The Variety Of Ramadan Tradition In Indonesia

MANADO, – The month of Ramadan is the holy month for Muslim. It is believed, in this month have many reward to those who love charity in a whole month. Prayer and hope are believed to be easy to grasp. So that, every Muslim in the world, always expect blessings in the month of Ramadan.

But about tradition, Ramadan in Indonesia has a distinctive tradition. This diversity of traditions is the subject that differentiates Ramadan in Indonesia with Ramadan in other majority Muslim countries.

Java, people will do Nyadran, or pilgrimage to ancestral graves in the last week before Ramadan. And there is also a tradition of Mandi-mandi in the source of times.

In Gorontalo, there is the Tumbilotohe tradition. It is turn on the oil lamp, or torch in front of each house. This tradition is also known in North Sulawesi, especially in the Bolaang Mongondow (Bolmong) Raya area. Bolmong people call it “Monuntul” or “light a torch”. The night of light a torch is usually in the last three days of Ramadhan.

In Pekanbaru has a ritual called Petang Megang, where the residents bath together in Siak River. They are not just bathing in the river, at the same time the children also compete to scramble eggs and ducks. Can you imagine how crowd it is.

In Aceh is the people buy buffaloes or cattle or goats, then slaughter and eat together. This tradition is called Meugang. People in Serambi Makkah usually eat meat slaughter before the important day, both Ramadhan and the feast day. Although not required, no sense if they does not do Meugang. In fact, for the poor, other citizens will help for the poor to make everyone can enjoy the meat.

In Padang, there is Balimau tradition means bathing then shampoo by using lime. In this tradition the community welcomes Ramadan by rolling down to a river, lake, or beach, then bathing together. They intend to clean themselves before entering the holy month.

The tradition of bathing together is also do in Lampung with the name Ngelop. Residents are hilarious into the sea in afternoon before entry Ramadan. Some other residents of Lampung also do Belangiran tradition. Tradition is to purify themselves using seven kind flower and water that is considered sacred from Mount Betung. They bring the flowers to the river and bathe together.

In Cirebon has a tradition of Drugdag which is routinely performed by Kasepuhan Keraton to welcome Ramadan. The Keraton descendants will hit the beduk at Keraton Cirebon mosque as a giver news that Ramadan has arrived. The tradition is believed have been since the era of Wali Songo first indict Islam in Cirebon.

In Kudus, there is a tradition of Dandangan. The community performs a cultural carnival around the city and ends up in the Holy Tower in order to welcome the holy month. This tradition is usually do by Sunan Kudus often Ramadan comes. Tradition was revealed until now by the people in Kretek City.

In addition to these areas above, there are many other unique traditions of other regions in Indonesia. These traditions increasingly reinforce the cultural identity of Indonesians. As Abdurahman Wahid or Gus Dur said, “we are not Muslims who happen to live in Indonesia, we are Indonesian people who are Muslims”.

The meaning of Gus Dur’s speech is more or less same as the view of one founders of the nation, Soekarno, “if a Muslim, be an Indonesian Muslim not an Arab Islam”. Soekarno’s words are not meaningful as hate in one particular nation.

Both figures of the nation just want to assert that as a nation we have an identity. Identity is a tradition, language and customs, and cultures that are different from other nations. And the difference identity of the nationality is  Sunatullah or omnipotent determination.

To be grateful and accepted as part of rahmatan lil alamin. Be thankful we could live in a country that rich of tradition. It is unethical that we hate our own culture, It is our own identity.


Editor : Christo Senduk

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