Hari Raya is Coming....

I received an invitation from my bank asking me whether I want to skip October's loan repayment. I wasn't sure what the promotion was, maybe Hari Raya. Though they get to charge a bit more interest for extending the loan for an extra month and probably some other administrative charges as well. They did indicate some form of charges will be required but they did not say what the rates are going to be.

I mentioned that to someone yesterday and apparently our local banks are also doing it. One that I heard was that you can skip this month's repayment and they will recoup it from your bonus pay. I think this probably works only for government officers. All these are presumably again because of the expectation of high expenses of the coming Hari Raya celebrations. Even JPKE is also using this opportunity to launch Brunei's Grand Sales throughout the whole month.

That seemed to be an interesting phenomenon. Why suddenly spend during Hari Raya? We got caught up in it as well. We decided to change our curtains which are now ten years old. My wife and I have talked about it for quite a while but it seems that we have decided to choose now as a good time to do it. Why now? I guess Raya is coming, that seems to be the underlying thinking. Most of us tend to use Hari Raya as the time to do the things that probably ought to be done. Other than that, there is the usual Baju Raya, Kueh Raya etc that needed to be bought in expectation of the many people that will turn up at our houses during Hari Raya. The number of new cars will also increase. Some of the guests that come over inevitably will be driving in their new cars.

New cars, new things during Hari Raya. I guess it's okay if you can afford it. But even then, this is already bordering on the line of wastage. Yesterday's Brunei Times led with an interesting article about not splurging during Hari Raya as it is sinful. Some have argued that they only spend once a year and it is usually during Hari Raya. Besides we should celebrate the month after fasting for a whole month. Again some would say that beats the original purpose of fasting which is to feel deprived and to make one feel humble. What's your take on this?


Anonymous said…
for me i wish ramadhan is celebrated as meriah as syawal and sultan's birthday or hari kebangsaan. why i say is that: Bulan ramadhan is the time where every muslim should look forward with excitement not just with amalan di waktu malam but to show how much we appreciate and celebrate it why not have the bandar and towns lighted up with the glittery cuculs?at least when little kids asked "mama kenapa bandar ani bercucul2 ani?" we can answer because we are celebrating the holy and beautiful month of ramadhan. macam di negeri singapore (or others) kalau they want to celebrate christmas a month before sudah tia orchard road atu meriah to welcome christmas
my point maybe not agreeable to some but seriously kalau on the way or balik dari masjid siuk jua meliat di keliling bandar lawa and terang-benderang, apatah lagi sepuluh malam terakhir tengah malam on the way kemasjid kan sembahyang tasbih
Anonymous said…
Sorry,my point above kind of "menyimpang sikit" but it was because of how we want to make the syawal and ramadhan celebration more festive-ised<---i made the word up!
By the way,How about the muslim arabs or chinese?how do they celebrate syawal?is it like us here where we highlight it with open houses, extravagant baju melayu/kurong, cars, curtain, furniture, food?
Zaliariff said…
As mentioned by anonymous, it will be great if Bandar or commercial areas are lighten up during this hari raya,like the ones in singapore,(geylang areas) to celebrate this special occasions,hope the people at municipal board will look into this,and i do hope Mr.BR, will convey this to you know who.Again,Thank you MR.BR for filling my early morning reads with all your blogs.Lastly spend less and give more to the needy during this festive season,as again thats why we fast in the first place anyway, to be humble and feels what the poor is feeling,to repent to Allah All mighty.
Anonymous said…
I think the purpose of raya is to strengthen tali silaturrahim is it not? All the pomp and circumstance we inject is just our own flavour and part of Bruneian culture rather than the arbitrary mode of celebration elsewhere. After all, where else do festivities last the entirety of Syawal?

All that said, I can't wait for Raya;)
FlyBoy said…
I think it's ridiculous how wasteful we are during Ramadhan. And when Syawal comes, it's even outrageous.

How can we justify spending so much money on food, clothes, cars and curtains and charge it all on credit or cash that should be going to charities and needy people?

Ramadhan is a time to abstain oneself not just from consuming food but also from our overindulgence. And moderation is the key. Eid is a time for celebration after Ramadhan but to spend excessively is not exactly the way to go.

We should be self-critical of ourselves and think whether what we are buying is what we need or maybe it's just what we want.

I was about to indulge myself on a new digital camera because the latch on my old digital camera is broken. But i've saved myself approximately $500 by using tape to patch it up.
Anonymous said…
Sigh.. but nothing is happening when it comes to "Chinese New Year".

How unfair could that be?
Anonymous said…
Thanks Mr BR for posting on the useless wastage we Bruneians seem to always do around Hari Raya. I am always surprised to see people spend so much money when they could be putting it to better use (their children's education say OR payment towards last year's Hari Raya bils).
I have always thought that Hari Raya was a celebration to reward those wh chose to do without during Ramadan as a reminder that not everyone is fortunate. Isn't it ironic that Bruneians celebrate this fact with an entire month of needless festivities? Isn't an importane lesson of Islam moderation?
Anonymous said…
is it necessary to buy new things for hariraya? i still don't understand why people have to change the curtains and sofas etc when the old ones can still be used... the same goes with the bajus, women with their thick 'katuk' and 'kisi' which cost hundreds of dollars... please, it's wasting money when we should be berjimat cermat... bersederhanalah dalam kehidupan... i know some of the bruneians are rich people, berkemampuan and everything, but that's not the reasons to throw your money over something which are not necessary...
Anonymous said…
my mom feels the need to buy new furniture, curtains and other items for every chinese new year, which is a waste of money, in my opinion. we now have a room full of unwanted bedside tables, beds, sofas, chairs, desks, pillows and lamps. festivities should be about celebrating with family and friends (which is free), and not about how different the home looks compared to the previous year (which is taxing).
Anonymous said…
i think its important as muslims that we must remain humble and not be too materialistic. at the end of the day, what can we do with the nice things we have? We certainly can't bring it with us when we die and it certainly doesnt count for anything on the day of judgement. Alot of us sadly have forgotten this. Dont you think god would be much more pleased if we celebrated the end of the fasting month with humbleness because isnt that what islam teaches? Think of the countless muslims around the world who dont even have clean water to drink, let alone be able to celebrate raya, and here we are spending hundreds on our 10 baju melayus every year...
Anonymous said…
Dear BR,
Hari Raya is coming soon. Would it be nice if you could post your address here so that we can send hariraya cards and if ok to visit you and family during hari raya?
Thank you for the thought - publishing my address would be tantamount to breaking my vow to remain anonymous. If you still feel the urge to send HR cards to old BR, you can send it to:

MPC PO Box 1, Old Airport, BSB, Brunei.

You are welcome to drop in for HR if you know where the house is.

Selamat Hari Raya.
Anonymous said…
hari raya is coming.....it does not mean to lavishly spend on clothes, food, house decorations etc. doesnt mean that ramadhan is over we can just forget about what we have learnt from this blessed month????? Islam teaches us MODERATION. i think most of us have forgotten this. it is a sin to show off all these worldly goods. why not just spend the extra money to help those who are not so fortunate.

"love for your brother what you love for yourself"

please dont be deceived by what all these dunia stuff has to offer. we have been blinded by both syaitan and western culture. "Open your eyes and see" ....stop being ignorant and be a true muslim. remember that god is always watching us and we shall be asked for whatever we do in this life and be judged accordingly.

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