From making ketupat and experiencing fasting, to learning why Muslims break their fast by eating dates, this year’s Hari Raya was an enriching learning journey and an enjoyable celebration for the youth at our centres.

At JYC @ Children’s Society (JYC), Roundbox @ Children’s Society (RBX), and The Fort @ Children’s Society (The FORT), both Muslim and non-Muslim members could celebrate together, thanks to the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions.

Party time: Members enjoying the Hari Raya celebrations at The FORT 

At JYC, our youth members came dressed for the occasion, and non-Muslim members, like 17-year-old Haritha, got a chance to ask both her Muslim friends and our staff members burning questions about fasting and what happens during Iftar, the evening meal when Muslims break their fast. There were also games, and prizes for the best-dressed. 

Over at The FORT, the Hari Raya-inspired games included charades and puzzles, a date-eating competition, and even a Songket (textile) race. There were also lessons in making ketupat.

Zachary, a 16-year-old member of The FORT, says: “I learnt more about Malay culture through the games. It was also fun to have everyone around to play games with, and to win prizes.” 

A learning experience: Staff and youth members at JYC share Hari Raya stories 

Iftar sessions had also been held with the youth at RBX, JYC and The FORT, with The FORT’s staff fasting for the day to lend their support. Members were treated to a movie and then, at 7.09pm, the radio was tuned to Warna 94.2FM, a Malay language station, which plays the Maghrib Azan, or the final call to prayer that indicates when Muslims can break their fast. 

One RBX member, Zheng Qing, 16, found it especially meaningful that he was able to physically participate in the Iftar session with his friends: “We weren’t able to do this for the past 2 years due to COVID-19 restrictions. I had fun eating together as a group at Roundbox.” 

A celebration of diversity: The FORT staff and youth members breaking their fast together 

Norirwansah Bin Ramli, Head of Roundbox, was glad that the festive celebrations brought the different youth members together. He said: “In multiracial, multicultural Singapore, celebrating events like Hari Raya together is a reminder of our harmony in diversity. These events expose our youth to different cultures and practices, helping to strengthen our social fabric.” 

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