KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 (Bernama) -- Despite being far from loved ones in their quest for education, foreign students in Malaysia still feel the excitement of Hari Raya Aidilfitri here, which they describe as festive and grand compared to back home.
Just like Muslims all over the world, every year the Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) foreign students, who are unable to go home for the festive season, visit each other and gather with friends after the Aidilfitri morning prayers.
Bruhan Nudiny, 25, an Economics student from Xinjiang, China, felt that the Aidilfitri atmosphere in Malaysia was very festive with all races celebrating it together compared to the quieter celebration back home which was only among one race.
"I'm very excited and impressed because the community here celebrates together even though they are of different races. You cannot see this in my home town," said Bruhan who is celebrating his first Aidilfitri abroad.
Mubeenah Sanni, 18, an Electrical Engineering student from Nigeria, shared her first experience of Aidilfitri in Malaysia last year, saying it was very different from back home.
"We don't celebrate it like in Malaysia, it is normal as usual, nothing different, after Eid prayers we go home and gather with family.
"But it's unique in Malaysia, open houses are everywhere, this is the chance for us to gather with friends and try all the various food during Aidilfitri," she said.
Whereas, Oybek Shavkatoghli, 26, a Business Administration student from Uzbekistan, said Hari Raya Aidilfitri in Malaysia was not much different from his country as they also visited each other's homes and had open houses.
"This is my third Aidilfitri in Malaysia. The culture here is the same as in my country, we also have open houses and invite guests, " he said.
In conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri today, for the first time UIA held a grand scale open house for its international students as well as residents in the vicinity of the university.
UIA rector, Professor Dr Zaleha Kamarudin told reporters that in previous years, the open house was only for international students and faculty.