What Hari Raya Aidilfitri Means To ONE’s Superstars

Mohammed Bin Mahmoud and Stefer Rahardian

As the holy month of Ramadan comes to an end, Muslims around the globe are eagerly anticipating the chance to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

To many, the Hari Raya celebration (known as Lebaran or Hari Raya Idul Fitri in Indonesia) is a perfect time to catch up with friends and family. Also, the traditional food is one of the highlights of the festival, too.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of these plans have been put on hold because of the travel restrictions that were imposed worldwide.

Despite the limitations, the ONE Championship athletes who celebrate the occasion believe it will be yet another event to remember. After all, staying positive has kept some of these talented individuals at the top of their martial arts game.

Now, these athletes share what Hari Raya means to them, and how they will be getting in the festive spirit.

Azwan Che Wil

Azwan Che Wil celebrates with his family after a Muay Thai show

“One of the things I have always loved about the festival is it is one of those days where we get to meet our long lost friends and family members. For Hari Raya, my normal ritual is to go back to my mum’s village in southern Thailand, and then visit my dad’s side of the family in Kelantan on the second day.

“This year will be very different because a lot of my family members were not able to return to Kelantan due to the MCO (movement control order) implemented by our government. But, that’s totally fine. Why should we look at the negative side of it?

“I’ve been spending a lot of wonderful time with my parents at home, and I think with Hari Raya around, it will be even more special. With that said, I want to take this opportunity to wish Muslims around the world Selamat Hari Raya!

“Celebrate it in the humblest of ways, and make sure you follow all the SOPs (standard operating procedures) implemented by our health ministry during COVID-19 to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones.”

“Zenwalk” Adi Paryanto

“This year, I do not feel the same atmosphere. I cannot go to my hometown in Purwodadi, Central Java, due to COVID-19, so I’ve decided to stay in Jakarta.

“We never expected this pandemic would last this long, until Lebaran. Last year, we could still perform our Eid prayer in a mosque, greet the relatives, and reconnect with them.

“I have been in self-quarantine for two months. It is kind of sad that it doesn’t feel as festive as last year. At the same time, I also feel this is the right time for us to be introspective, as in having more time to talk to ourselves and recharge with positivity, if possible.

“I would use the term mellow to describe this year’s Lebaran. It indeed decreases the essence of it, but I would use this time to be more productive in the sense that it gives me more time to be creative.”

Mohammed “Jordan Boy” Bin Mahmoud

Mohammed Bin Mahmoud and his family on Hari Raya

“Hari Raya, to me, is all about practicing our culture. Apart from going back to my mother’s hometown in Kedah and enjoying the great food like rendang and lemang, being around family members and visiting open houses is something I do every time during the festival.

“However, I know I won’t be able to do that this year, but it’s not a big deal for me. Perhaps this will be a great time for my family – just the six of us – to spend more quality time together. Sometimes, just like in martial arts, things don’t go as planned, but we must always have another alternative to solve the issue.

“I know a lot of my friends will not be going back to their hometowns, so maybe I can visit them while practicing my social distancing, of course. Let’s just be happy that we are still allowed to celebrate Hari Raya, although on a smaller scale.

“To my fans, ONE Championship fans, and all the Muslims around the world, Selamat Hari Raya Dan Maaf Zahir Dan Batin! Stay safe, take care, and let’s pray that things get back to normal soon.”

Putri “Ami” Padmi

Indonesian mixed martial artist Putri Padmi with her family on Hari Raya

“Hari Raya Idul Fitri is like a new year for me, as everything starts from zero again.

“It is the time of the year when we ask for forgiveness and mend the ties with people around us – parents, family, co-workers, neighbors, and everyone else. It’s also the time for us to forgive and leave everything behind. Basically for me, Lebaran is the new year when we write a new chapter in our lives.

“Lebaran always offers a distinctive festive atmosphere. We eat together with the big family to celebrate it. Luckily, I have been home [in Tuban, East Javalong] before the travel restriction was applied.

“It feels special because it gives us a solemn moment to truly apologize and [to say] thanks. We listen to each other’s stories, particularly because we have been far from home for a long while.”

“Jungle Cat” Muhammad Aiman

Muhammad Aiman with his family on Hari Raya

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve celebrated Hari Raya at home in Negeri Sembilan every year.

“For the past 25 years, every Hari Raya has been a memorable one. But just because of COVID-19, that does not mean I won’t be able to celebrate Hari Raya here [in Bali]. I can still do the same stuff I do when I’m back home. The only difference is that I won’t have my family around me.

“There is a mosque located not too far away from the gym, and I will continue my ritual of praying every morning before heading off, and probably hanging out with the guys at the gym.

“I might attempt cooking something while I’m here too since I have a little bit of time on my side. I miss a lot of the traditional dishes, so it’ll just sort of complete the day for me.”

Stefer “The Lion” Rahardian

“Unlike the previous years, this year’s Ramadan and Lebaran feels a little less festive for me, personally.

“I could not go out to do ngabuburit (killing time while waiting for the day’s fast to end) and breaking fast together because of the restrictions. Malls and restaurants are also closed due to this situation. However, I believe it’s best for us to follow the rules to cut the virus chain.

“The essence of Lebaran is about forgiveness and purity. It is not about visiting relatives, family gatherings, and new stuff, but how the worship brings us to a spiritual rebirth or return to purity.

“Despite the fact that we cannot go out too often, I still feel grateful for the extra family time. Due to the restrictions, I’ve spent almost the entire Ramadan at home. I cook meals for family and I have more time to spend with them. These are things I hardly do during my usual days.”

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