Of my 22 years as a Malaysian, I have only really had any form of true Raya celebrations in the last 4 years. If you are unfamiliar with Malaysia, here’s a crash course for you. We are a small country in the South East Asia, sandwiched between Thailand and Singapore. And, like many of our neighbours, we boast being a melting pot of cultures. Having said that, I cannot declare that I am well acquainted with the ways and culture of other races. To the international community, we may proclaim ourselves Malaysian but to our citizens, we are always questioned to align ourselves with one race or the other. So much that, even our national tourism adverts stressed the ‘Malay, Chinese, and Indian’ card to the point that it sometimes seems absurd to me. We may have an official language but in reality I think we lacked a common medium subscribed by all Malaysians. There has always been a veil between Malaysians of different ancestry. We seem to be both familiar with each other as observers and foreign as participants. If only all of us could talk without that dread of taboo hanging our heads, we could be better Malaysians.
As someone of Chinese descents and non-Muslim, Raya or Eid-al-Fitr is not usually in my ball park. But lately, Raya has become one of those rare occasions where a get-together with my close friends from college days is possible. Simply because of its logistic advantage of happening during summer break. Slowly, Raya open house has become a staple where we are able to steal some precious time to catch-up. And it became one of those occasions that my mind would immediately jump to long hemlines. In part as respect to the host and also it is the perfect excuse the get into some Maxi dress without looking like you are on holiday. So here is my blue print chiffon maxi. Although I’ve probably violated common sense by going sleeveless, the mandarin collar makes this dress smart and polite enough to make up for it (at least I hope so). In any case, my host seems to fine with the outfit (again, I hope so). So how do you think I did in dressing up for a specific cultural situation and what would you recommend in these situations? Do let me know in the comments.
Shot on Nikon D60 by Chir Yan.