Hari Raya Celebration in Sabah Borneo
The Hari Raya celebration in Sabah is truly a multi-cultural affair. This celebration is the festival of fast breaking as it marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Just as it is in any other parts of the world, here in Sabah which is part of the island of Borneo, we celebrate the end of Ramadan together with all friends and families and the occasional stranger. Yes, what you’ve heard over the grapevine is true, we really are very friendly people. Other things that you may not know, we have an amazing Borneo rainforest (or you might know that already) and an even more amazing selection of food. For all you avid travellers out there, I say it’s not enough to be amazed by a new place for it’s sights or people only but let your taste buds experience a new euphoria too when you travel.
During Eid Al Fitr, other than celebrating the end of Ramadan, I would say one of the other highlights is definitely the food. The array of food served is just mind boggling and eating all of it is a feat equivalent to climbing the majestic Mount Kinabalu. I kid you not.
To start with, there are always local snacks served. These are bite-sized cakes, biscuits and starchy jellies prepared in all colors of the rainbow. My all-time favourite is always kuih makmur, a ball-shaped peanut cookie made with ghee and covered in icing sugar that just melts in your mouth. I have learned that the best (and most dignified) way to eat it is to pop it whole into the mouth. Then there is dodol, a sticky sweet dessert made from coconut milk, cane sugar and rice flour. So sweet but oh so yummy. As you can see from the photos below, I could not possibly name every single sweet delicacy served on Eid Al Fitr but suffice it to say, you may not make it to the main course.
Delicious sticky and sweet dodol
If however, you do make it to the main course then you are in for another treat. Food oh glorious food. There is chicken, beef, mutton, vegetables, more chicken, more beef and more vegetables. It’s all so wonderful. The all time crowd favourite is always the Rendang, be it beef or chicken . Insert your meat of choice into a concoction of coconut milk and spices then slowly cook it for a few hours, then voila, you get your Rendang. Then you take your Rendang and eat it with Ketupat. This is rice cooked inside weaved coconut palm leaves. Or forget the carbs and dive in straight to all the proteins. Serunding, Ayam Masak Merah, Satay and the list goes on.
Photo: Nuhaa All Bakry
So have I got your attention yet? Well what are you waiting for? Book your trip over now. And if you get an invite to an open house while you’re here, please bring me along.
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