Last month was Ramadhan, the month of fasting for Muslims all around the world. On July 6th it was Eidul Fitri. So to all my Muslim friends reading this, I wish you a Happy Belated Eidul Fitri! How did you celebrate(if you did)?
Ramadhan is always a special time of the year, like a prolonged Christmas. During that month, you can’t eat or drink during the day.
Here is a rundown of how us Indonesian Muslims fast:
To prepare for the day, you wake up at 4:00 A.M.(give or take) to sahur, or eat. You fill your stomach to the brim until the adzan sounds through the neighborhood. Then, you have to quickly swallow your food, then a big gulp of water. You pray Subuh, then go back to sleep, read the Qur’an, or exercise depending on what type of person you are.
Throughout the day, you try to make the month extra special by doing good things such as helping the poor, being kind, and praying.The day feels long and hot. Your chores never seem to end…
Finally, after a long day, you look at the clock and watch the hand tick ever closer to Maghrib time. Your anticipation rises. You and your family prepare for breaking the fast by concocting fruit salads, hot tea, soups, kurma, rice, and all the other foods that look so much more delicious when you’re fasting.
Tick. Tock. Everything’s ready. Everyone is waiting, waiting, and waiting for that cue. Someone turns on the TV and channel surfs to see if it’s time yet. Tick. Tock. At last, the adzan rings through the air. The beautiful, lyrical Arabic words travel through the dusky air of your neighborhood and from the TV. Allahuakbar Allaahhuakbar, Asyhadu’ala ilaha illallahh… “Alhamdulillah! Yay!” All crowd to the table and say their prayers. The food is gone within minutes, yet somehow you feel full even after only one bowl of fruit salad. How odd.
Eidul Fitri is greeted happily by all. It’s the day when you officially break your fasting. You eat as much as you want, without having to sawm, or hold back. It’s my favorite time of the year. Back in Austin, I especially loved it when my family and I went to the huge mosque at the edge of the city and got to see people from all over the world, all don in their best clothes.There were people from literally everywhere.
There were Indian girls decorated with henna and their traditional clothes, black people singing as they walked to the mosque, Arabic men and women wearing long flowing robes, white people in their best clothes, and even some Indonesians- most of which were our friends. We all gathered there to pray Iedul Fitri. That’s really my favorite part, getting to see all those people from all walks of life.
After we prayed, we went to one of our friend’s house with several other people to eat and celebrate with other Indonesian Muslims(well most of us were :)).
In Indonesia it’s very different. Although there is no variety of cultures and people to see, I get to meet my family. Last Wednesday (on Iedul Fitri), my family and I went to my grandma’s house in Serang where we went around the village and to my aunt’s house to gather with the big family. And let me tell you, when I say big, I mean big. There were cousins, second cousins, aunts, uncles, and several people I don’t even remember the name of. Other than that, we also visited the graves, or ziarah. Oh, and another difference is that in here I get Eid money. Hurrah!
So that’s my experience with Ramadhan and Iedul Fitri. 🙂 How was yours?
In which I rant (please skip this if it bores you) :
On another note, school will be starting soon, so maybe I won’t have time to blog then, because… guess what? I’m going to boarding school! I can’t wait. At the same time, I’m a bit nervous. But, oh, I’m used to adapting to new places. The name of the high school I’m attending is KHARISMA BANGSA.
Man, oh, man.
Well, wish me luck, okay? (or not it’s up to you) 😉