Raya Open House Etiquette

By Ahmed Wafi

Be the perfect guest this festive season!

One of the beauties of working in Malaysia are the festivities that take place all year round, making nearly every day a special occasion to have a gathering with your friends and enjoy good food. While we’re still in the Raya mood, do expect open house invitations from friends and colleagues.

You’re bound to meet new people (especially when it’s organised by companies) and that’s when you can make an impression! Here are some dos and don’ts of attending Raya open houses to make you the perfect guest.

#1 Dress for the occasion
Like any gathering, you need to dress appropriately. For Raya open houses, select more traditional clothes like cheongsam or sari. Just make sure they’re not too revealing.

#2 Don’t forget common etiquette
This might seem like a no-brainer but needs a reminder nonetheless. Greet the hosts and wish them a Selamat Hari Raya. Talk to the new people you meet (bring your business card just in case), take off your shoes before entering the house, and avoid eating with your left hand.

#3 Don’t overstay your welcome
Open houses are usually attended by a lot of people with sometimes limited seating. Ensure your stay is a brief one as you may need to give up your seat for another guest unless seating is plenty or if the hosts insist you stay longer.

#4 Eat only what your stomach allows
Yes, there’s going to be a lot of food but no, you don’t need to eat ALL of it. Help yourself to the Raya treats but don’t clear the tray! Leave some for the rest of us and also, save yourself from the guilt of overeating as well as hours on the treadmill.

#5 Duit Raya!
Bank notes straight from the bank are what many children look forward to during Hari Raya. Since it’s the season for happiness, spread some by giving out duit Raya to the hosts’ children if you are married.

Photo by Noahs Knight on Unsplash

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