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By Erda Khursyiah Basir

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- Festivals like Hari Raya are synonymous with sumptuous spreads and feasting.

Hard as it is to resist traditional Malay fare like lemang, rendang, ketupat and lontong, it is best not to overindulge as "our body would not take kindly to it", said Universiti Putra Malaysia's Faculty of Science and Food Technology lecturer Dr Ahmad Faizal Abdull Razis.

"Although we celebrate Raya with an array of colourful delicacies that come in various flavours, it's not the ticket to brush aside healthy eating habits.

"Indeed, it's part of our tradition to prepare and serve a variety of food during Hari Raya but it is up to us to choose to eat wisely and practice healthy eating at all times to safeguard our health," he told Bernama.


By Ani Awang

PARIT BUNTAR (Bernama) -- Everytime Ramadan appears, the Kerian district in Perak becomes the focal point for those who want to savour the mouthwatering 'kerang rebus dan bakar' (boiled and grilled shellfish).

The boiled or grilled shellfish dipped in the delectable 'kuah kacang' (peanut sauce), appears to be the signature dish of this district during the fasting month and for the diners from outside the district.

Apart from the 'kerang rebus dan bakar ' there is a myriad of edible snails available as well right after the breaking of fast until midnight.


By Norshazlina Nor'azman

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- Back in the day, Hari Raya fashion was quite simple in choices. For the ladies, it is either a baju kurung and traditional kebaya and for the men, either the baju Melayu teluk belanga or cekak musang.

However, the last few years saw a rapid evolution of Hari Raya fashion. The newer trends featured modern styles with a variety of patterns, motifs and fabrics. Some had elements of class and glamour while others displayed whimsical styles, thanks to the rising number of young designers.

Two years ago, peplum tops for Hari Raya were all the rage among women under 35. Then the Saloma kebaya with cinched waistlines and flaring at the hips briefly made a comeback before interest in it fizzled out.


By Norshazlina Nor'azman

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- Back in the day, Hari Raya fashion was quite simple in choices. For the ladies, it is either a baju kurung and traditional kebaya and for the men, either the baju Melayu teluk belanga or cekak musang.

However, the last few years saw a rapid evolution of Hari Raya fashion. The newer trends featured modern styles with a variety of patterns, motifs and fabrics. Some had elements of class and glamour while others displayed whimsical styles, thanks to the rising number of young designers.

Two years ago, peplum tops for Hari Raya were all the rage among women under 35. Then the Saloma kebaya with cinched waistlines and flaring at the hips briefly made a comeback before interest in it fizzled out.


By Melati Mohd Ariff

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- "No matter what, we have to 'balik kampung'!" This is the spontaneous answer I received from a friend. Moreover, this friend is among the lucky ones as her husband also comes from the same state, hence there is not much fuss on which side to go.

Malaysians have taken for granted the annual "balik kampung" routine during Hari Raya each year without realising that married couples may end up in a dilemma in deciding which in-laws they should celebrate with.

It is no small matter in deciding where to go and it even caused many couples to split though it only takes some give and take in finding a solution, a public servant Ainul Huda shared with me.


Oleh Soon Li Wei

GENTING HIGHLANDS (Bernama) -- Gong Jia Yu is only 10 but he packs quite a punch when performing his Shaolin kung fu moves on stage.

This lad is part of the 32-member Shaolin Temple troupe from Henan, China, that has been performing in a martial arts musical drama in the city up in the clouds -- Genting Highlands -- and captivating audiences over the past three weeks or so.

The musical, titled Soul of Shaolin: Hui Guang's Story, showcases spectacular kung fu movements and stunts, set to an appealing storyline.


By Ali Imran Mohd Noordin

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- With Ramadan into its final week, traders are going the extra mile to woo customers who are wrapping up their Raya shopping before joining the 'balik kampung' exodus.

For the traders, Ramadan provides an avenue to earn or enhance their income hence those permanent and seasonal traders throughout the city or even in Jalan Masjid India have drawn their own plans to win over the customers.

They too have learnt of the customers' spending patterns and have come up with sales strategies based on how the customers are spending.