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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Indonesia, Lesson 12 - Eid-Ul-Fitr
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Indonesia Series at IndonesianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Indonesian holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 12, Eid-Ul-Fitr. In Indonesian, it’s called Hari Idul Fitri.
As the country with the largest number of Muslims in the world, the Eid al-Fitr day, which falls on the 1st of Syawal, is one of the most popular holidays in Indonesia. Officially, the public holiday to celebrate the event lasts for two days. However, the majority of the Indonesian people recognize the tradition of mudik, or in English homecoming, which begins, depending on the year, around 2 days before the official holiday, until 2 days after.
In this lesson, we'll learn about the Indonesian people's traditions for celebrating Eid al-Fitr.
Now, before we go into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
What is the name of the traditional food served on Eid al-Fitr day?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. So, keep listening.
On this holy day, Muslims get up early in the morning to perform ablution, or in Indonesian wudhu. They go to mosques or fields in their best clothes to perform the Eid prayer. But before performing the prayer, Muslims are obliged to make donations. The night before, the congregation will usually recite chants proclaiming Allah is the Great God, called takbir in Indonesian, as they make their way to the mosques. After praying, people visit their families and relatives to say “Happy Eid Mubarak,” which in Indonesian is “Selamat Idul Fitri”.
In Yogyakarta, Eid al-Fitr is celebrated with Grebeg Syawal, a tradition of fighting over a mound of local produce, carried outside the palace to the town squares. The mound of produce is provided as a form of alms given to the people from the sultan, in Indonesian pronounced sultan. The people are very enthusiastic in fighting over the food from the mound, since they believe it will bring them special blessings.
In Pontianak, the eve of Eid al-Fitr is not only enlivened by the sound of takbir and pounding drums, but also by the thunderous blasts of cannon fire sounding all night long. A jumbo-sized cannon, or in Indonesian meriam, made of wood is usually mounted on the bank of the Kapuas river. In the past, the cannon was fired to repel kuntilanak, an evil female ghost of traditional folk tales, but today the cannon is fired to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday.
A few days before and after Eid al-Fitr, migrants living and working in big cities will go back to their hometowns to celebrate the holiday with their families. This tradition is called mudik, which as we mentioned earlier means homecoming.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
What is the name of the traditional food served on Eid al-Fitr day?
The traditional delicacy of Eid al-Fitr day is ketupat, a glutinous rice dish wrapped in square-shaped woven young coconut leaves. These squares are cooked in coconut milk, giving them a distinct savory flavor.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Have you ever tried ketupat before?
Leave a comment telling us at IndonesianPod101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!

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Have you ever tried ketupat before?