PETALING JAYA: Hari Raya open houses are the ultimate celebration of Malaysian hospitality, where friends, family, and even strangers gather to share mouth-watering traditional food and good company.
It’s a cultural event where doors are kept wide open, and everyone is welcome to join in the festivities. This tradition is deeply ingrained in Malaysian culture, reflecting the country’s reputation for great hospitality.
But before you dive into the delicious spread, remember to practise proper etiquette! Here are five big no-nos that you should avoid at all costs:
1. Don’t wear inappropriate attire
Dress to impress, but also dress appropriately for the occasion.
When attending an open house during Hari Raya, avoid wearing mini-skirts or long skirts with slits up to your thighs. Low-cut tops that reveal your cleavage are usually frowned upon as well.
The other extreme would be showing up in torn jeans, a ragged t-shirt and battered slippers – big no-nos on such a special occasion as Hari Raya.
Instead opt for something modest and respectful. Now’s the perfect time to fish out that Baju Melayu or Baju Kurung that you haven’t worn in years.
Additionally, it’s customary to remove your shoes before entering your host’s home. So be sure your footwear slips easily off so you’re not left bent over struggling with buckles and straps at the doorway.
2. Don’t make a mess at the table
One of the best parts of attending a Hari Raya open house is, of course, the delicious spread. However, it’s important to observe some basic table etiquette when sitting down to eat.
Be sure to clean up after yourself, dispose of any leftover food on your plate properly, and avoid leaving stains or spills on the beautiful tablecloth.
It’s tempting to load up your plate with all the mouth-watering food you see, but taking small portions can help you avoid spills and ensure that there’s enough food for everyone.
You don’t want to be remembered as the guest who ruined the host’s carpet or left a trail of cookie crumbs everywhere.
3. Don’t wander off on a self-guided house tour
Curiosity killed the cat, but in this case, it could also kill your relationship with the host. While it’s natural to be curious about your host’s home, an open house is not an invitation for a self-guided tour.
Be respectful of the host’s privacy and only explore areas that they have specifically invited you to see.
Additionally, avoid handling their personal belongings or décor unless invited to do so.
4. Don’t overstay your welcome
As much as you’re enjoying the company and the delicious food, it’s important to be mindful of the host’s time and not overstay your welcome.
You don’t want to be the last guest to leave and give the host an excuse to never invite you to another open house again. Remember, the host may have other guests to attend to, and open houses can get crowded.
Pay attention to the host’s body language and demeanour. If they seem tired or distracted, it may be a sign that it’s time to wrap up your stay.
Also, keep an eye on the time – if the open house started many hours earlier, it’s a good idea to start thinking of leaving soon.
And, make use of all your social cues. If other guests start to leave, it’s a good indication that the open house is winding down and it’s time to say your goodbyes. Be sure to thank your host before leaving.
5. Don’t show up empty-handed
Bring a small gift to show your appreciation for your host’s hospitality. While it’s not mandatory, it’s a thoughtful gesture that will surely be appreciated.
Not only will this show your gratitude, but it will also help strengthen your relationship with your host. Packets of Duit Raya for their kids is a great idea too.
Attending a Hari Raya open house is a fun and exciting way to experience Malaysian culture and connect with friends and family. So, be sure to enjoy the traditions respectfully and show your appreciation for your host’s kindness and generosity.