Christmas and Eid’l Fitr in Indonesia

Lin wrote to me about the December holidays in Indonesia…

When I was a kid, about one third of my neighbors were Christian (Catholic, Protestant, Advent etc). Before Christmas, we kids ‘helped’ them prepare their houses for Christmas (by tasting their cookies, cakes, and their traditional cuisines/meals, decorating their houses and Christmas trees etc.). What fun!

We would also accompany our friends when they practiced singing for choirs. Beautiful Christmas songs and carols reverberated… warming our hearts. When finally Christmas came, our parents brought us to pay a visit to them and greet their families.

They would also visit our house to greet us when it was Eid’l Fitr (the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan). Usually the night before Eid’l Fitr they would also cook some ‘ketupat’ (sticky rice wrapped with young coconut leaves) and we (Muslim families) also sent them our special cuisine/meals to their houses, so every house in our neighborhood that night, had a lot lot of side dishes to choose from. And usually the meals didn’t match each other… it was funny, odd, but sweet and full of love.

Lisa, in my life, I found the truth is that most differences just make us learn and understand each other, and make us closer, and even happier. When sharing, the kinder the giver, the better the gifts are… no matter whatever the gifts are. Even just a simple note, or a smile :) Isn’t that one of the Christmas spirits?

Love, Lin.

I asked Lin if this is a common tradition in Indonesia, or if it was just her neighborhood, and she replied…

Yes, it’s very common here, in some places. Especially if we live in a very close neighborhood. But it’s a bit different if we live in a very established residential area, since every house has big yard and high fences.

Thank you so much for sharing your childhood traditions with us Lin! It fills me with the best spirit of the season!

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Sunday, December 6th, 2009 at 4:45 pm and is filed under Christmas, Countries & Cultures, Customs and Traditions, Eid'l Fitr, Food Memories, Holidays Around the World, Indonesia, Mama Lisa, Muslim. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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