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Jakarta Post

Idul Fitri: Of being victorious and asking forgiveness

  • Azis Anwar Fachrudin

Singapore   /   Fri, July 1 2016   /  07:23 am

Idul Fitri, also called Lebaran in Indonesia, is about to come. People will observe local traditions such as visiting family and close relatives to strengthen relationships (silaturahim) — preceded by the annual mudik tradition, an exodus to people’s hometowns in the last week of Ramadhan, and going to cemeteries to pay homage to ancestors.

There will be many Idul Fitri gatherings, known as halal bihalal, an Arabic phrase that, despite being lexically incorrect, refers to an event or ceremony in which people exchange apologies and forgiveness.

Indonesian popular greetings will include “Minal ‘aidin wal-faizin, mohon maaf lahir batin,” which is somehow unique to Indonesians and means “may we be among those returning [to the pure, natural state of humans] and coming out victorious [over ego, lust and other negative desires, through fasting]; forgive me physically...