Yesterday, kemarin, was the last day of fasting for the month of Ramadan. I had the pleasure of sharing a special meal with another student in the Darmasiswa Program from the States, Carol, and her Indonesian boyfriend, Sono. As Carol has actually been living in Indonesia for the past 4 years, she decided to be a part of puasa, fasting for Ramadan. So last night, we all had dinner together, and Carol and Sono broke their fast for the last night, and it was delicious: chicken with roasted coconut spices, rice, sambal, and kelapa mudah drink (young coconut).
Now it was time to party! When the sun began to set around 5pm, the loudspeakers crackled on, and thus began the reciting of the Qur’an for Idul Fitri, to celebrate the end of the month of Ramadan, for THE WHOLE NIGHT. While normally only men recite verses from the Qur’an, on this special day children joined in at the beginning, so you could hear their small voices amplified across Indonesia. There are many, many mosques here, as Indonesia is 87% Muslim. Some are small, some big, and all have loudspeakers. From my place, as I’m lying in bed not yet with earplugs (a necessary item if sleep will be had), I can hear many layers of reciting.
And also firecrackers! You can buy them from warung, street stalls, here, and just light them up anytime, anywhere. So amidst reciting Allah’s praises, there were pops and whizzes of the firecrackers and at one point during the night a chorus of dogs were barking along.
This holiday is like Christmas in North America; there is preparation, anticipation, excitement! The next morning, a typical Idul Fitri meal is ketupat, which is rice steamed for 3 hours until it is a sticky substance in woven coconut palms.
I helped make one of the woven boxes the day before; it took me 4 tries and the patience of Ibu Yanti, the owner of the boarding place I live in. Here she is, hard at work.
And then, once the rice is steamed, which is also done the day before, you can hang them in the kitchen.
And then an Idul Fitri meal of ketupat, with ayam (chicken) and sayuran (vegetables) and tahu (tofu), and of course, krupuk on the side (rice cake, this one is also with shrimp).
Selamat Idul Fitri!