7 Traditions of Fasting in Indonesia – Unique – Religious

Indonesia is one of the countries in the world with largest Moslem population. There are so many Moslem people who live in various cities in Indonesia. And just like Moslems who live in other countries, Moslems as one of Religion in Indonesia are fasting during Ramadhan. Fasting is an activity when you don’t eat and drink from the dawn until the dusk. Fasting also means that you need to resist your lust as well.

Fasting in Indonesia especially during Ramadhan month, is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. People who are fasting during Ramadhan will get reward and they faith will be improved. Even though Moslems in Indonesia are fasting during Ramadhan just like other Moslems in all over the world, the fasting tradition in Indonesia is a little bit different than the tradition of fasting in other countries.

On the other hand, the culture of Indonesia adds some customs to the fasting activity during the Ramadhan that might not be found in other countries. Below are several unique traditions of fasting during Ramadhan in Indonesia.

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1. Marching During the Sahur

Fasting in Ramadhan requires Moslem to wake up from their sleep and eat foods before the dawn prayer. As well as Fasting in Indonesia. This activity of eating before the dawn prayer is known as Sahur. Moslems in Indonesia perform Sahur just like other Moslems in other countries during Ramadhan.

However, Sahur in Indonesia might be a little bit different since people usually will march on their community and wake the people so that they can have Sahur. These people will march around their village or even to the main street in small group. Sometimes these people will just like while on other place they can ride motorcycle or even march using car.

Then. they usually bring traditional musical instruments or objects that can produce loud noise such as water bottle, tambourine, or even just honking when they march using motorcycle or car. These people will also shout, “Sahur! Sahur!” in rhythmical tone as well. The march is usually started at 02.00 AM and will end at 03.00 AM.

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2. Sahur on the Road

Other unique tradition that can be found in Indonesia during Ramadhan is Sahur on the road. This activity is considered as new tradition since it just started about five or ten years ago. However, this activity has become more popular these days and many people consider this activity as one of the traditions during Ramadhan that only can be found in Indonesia. Sahur in the road is originally begun in major cities such as Jakarta, Bandung, and Surabaya.

However, this activity can be found almost in any cities in Indonesia these days. Basically, Sahur in the road is quite similar to march around the community to wake people up so that they can have Sahur. However, Sahur in the road is usually done in the main streets and people who join this activity usually use motorcycle or car instead of walking by foot.

There are many people who join Sahur on the road from students, government employees, celebrities, even various communities. Other thing that makes this activity interesting is that sometimes people who join Sahur on the road will share foods to the homeless or other people who want to have Sahur.

See also: Indonesian Etiquette – Indonesian Lifestyle

3. Ngabuburit

Ngabuburit is other unique tradition that can be found when people are fasting during Ramadhan. The name of this activity came from Sundanese language which means “walking around in the afternoon and wait for Adzan Maghrib (a call to have Maghrib prayer that came from mosque) that became the marker of time for breaking the fast”.

Ngabuburit is not only popular in East Java but also became very popular in other cities in Indonesia as well. The activities that are done during Ngabuburit also became more various. People usually spend their time in public spaces during Ngabuburit. On these public spaces you can find many attractions from games to live music shows. There are also several booths that sell foods and beverages for breaking the fast as well.

See also: Dayak Tribe – Bali Tribes

4. Breaking the Fast

Besides Suhur, other essential moment in Fasting in Indonesia during Ramadhan is breaking the fast. This activity is done when the sun goes down and the Adzan Maghrib is echoed from mosques. Generally, Moslems in Indonesia will break their fast just like other Moslems in other countries.

However, Moslems in Indonesia also has unique tradition of breaking the fast. This tradition is called breaking the fast together or Bukber in Indonesian slang. This tradition can be done in house, restaurants, or even offices.

Then, some people might do this tradition in orphanage where they can break the fast together with the orphans.

Meanwhile, some people might use this occasion as the chance to meet with their old friends or colleagues.

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5. Traditional Foods for Breaking the Fast

Indonesia consists of so many ethnicities and cultures. Each area in Indonesia has its own culture that might be different with culture in other areas on Indonesia. This condition makes Indonesia has so many choices of traditional foods and beverages that are commonly served for people who break their fast during Ramadhan. The traditional foods and beverage that are served for breaking the fast might be different in each city in Indonesia.

If you visit Yogyakarta, you will find traditional food called Kicak that is commonly served for breaking the fast. This traditional food only can be found In Yogyakarta and it’s only available during Ramadhan. Kicak is made of the sticky rice and jackfruit. It has sweet taste and very suitable to be consumed for breaking the fast.

Other traditional food that you can find in Indonesia during Ramadhan is called Pakat. Pakat is traditional food from Tapanuli and it’s usually served for breaking the fast. This food can be found in Medan during Ramadhan. Pakat is traditional food that is made of young rattan. This food is served with coconut milk.

Meanwhile, if you visit Pontianak, West Borneo during Ramadhan, you will find traditional food that is commonly served for breaking the fast called Sotong Pangkong. This dish is made of dried squid that is grilled. Sotong Pangkong has savory and spicy taste since it’s served with chili and vinegar.

See also: History of Toba Lake – History of jakarta

6. Share the Takjil

The foods that are served for breaking the fast are called Takjil. There are various choices of Takjil that you can find in Indonesia from traditional foods, fresh beverages, to cookies. Originally, Takjil is served on mosques for people who wait for breaking their fast in mosques.

However, these days Takjil is also shared for free for people who are fasting during Ramadhan. If you drive your motorcycle on the street in the afternoon before break the fast, you might be given Takjil by people who gather around on the side of the road. The Takjil is given for free and you don’t need to pay for it. This activity is the symbol of togetherness among Moslems. Sharing the Takjil means that you are care about other Moslems who are fasting during the Ramadhan just like you do.

See also: Indonesian Writers – Luwak Coffee


7. March Around the City and Recite Takbeer

After fasting for the whole month during Ramadhan, Moslems will march around the city in large group and recite Takbeer on the night before Syawal. Takbeer is an expression that is used to express their faith to God. This activity is quite similar to the activity of marching around during Suhur.

However, the scale of marching and reciting Takbeer on the night before Syawal is usually larger than marching around during Suhur. This activity is also done by Moslems to express their happiness because they can fast in a whole month during Ramadhan and to show their gratitude to God because they are given the opportunity to improve their faith during Ramadhan.

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Those are all explanation about situation in Indonesia during Fasting in Indonesia during Ramadhan Month.