Text Your Say: Lebaran exodus
Paper Edition | Page: 7
Your comments on the journey of 16 million of Indonesians from cities to hometowns across that nation to celebrate Idul Fitri:
It’s not the journey, it’s the destination.
The exodus has been performed by our ancestors for a long time. We’re only doing what we learned from our parents.
Eddy Arjuna Zainy
Idul Fitri is a moment to meet and share over a long holiday. We don’t have a special time like this at any other time during the year.
I will love mudik forever. It’s a special moment to meet members of my great family
Unless you are born in a village or remote region, you will not understand this unique phenomenon, when million of people try to rediscover the warmth of life and conviviality of their native villages — things that are absent in the big city.
It is similar to what happens during Imlek (Chinese New Year) in China. Maybe even worse. But it’s okay, it only happens once a year.
The Lebaran exodus is comparable to the Thanksgiving Day exodus in the US.
The Muslim majority in Indonesia is always forced (or force themselves) to return home for Idul Fitri, but the Holy Koran does not require it. If they only knew this, they could return home on any other day with ease.
Being 84 years old, I cannot help but feel jealous for not being a part of the Lebaran exodus, as shown on TV and in newspapers.
However, I make sure that my siblings and I stay at our late parents’ residence in Blimbing, Malang, East Java.
We buy flower petals that we offer to the grave of our parents, who were miraculously buried side by side, despite the considerable difference in time of their passing.
This annual exodus (which also takes place in China) is indeed a prime time for businesses such as as transportation, accommodation, clothing, etc.
The annual exodus contributes heavily to their annual profits.
During this time, grandchildren, who have studied hard for the past year, show off their grades to their grandparents in the hope of receiving not only hugs and kisses, but high praise.
Nevertheless, the elderly know that the show must go on in the Pancasila/Bhineka Tunggal Eka way.