Families, friends grab chance to go Raya visiting in phase two
With phase two of Singapore’s reopening kicking in four days before the end of the Hari Raya month on June 22, some families and friends were thankful they got the opportunity to finally celebrate the occasion together - albeit in smaller groups.
When Mr Muhammad Luqman Mustaqym got busy with school assignments and was waiting for his leg injury to heal, he put off visiting his grandparents - who live 20 minutes away from him - since last December.
The 19-year-old polytechnic student thought that he could easily see them again after his surgery on April 4.
But when Singapore’s two-month circuit breaker kicked in three days after, he knew a longer and indefinite delay awaited them.
Mr Luqman told The New Paper: “I felt down and thought I should have visited them earlier if I knew this would happen.”
This year’s Hari Raya was different for the family too, as Mr Luqman only saw his grandparents through a laptop screen - a session that ended with his 72-year-old grandmother in tears as she was not able to physically be with her children and grandchildren.
He said: “It was definitely not enough. It felt different without being able to have conversations with them in person.
“She really missed having us over and we really missed eating with her.”
As phase one commenced on June 2 and household visits were limited to two visitors per day, Mr Luqman and his four siblings decided to hold off as the arrangement would lead to their grandmother having to cook for them on more days if they took turns to visit her separately.
When phase two kicked in on June 19, the quintet were finally able to visit their grandparents last Sunday - a day before the end of the Hari Raya month.
Mr Luqman said: “It was a coincidence that the five of us could all go together, and I felt really lucky that phase two came (just in time).
“Being there with (my grandparents) physically, I felt like I took my time and freedom for granted. I’m grateful I can visit them more often now because it really makes them happy.”
Mr Haziq Ruzaiman, 20, was also glad that he could keep his annual Hari Raya visiting tradition of four years - involving his ex-schoolmates - alive.
Although it was “incomplete” without the usual big group of 20, he managed to still meet his three friends from secondary school to go visiting this year after not seeing them for months.
He said: “When phase two commenced, it gave us the opportunity to celebrate Hari Raya like how we usually would, so we jumped on the opportunity.”
Mr Haziq, who is waiting to enter university, added that as the group was separated due to studying in different schools, he did not want to break the tradition because it was the “only chance to meet once a year and connect”.
He said: “It feels quite sad because we didn’t get to experience this with the rest, but it didn’t make it any less significant. We’re lucky to be able to do it this year.”