Tuesday August 21, 2012
Bangladeshi community bonds on special day
By PRIYA MENON
IT HAS been 10 years since MD Jakir Hussain, 29, went home for Hari Raya but he consoles himself by celebrating with his friends here in Kuala Lumpur.
Jakir was one of the thousands who attended special Hari Raya prayers held on the streets in Jalan Silang (Jalan Tun Tan Siew Sin) organised by the Malaysia Bangladesh Business Association last Sunday.
“I was really sad and felt nostalgic thinking about my family back home. I miss celebrating with them, eating with them and going to the mosque with my father,” he said.
He added that the mass prayer session was comforting as he felt like he was among friends and family.
Jakir said most of them spend the day together celebrating, eating, visiting friends and going shopping.
“However, I am looking forward to my trip home after Raya,” he said, adding that he had plans to get married soon.
The Bangladeshi community celebrates Raya or Eid with a sweet breakfast consisting of milk cakes and other delicacies.
Here in Malaysia, friends get together and cook traditional briyani and beef and enjoy the meal together.
The association’s president Rased Badal said the aim of organising the mass prayer was to enable Muslims from Bangladesh to listen to the sermon in their own language, Bengali.
This practice has been carried out in Jalan Silang for over eight years now.
“By having the session in Bengali, all Bangladeshis can relate and understand the messages we relay better. They feel at home and we get to disseminate information to them as well,” he added.
The association organises the mass prayer at Jalan Silang twice a year, during Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya Haji.
The community is currently renting a shoplot for use as a surau (Madrasah Baitul Makmur) for their spiritual needs.
During the mass prayer, several people were seen shedding tears while remembering their families back home.
Their hope is that the Government can identify a piece of land for them to build a mosque for the Bangladeshi community here.
The association’s secretary-general M.M Mamoon Rashid said there were currently 600,000 Bangladeshis in Malaysia and most of them live in Selangor, Penang and Johor Baru.
They said they were grateful for the help extended by the Government, including the police and Kuala Lumpur City Hall, to organise the event on a large scale every year.