The High Commission of Malaysia in Singapore hosted a celebration on Wednesday, welcoming diplomats, dignitaries, and guests to partake in the cultural festivities of Hari Raya.

Hari Raya is an important traditional cultural day celebrated by several Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

The Muslim populations in these nations commemorate it at the end of the Eid period, known as Ramadan.


High Commissioner of Malaysia Dato Azfar Bin Mohamad Mustafar warmly received all his guests at the official Malaysian residence in Singapore. Among the attendees were several ambassadors and high commissioners mainly from the Asian continent, as well as other special guests, including Minister of Sustainability & Environment Grace Fu and Senior Minister of State Zaqy Mohamad from the Ministry of Defence & Ministry of Manpower.

Food as a cultural ambassador

The occasion was used to showcase a variety of Malaysian dishes. These included lemang, a traditional Malay dish consisting of glutinous rice and coconut milk cooked in bamboo over an open fire. It was served with rendang, a meat slowly stewed with spices.

Skewered grilled beef and chicken, popularly known as satay, served with peanut sauce, cucumbers, onions, and compressed rice, were also part of the delights.

Two nationally acknowledged heritage foods, teh tarik and roti canai, were also included in the delicious menu.

The link between food and festivities is deeply rooted in Malaysian culture, symbolizing unity, generosity, and the joy of coming together as one family.

Traditional cuisine, a blend of Malay, Indian, and Chinese culinary influences, takes center stage during the Hari Raya celebration.

Rumah Terbuka

The most significant cultural aspect of the event, which blends well with food tasting, is the tradition of open houses, or ‘Rumah Terbuka’. This is the time when families and communities welcome guests from all backgrounds to their homes, promoting social cohesion and strengthening community bonds.

It exemplifies Malaysian hospitality, providing an opportunity for people to come together, share blessings, and forge meaningful connections.

The culture of open houses extends beyond other celebrations such as Chinese New Year, Deepavali, and Christmas.

By acknowledging these festivities, Malaysia emphasizes multicultural identity and a spirit of inclusivity. In essence, this is a homage that transcends all cultural and religious differences.