The beauty of the Hari Raya “open house” is the fact that it provides us with a safe and happy avenue to exercise forgiveness for what’s happened in the past and allow us to look forward to the future.

ONE of the unique things about celebrating Hari Raya in Malaysia is the “open house” event.

During the Hari Raya week, most city dwellers choose to balik kampung. For this reason, people try to find another way to catch up with friends and relatives once they return to the city.

Hence the “open house” event where Malaysians of all races and religions get the opportunity to mingle with everyone, young and old, higher and lower positions, without much protocol and restrictions.

In other words, an “open house” is also an “open heart” event.

TO KNOW IS TO LOVE

This is especially true for the younger generation. The generation gap is now wider than before. With the advent of technology and urbanisation, we’re interacting less and less with each other, generationally.

Both the young and old seem to prefer being cocooned in their comfort zone, which is to stay within their peer groups and those whom they already know.

Relatives may be visiting other relatives but little effort is made to get acquainted with new people outside of the circle.

It’s our responsibility as parents to always introduce our children to others.

Don’t just ignore their presence and allow them to be absorbed by their gadgets.

Instead, encourage them to stay offline for as long as possible. Get them to talk to your guests.

Challenge them to get to know at least three new relatives. It can be an exciting adventure for them. This is a huge first step towards building a longer term relationship.

REKINDLE THE BOND

We may have not seen many of the guests for a while so this is the perfect time to rekindle bonds.

Muslims are strongly encouraged to strengthen bonds and maintain positive relationships with one another.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case due to our daily life pressures. Misunderstandings happen for various reasons and even close family members can get into conflicts with each other over various issues.

That is just within the family. What about the disputes and conflicts among colleagues, friends or neighbours?

If left unchecked, they’ll quickly escalate into bigger problems, including totally broken relationships.

As such, the beauty of the Hari Raya “open house” is the fact that it provides us with a safe and happy avenue to exercise forgiveness for what’s happened in the past and allow us to look forward to the future.

If you’re hosting, swallow your pride and extend them your invitation.

If you’re the guest, reciprocate and accept invitations with an open heart.

When adults behave this way, we can be assured that we’re sending a positive message and setting an excellent example for our children to follow. Some may argue that it’s too costly to host such an event during these trying times. But if we’re aware of the end benefits, I’m sure we’ll find a way. After all, there’s only a few more weeks of Syawal left. We really should take this opportunity to create lasting bonds.

**The article above was brought to you by AmMetLife Insurance Bhd

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