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End of Ramadan 1428 H

Today marks the end of Ramadan of the Hijri year 1428. Tomorrow, my family and I will be performing Eid prayer together in a nearby mosque. Not unlike the previous Ramadans, certain events also surround this year’s Ramadan:

  • Millions of people from many metropolitan cities in Indonesia perform a “ritual” exodus (mudik) to their hometowns across the countries. During this once-a-year event, trillion rupiahs get distributed from financial hubs such as Jakarta and Surabaya, as people bring stuff and money as gifts for relatives and friends back home. Indonesians abroad working in service and manual labor also sent in their hard-earned cash via remittance so their families could celebrate Eid more joyfully.
  • The massive phenomenon of mudik brings with it various other phenomena: from hotels full of families being left out by their servants and chauffeurs, roadway casualties of travelers (pemudik) caused by increased traffic-related accidents, distribution of alms (zakat) that rapidly turns into a riot, to the inflationary effect that economic seasonality brings with each Ramadan as people spend more during the month.
  • Expecting to reap as many blessings as possible during Ramadan, Muslims drove in numbers to the nearest mosques, praying and asking for God’s forgiveness. People who usually are not very religious become pretty ardent in the month of Ramadan, performing good deeds left and right. A phenomenon that is quickly taken advantage of by certain groups.
  • This particular Ramadan also witness the rising volcanic activities of Mount Kelud. Though it has not erupted, the likely event may be a part of something potentially big.

Well, I guess that’s enough late-night observations for today. Better get some sleep. Tomorrow’s prayer schedule is rather early.

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