As you and your family prepare for the coming eid celebration, children seem to be the most excited in anticipating Hari Raya to arrive. Overall, it doesn’t matter what age you are this year – if you reminisce your own childhood memories of celebrating eid, receiving and collecting duit raya from your parents, aunts, and uncles will remain as the most memorable part of Hari Raya.

Since you are now a parent, for sure you are looking forward to celebrating eid with your little ones. The tradition of duit raya does not only spark joy to the ones receiving it, but also happiness to the ones giving. So, what exactly is duit raya and why is it so prominently practiced in Malaysian culture?

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Duit raya or also known as ‘green envelopes’ is part of the Malay tradition which was inspired and adapted from the Chinese tradition’s ang pow or red envelopes. The concept remains the same in which children will receive these envelopes during cultural festivals such as eid and chinese new year.

These envelopes which contain money are handed out to guests, in particular children. This tradition in Malay culture is adapted based on the concept of zakat which is the Islamic way of providing to the poor and needy. It is also a well-known fact that duit raya is what all children look forward to during eid, so it is very important that parents make it a priority for their children to be fully aware in being careful and cautious when handling money.

There are plenty of reasons why preschool-aged children should be taught to be money-smart. First of all, children should understand the value of money and why it is very important to be cautious when spending. And children learn the consequences of spending money by observing their parents and the transactions they make at the grocery store, the restaurant, the shopping mall, and many more.

Making sure children are aware that money does not come easy (money doesn’t grow on trees!) also helps parents to manage the inevitable temper tantrums that sometimes occur at the toy store when their child is not given the toy they want.

By letting them know that in order to spend money, they need to be wise to make sure that they are spending responsibly. This builds children financial literacy and offers them competency to be more responsible in managing their own finances in the future. 

Studies have shown that children as young as three years old are able to understand financial concepts such as spending and saving. Going back to those tantrums at the store, children who understand the value of money will also understand when their parents tell them that the toy that they want so badly, needs to wait since wanting to buy something means being able to afford it and being able to afford it means having to save money.

Knowing all this, as a parent, you must be wondering how do I make sure my children are money-smart through the use of duit raya?

Receiving Money

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When your child receives his/her duit raya, let them handle the envelopes on their own. This teaches them to be responsible and accountable for their own money. You are allowed to keep an eye on them but keep it as minimal as possible. Tell them that if they lose these envelopes, there is almost no way of retrieving them so they need to keep it in a safe place.

Counting money

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At the end of the day, most children will gather all the duit raya they have collected to total up the amount of money that they have. This is a good opportunity for parents to teach children essential math skills such as counting, addition, and subtraction. Do it together with your child and once you’ve gotten the total – let them know that this is their money and they are allowed to spend it however they wish.

Spending money

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This is the fun part – for parents and children alike. Of course spending money and being able to get what they want at the store is a completely new experience for children but this also teaches them on how to spend wisely. All this while, whatever they want is bought using their parent’s money – shopping using their own money will show them its value and teach them that if they decide to spend on one thing, they might not be able to spend it on another.

Saving money

Of course spending it is one option but saving it is always better. From the collected duit raya, parents can teach their children about saving money. Take a trip to your local bank together and show your child where their money can be safely kept. Here you can open the discussion with your children on the role of banks and how saving money works.

There are many more ways to teach children on being money-smart and duit raya seems to be one of them! How convenient! We here at Alfa and Friends would like to take the opportunity to wish all our beloved family and friends a blessed and blissful eid day – Selamat Hari Raya!

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