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Know Your Cross-Cultural Etiquette: Celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri Print E-mail

Hari Raya Aidilfitri is just round the corner. If you have been invited by a Muslim friend to the house to celebrate this special occasion, you may wish to observe the following cross-cultural social etiquette:


Dressing
To show respect to the host, dress appropriately when you do house visitations. Avoid clothes that are too revealing, such as micro-mini skirts, halter neck or spaghetti strap tops. Even if it’s in vogue, avoid wearing torn jeans and frayed shorts.

Remove Your Shoes
Always remove your shoes before you step into the house.

Bring A Gift
This is not expected but as a good gesture, you may bring a box of chocolates, cookies or a fruit basket for your host. Please make sure the food gifts you select are halal certified.

Use Your Right Hand
Avoid using the left hand, which is commonly associated with activities in the toilet. The right hand is always used when eating, shaking hands as well as giving/receiving things.

Greetings
Greet your host “Selamat Hari Raya” when you arrive. Be friendly and greet the rest of the family members and friends who are present as well. 

Handshakes
For the Muslim culture, members of the opposite sex who are not married or related to each other are discouraged to make any physical contact in public. Handshakes are normally exchanged between people of the same gender. Thus, do not be alarmed when your offer of handshake is not accepted. A smile, slight nod of your head with the greeting “Selamat Hari Raya” would suffice in this case.

Food and Drinks
Food and drinks are normally offered. It would be polite to accept the food and drinks. To show your appreciation, sample a little of the food and drinks even if you are not hungry or don’t feel like eating or drinking.



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