Celebrating my first Hari Raya in Rome

Dear Mak,

I hope that you and the entire family are doing fine in Singapore and are enjoying your holidays with the relatives

Mass Prayers in Assyakirin Mosque, Singapore

Cart and I are both fine. After a month of fasting, yesterday, Cart and I celebrated Eid.

Personally for me, I think that this year was one of the most challenging fast because unlike in Singapore where dawn and dusk are more or less the same, here in Italy, during the first day of ramadan, we started fasting from 4.40am all the way till 8pm.

Even though the timings got more tolerable towards the end of the holy month, Cart and I eventually fell ill.

Piazza Vittorio, Rome, Italy

But that did not keep me away from trying to have a little celebration of our own here.

Piazza Vittorio, Rome, Italy

The day before, Cart and I went to Piazza Vittorio to get some supplies. Its a very interesting place here. There is this wet market which is full of different type of nationalities that it doesn’t feel like Italy at all. I can hear all sorts of languages here. And here, you can find quite a number of goods all over the world. Its really cool. I’d like to show you this place when you come to Italy.

Piazza Vittorio, Rome, Italy
Pics via Rahimah on Multiply

And if you walk a little bit more, suddenly you’ll find yourself in an interesting place full of Chinese people and plentiful of Chinese shops. I was so amazed by the density that it made me wonder how is it possible for any shopkeeper to make a profit there with all the competing stores.

Spring Home Roti Prata
Made in Singapore

Regardless, I found a shop here that sells lemongrass! Thats fantastic! Now I can make a proper Ayam Masak Merah! There is even instant prata! And durian!

Frozen Durian

Its frozen though. Maybe one of these days I’ll give that packet durian a try to see how it tastes. But for now, I think I prefer fresh durians. For sure, Cart wont even touch them

On Eid itself, I woke up early to cook. Cart wanted to eat Briyani. And I wanted to make Ayam Masak Merah, Sweet and Sour Fish and Satay Goreng. It was really tiring to make all that food. I dont think that it was very good, and hopefully I’ll do better the next time. But how on earth do you have the energy to cook 5 times the amount of what I did?

Mosque Hall in Rome, Italy

I wanted to go to the mosque for mass prayers in the morning. But I didnt manage to go since Cart wasn’t feeling very well. I felt a little regret when I read that there were about 30 000 attendees. It must have been very festive! I really wanted to be a part of that. Hopefully we manage to be there next Eid.

I invited Cart’s family for lunch and Cart asked his best friend over.

Marina and Paola

I had a very lovely time.

I still don’t understand what most of what they were saying though since my Italian is still not very fluent. But it was still a nice day just to get together to talk and bond over a meal. Cart’s mum brought over 3 different types of vegetables by the way. There was so much food, I think that I probably not have to cook the next 3 days. Hehehe

Guess what mak, Cart wore his baju kurong!

Rinaz and
Cantik tak?

Later on in the evening, my Singaporean friends came over.

Cart with roses

We had a new addition to the Singaporeans in Rome gang. Her name is Lajay and she’s been living in Rome for about a year now. And I was very happy to see that all of us got together very well.

Singaporeans in Rome

And Lynn is going to be a mother! I was stunned when she told me that she was going to have twins!

Its really nice to see our group getting bigger! And its pretty cool to have a Chinese, Malay and Indian in the group. Very multi-racial!

We had so much fun and chatted all the way that we did not realise the time was past midnight. Cart probably went to work groggy this morning and I had a nice pile of dishes that I had to wash

But its times like these, I feel more like I have a part here, now that I have good friends and family here. Every day I feel more grown up and adult.

But I still miss you heaps though. I miss being with you. I miss being your daughter.

Rinaz, Mak and Diana

Marina rindu sangat dengan Mak

Selamat Hari Raya Mak. Maaf zahir dan batin. Tak sabar menanti bulan Disember.

20 Replies to “Celebrating my first Hari Raya in Rome”

  1. Happy Hari raya, Rinaz.

    I myself basically don’t celabrate nothing that could compare to Hari raya, so if I am abroad I don’t miss these kind of celabrations. Maybe this year’s Chinese new year was the biggest celebration I was part of and I think I’ll celebrate the one in 2010.

    What I want to say is that it’ll never be same as home πŸ™ But I’m sure your family misses you and they’re with you in mind and heart. Maybe after a while you and Cart have some of your own traditions which will also have similar magic that the ones you used to have when you were at home in Singapura πŸ™‚

  2. This made me tear up so much. I’ve never celebrated Hari Raya Aidilfitri all by myself so I have no idea what it feels like. Take care. In a few months, you’ll be back and be with your family again.

  3. Hope you had enjoyed your Raya in your own special way. It’s a time for remembering loved ones. Well, life will and can only get better! And, oh wow, you have Spring Home prata in Rome! I uses that brand too!

  4. Aha! Looks like there are plenty of muslims in rome afterall, 20k attendees for the sholat eid? I cant imagine how big the prayer hall has to be to accomodate all those faithful.
    I’ll be sure that mak gets to read this blogpost. I am sure that she will be delighted to affirm how reliable you are. πŸ™‚

  5. Hello Marina!!
    Selamat Hari Raya! A really heartwarming post!
    I think it’s wonderful that you mark the day and make it that little bit extra special!!! So important not to forget your own traditions and as someone said, make your own new ones! We also have Spring Home prata here!!!

  6. I think I’ll be looking for frozen roti paratha when I’m in the US again. The stuff is just plain good! I’ll pass on the durian though!

    Tell Cart he looks sharp in that outfit. It’s fun that it’s a matching set. ^_^

    I’m glad you managed to have a good time, despite not being able to attend the ceremony. Hopefully next year you’ll be able to make it. I’m a bit disappointed thinking that I won’t be in the US for Christmas this year, in addition to last year. Perhaps next year!

  7. Looks like a sweet little celebration in Rome and happy to see how you are integrating well there with a group of multi-ethnic friends! Its just like Singaporeans to want to find each other somehow or other. I do miss Hari Raya Puasa celebrations too, which are a lot more muted here in Melbourne relative to South East Asia.

    Hope you have a good year ahead. Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

  8. MKL

    Thank you πŸ™‚

    For me, Hari Raya is a big thing since we always celebrate it every year and we always visit our relatives then. Its really festive and rambuctious and there is always yummy food all around.

    Its much more subdued here.

    But imagine if you are living overseas without your main family and friends, what would be something that you miss and the festival that isn’t mainly practised there? Would you miss that?


    Preparing for Hari Raya is really tiring what with the millions of relatives that I have, and sometimes that leads of really snappy moments, but I think its worth it in the end to get together with everyone.

    And I really cannot wait to see you guys! Lets go eat at Hawker Center!


    Siapa yang tak rindu mak … anak mak lah katakan .. HAHAHAHA!


    Thank you πŸ™‚

    Its just a small thing here, but who knows, hopefully we’ll make this a new yearly tradition (minus the duit raya .. shhhh!)


    Yes! I was really surprised to see the brand here! My eyes just boggled out.

    Seriously its the first Singaporean brand item that I’ve seen throughout all my time in Italy.

    There was the Prata and I also saw the spring roll skin in there. I’ve no idea how to make popiah at the moment, but when I think I want to make one, I’ll keep the shop in mind!

    Its a bit more expensive here though, but as long as there is a little bit of home I guess πŸ™‚

  9. Nazry

    Thirty Thousand!

    Its interesting though, that when we went there to pay zakat last wednesday, it was so still. I saw a number of people still having iftar in a tent. And when I went upstairs for magrib there was only one guy in the vast prayer room.

    The air was not as festive as it was in Singapore. I suppose its different where we are a minute minority.

    But what is this about “reliable?!”


    HOHOHO! Yes!

    There was the Prata and there is also spring roll skin in there. Both from Spring Home brand. Singaporean brand!

    Its a bit more expensive here though, but I suppose that its better that we have something, rather than nothing πŸ˜›


    Really? Wow thats fantastic!

    Singapore is really going places isnt it?

    But I’ll still be looking forward to having pandan leaves, Nasi Lemak, Pisang Goreng, Ayam Penyet … Hehehehe

    How is it like for you though, do you celebrate Chinese New Year with your family?


    Shucks, that sounds rather upsetting that you cant spend christmas with your family. I can empathise with you

    But I’ll tell Cartcart about what you think of his outfit. Anyway, he’ll be reading blog comments for sure πŸ˜›

    Our matching songket outfits are actually a present for our wedding πŸ™‚

    Can you really find roti prata in America? Woah, I’m floored. Where do you find stuff like that? In small Asian shops? Or in your normal supermarkets?


    Thank you!

    Lai lai!

    Lets have kopi and we eat black pepper crabs πŸ˜›

    Speaking of which, is geek terminal still open?


    Thank you!

    Although I think that in Australia, there are a larger density of Singaporeans compared to here. So I think it would be more festive over there for celebrations such as these πŸ™‚

    And I think it’ll be easier for you to find lemon grass, prata and whatnots πŸ˜›

    And I hope that you have a beautiful year ahead too. It wont be too long when you’re back in Singapore, just like me πŸ™‚

  10. Hi rinaz,

    Things did eventually turned out great for ur Hari Raya. My muslim gf in the States has given this year a miss bec her circle of friends were mostly elsewhere. They used to hv a bring-what-u-hv feast, taking turns to celebrate in different homes.

    This actually makes me think of chinese new year in SG. I hv heard for years that my family n friends were bored with it – can u imagine ?!! Pretty much the same sentiments with single dutch during Xmas.
    I hv over the years simplify the occasion with a meal for 2 if hubby is around. It used to be overwhelming with my dutch in-laws who came n camped at our place from noon till way past midnite. Imagine how tiring it was to feed my guest 3 times on that day !

    Anycow, our mooncake festival is on next. We hv already eaten the mooncakes since hubby is on the road again.

    Ooh, I paid € 2,50 for that pack of roti prata – it’s not in layers like the mama stall makes them in SG. Not buying them again ! Saw only 2 fresh durians in Amsterdam for € 8,95 a piece. Hubby is one big fan of the king of fruits but it looked like it’s been in the toko for a very long time, so we let it passed πŸ™

    The popiah skin tends to break when I try to roll it up. Bear in mind that they r stuck together n once u thawed them, u hv to use it asap. Well, they r good for filling samosa’s, pangsit gorengs …. I hv even tried using it as a crust for a quiche (hubby prefers my short crust tho). Google up or try the link to Rasa Malaysia – ideas abound for yummies πŸ™‚

  11. Been to rome twice and never saw this part of it… it’s good to see this ancient city is able to provide the magic of raya to muslims…

    A belated Selamat Hari Raya to you.

  12. Dutchie

    Yes, indeed there are some who prefer to spend their Chinese New Year overseas so that they don’t have to deal with their clan. I suppose they have their own point of view, which is to spend time with their direct family. Although I think that it’s nice to spend time with the relatives too.

    Feeding your in-laws 3 times a day? How come? Don’t they offer to help out in the kitchen too? πŸ™‚

    Speaking of mooncakes, the chinese shop sells them too. But Lynn, another Singaporean living here in Rome brought some here and we had a taste of it πŸ™‚

    I’ll take a peek at the site, there will surely be something interesthing there πŸ˜€


    Just a few months to go πŸ™‚


    There isnt that much muslims as compared to catholics here, but regardless, its always fun to celebrate with friends and family the different festivals πŸ™‚

  13. The dutch n possibly other european has this concept of wearing their Sunday Best. So quaint it sounded to me the first time I heard it. Obviously they r not taking the risk of having it ruined eh ! So poor me slaved thru the day with lunch, 3pm tea n dinner … n lots of coffee until they r ready to leave.

    Actually not a bad idea when I am the guest with my sunday best on tho πŸ˜›

    I’m just not used to cooking for many guests. In SG we always hv the caterers in to feed the 20+ assembling at mom’s πŸ™‚

  14. Selamat Hari Raya, Rina!

    Guess you still remember me. Every now and then I visit your site, it’s nice to read about Italy seen from the eyes of a Singaporean girl! And I like very much the way you write, the enthusiasm you put in your descriptions.

    I spent my hols in your place. Being a blogger, I had to write something about Singapore. If you feel a bit home-sick, have a look at my blog. That’s in Italian, but it will be a good Italian-reading exercise for you! πŸ™‚

    Hope you’ll find a minute to pop by and read my latest stories about Singapore. The more I know the place, the more I like it, for more than one reason… πŸ˜‰

    Keep on writing, it’s a really nice blog the one you keep!!

    Say hello to Cart from me,


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