Hazlina Halim: “Cuti Cemil-Cemilan was like an anthropology assignment – a fun one!”


If you’ve been an avid Suria viewer, you would not be able to miss the brand new travelogue, Cuti Cemil-Cemilan! Airing Wednesdays at 8:30pm, Cuti Cemil-Cemilan brings families to the hottest and most fun spots in Malaysia and Indonesia whilst giving you a glimpse at the scrumptious snacks (or cemil-cemilan) each state has to offer! Combining Singaporeans’ two favourite hobbies (budget traveling and food), it is no wonder the show is a hit!

Singapore’s Malay Entertainment Portal Sungguh.com managed to score an exclusive interview with newscaster-turned host Hazlina Halim as she shares memorable TV moments, experiencing the various cultures and lifestyles of the places she goes. What challenges did she face? What were the highlights (and lowlights) of the series? Find out below!



Cuti Cemil-Cemilan marked the first time Hazlina moved from the Mediacorp Studios broadcasting news and anchoring programmes such as Kuiz Express and TGIF to hosting overseas, so what difficulties did she encounter? “My personal challenges included adopting a casual approach. It wasn’t easy to get ‘personal’,” she explained.

But this was the very reason why she looked forward to getting the chance for a job like this.

“I’ve always been intrigued by civilisations and Cuti Cemil-Cemilan was like an anthropology assignment – a fun one!” she exclaimed.

She feels motivated to interact more with the people she meets and also to take that one step further toward deconstructing the Malay identity.

“The whole concept of ethnicity, race and culture fascinates me,” she added.

The series also gave Hazlina some fond memories like visiting the underground Kraton royal mosque, Sumur Gumuling, in Yogjakarta and the Umbul Sido Mukti hills in Semarang.

Her favourite cemilan or snack? “(It) is a tough fight between Kerabu Nipah in Kelantan, Lemper Ayam in Semarang and Kuih Bugis (Koci) in Medan.”

Where there’s the good, there’s also a bit of the bad. Cooking and making the various traditional snacks was challenging as well as participating in extreme sports activities.

“But you’ve got to stay tuned to the last episode to find out what caused my brave self to fumble. Could not muster an iota of courage to complete the task,” she said.

Want to find out what her biggest obstacle was (hint: it is definitely slimy)? Then don’t forget to catch Cuti Cemil-Cemilan every Wednesday at 8.30pm on Suria! And check back with Sungguh.com for more exciting celebrity news and interviews!