Idul Fitri – many of Indonesians call it Lebaran – is welcomed after Ramadhan. It is a happy day on which muslims have a big fiesta after fasting for one full month. We gather to pray together on the first day of 10th month of Hijriyyah calendar called Syawal month, have breakfast after that as a symbol of celebrating the victory of conquering the struggle within Ramadhan….
In Indonesia people have unique culture in celebrating this day. Many will arrange a “mudik” – going back to their home town to especially pay homage to family: parents, old generation, extended family. Mudik is generated from a Malay word meaning “headwaters”, the start of a river. So, mudik means going back to the start of a river – the place of origin.
Imagine millions of muslim exodus from big cities to small towns all over the country just to say hello and have small chit-chat once in a year. What a beautiful culture it is! People appreciate the high value of family bond or at least their bond with their “headwaters”. They try to remind themselves about where they come from…. Spiritually it is a symbol of tracing back the source of soul, tracking the journey that has brought us to this point.
After fasting for one month – just like caterpillar stop eating and starting to spin, becoming cocoon eating & drinking nothing – they start to realize that it is time to realize the beauty of soul like butterfly…. Butterfly taps its memory the phases of being egg, caterpillar, cocoon…. Mudik, tracing back the place of origin.
This might be not a make believe story but people in Indonesia are willing to get trapped with traffic jam for hours to be able to get back to hometown. In same cases they even cannot reach the hometown on the expected day but they are still happy on the way to home….
Ahhhhhh this is not easy to describe. But this Lebaran I have to stand by in Singapore for an assignment and can’t meet my mom in Indonesia.
I am ok as long as my mom ok but for sure I promise to myself that I have to mudik in Syawal month so I still can feel the spirit of Lebaran….
This is the feeling of longing for mudik – cannot tell properly how it feels but at least I shout it out here….
Picture borrowed from http://www.meykkesantoso.com/2014/07/perkara-yang-musti-dilakukan-saat-di_29.html
Yio Chu Kang Rd, July 28 – 12:08am