Hari Raya video celebrates the communal spirit
Hari Raya-themed video features original song and Singapore MPs
Neighbours come together, laying out tables and dishes. Plates of food get passed around, and people join in on a traditional dance routine as a Hari Raya song plays in the background.
A Hari Raya-themed video released by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) recently was inspired by residents on the 14th storey of Block 591A, Montreal Link in Sembawang.
The five families are of different races and religions but they still gather for a meal together about once a month.
"We want to celebrate the gotong royong spirit exemplified by these neighbourhood get-togethers," said a spokesman for MCCY.
There are several familiar faces in the video, such as Malaysia-based Singaporean singer Aisyah Aziz, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu and Parliamentary Secretary Baey Yam Keng.
Aisyah, who can be seen in the opening sequence of the video, lends her voice to the accompanying song, an original titled Selamat Berhari Raya written by MCCY's creative team and produced by Mr Bang Wenfu.
She told The New Paper in a phone interview that she loved the song when she first heard it because it had all the right elements and felt very much like a Raya song.
"I thought to myself, 'This is dope' and I was even more impressed when I found out that it was Wenfu's first time arranging a song."
"After so long singing in Malaysia, I finally get to have a Hari Raya song, one that is written and composed by a fellow Singaporean at that."
Aisyah, who recently sang a cover of Beauty and the Beast with Nathan Hartono, was in Malaysia when she got the call from MCCY last month.
She was instantly hooked when she heard about the concept for the video, because "it was such a cool idea to get everyone together regardless of race or religion".
"When recording, MCCY brought their kampung down and it felt so meriah (Malay for cheerful) as compared to the usual recordings with clients where it can get nerve-wracking at times."
Muslihah Mujtaba, one of the choreographers for the dance sequence in the video, said: "Everyone was concerned about us (because we were fasting) and they kept asking if we were okay, whether they could wipe our sweat and they even turned the fan in our direction when we rested.
"There was a strong sense of the kampung spirit and some of them ended up dancing when all they had to do was clap their hands to the beat."
Miss Muslihah, who is a member of local dance group Sri Warisan, also said that it was her first time dancing with a minister when she taught Ms Grace Fu the moves.
The uplifting video is a perfect counter to recent news, said Aisyah.
"Right now the world is going crazy. We must understand the different cultures, perhaps by sitting down and listening to each other over some food," she said.