After experimenting with animation in its previous festival ad, Deepavali 2020’s Vattam, Petronas has gone the fully animated route with this year’s Hari Raya ad. Titled Syukur Raya, it’s a story presented in a fun and cheeky seloka that explores themes of compassion and kindness.

It’s different for sure, and rather cute. Syukur Raya is narrated by a spotted dove named Syuk-kur, a wordplay of syukur (thankfulness) and tekukur (the Malay name for dove). The singing bird is a witness to everything that goes on in Taman Bawang, where presumably gossip is the favourite pastime.

The story, which has the Covid-19-enforced new normal as backdrop, begins with main character Poji feeling homesick. The young and hardworking delivery rider is missing his hometown so much that he begins to envision his neighbour, Mak Jah, as his own mother. Problem is Mak Jah is fierce and isn’t really fond of Poji and the noisy youngsters next door.

Giving up hope on family celebrations, a sad Poji and his friends are resigned to a lonely Raya until Mak Jah shares her rendang (I can smell it from the screen) in a surprise gesture, thus reviving their festive spirit and belief in community togetherness. If you’re in the same boat as Poji (if you’re not, just put yourself in those skate shoes), hang on in there.

Syukur Raya is inspired warmth and friendliness, values that are rooted in the nation’s culture. Through this webfilm, Petronas is encouraging all Malaysians to embrace the joy of festivities despite the movement restrictions forced on us by Covid-19. This may be a second Hari Raya that we can’t balik kampung to be with the family, but it still can be a joyful affair.

“Petronas is continuing with its 2020 festive theme, ‘our unique family’, taking it one step further by expanding from the family we know to the family we discover. The fully animated film, set in a familiar neighbourhood with relatable characters, focuses on going beyond our differences to give, and forgive each other in celebrating Hari Raya,” said Petronas senior GM of group strategic communications, Datin Anita Azrina Abdul Aziz.

“Despite the current challenges, if we are to open our hearts and minds, the people around us can be our source of joy this Aidilfitri, ultimately reflecting the true spirit of togetherness and generosity of the celebration,” she added.

The Syukur Raya webfilm is available for viewing on Petronas’ official YouTube channel and Facebook page. The national oil company’s ‘Raya Joy Pack’ comprising Syukur Raya stickers and backdrop scenes to be used on WhatsApp and social media can also be downloaded from the Petronas Facebook page. Selamat Hari Raya!