Belait, owner of one of the district’s most famed caterers continued his late mother’s tradition to welcome employees to their open house on the first day.

“Back then many years ago, we were welcoming staff just over a hundred, maybe two hundred,” said Serikandi Group’s Chief Executive Officer Shaikh Hj Khalid Shaikh Hj Ahmad. “Now things have progressed; we welcome 800 employees under the Serikandi Group. But the traditions, they should remain the same.”

According to Shaikh Hj Khalid, the tradition lies in the belief of welcoming employees as part of a wider family, while also offering expatriates, especially those of Muslim faith, an event to look forward to while away from home.

Meanwhile those originating from Belait's inner, rural south loaded up their four-wheel drives with glee, traversing through dirt, mud and stairs of rocks to have a chance to replicate the festivities from their childhood.

“With a new, harmonious, environment we welcome Hari Raya Aidil Fitri,” said Sandi Bujang, head of the Women’s Bureau at the recently completed Melilas Longhouse.

Residents expressed their gratitude at the new longhouse being built at no expense to them – and in time for Hari Raya Aidil Fitri.

“To all those involved in Julangan Titah project and to His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, we say thank you.”

The Brunei Times