Fireworks and microphones…

So yesterday it was Idul Adah – the Muslim Day of Sacrifice – here in Indonesia and a public holiday.

For the last week or so, I’ve seen dozens of goats, sheep and cows tied up at the side of the road on my way home from work. I now realise that they have probably all been slaughtered in honour of this festival. Luckily I’m not a squeamish person (and I am a meat-eater after all) so the idea that I won’t see them on Monday, doesn’t really phase me.

During this festival, many Muslims make a special effort to pray and listen to a sermon at a mosque. They also visit family members and friends and may symbolically sacrifice an animal in an act known as qurbani.  These animals are known as udhiya and many families purchase a carcass to share out among their extended family.

Around this time, it is also traditional for many Muslims to travel to Mecca to perform the Hajj pilgrimage. A couple of my students told me that their grandparents were intending to go in the next few days.

Photo from The Jakarta Post

I remember seeing some Hajj pilgrims at Jakarta airport when I was heading off for a trip last year.  Most groups book through travel agents and as part of the package they receive clothing to wear. I remember being surprised at the differences in outfits – some were simple, cotton trousers and tops, while others were multi-coloured, branded affairs.

The call to prayer seems to happen more often during a festival and my local mosque has a particularly loud microphone. It’s annoying to be woken up in the middle of the night but at the same time, there is something ancient and mysterious about hearing a voice singing in the dark, calling people to prayer. One definite upside is the fireworks they let off during the celebration, which I can watch from my apartment.


Categories: Just Plain Blog

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6 replies

  1. Sally, as a gesture of respect for the quality of your blogging efforts, I have nominated you for the Blogger Idol Award. There isn’t much fuss associated with this one: just put up an announcement post and pay your respects to four bloggers you admire. The award’s logo and my own write-up are now posted on my blog. If you are too busy for such things, I will not be offended. Either way, congratulations and keep up the great work!

  2. Very interesting, Sally. Makes me feel isolated in my own little world here! Are you still writing poetry? Would love to read somemore. Leo

  3. I think you really do have the right spirit here. I wouldn’t want to be awakened either, but to consider the meaning and realize that the call to prayer has ancient beginnings, would somehow be a mystical experience. And the reward for patience, fireworks! 🙂 Very special.

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