Daler Yusuf used to miss celebrating Hari Raya in his home country Uzbekistan a lot but has grown to enjoy the festive season in Malaysia.
The 25-year-old actor came to Malaysia to study eight years ago. After a few modelling stints on the side, Daler ventured into acting and is best known for his lead role in the 2017 drama Encik Suami Mat Salih Celup.
“Raya in Uzbekistan is simple; it’s just a one-day affair. Usually, there’ll be a big group of us going from house to house around our neighbourhood,” he reminisces.
“At each house, we would sing songs, wishing them good health and success. Then they’d give us kuih raya and duit raya.”
Daler says his favourite Raya dish back home is nisholda. “It’s a type of dessert that’s white in colour. It’s like an energy sweet because it keeps you full throughout the day.”
Daler used to long for Raya in Uzbekistan as he doesn’t have family members here. But all that changed during one fateful Raya.
“I was filming a music video for Daiyan Trisha and the director invited me to celebrate Raya with him and his family in Negeri Sembilan and Melaka. I was with them for three days. We visited all his relatives,” he recalls fondly.
“I remember when we got to the first house, he told me not to eat a lot as there’d be other houses to go to later. Well, I ate a lot at the first house. And then I had to eat at the other houses too.
“I felt so full by the end of the day, I just wanted to rest.”