Idul Fitri


Posing with my family while waiting for visitors during the Idul Fitri celebrations. 

Idul Fitri has come and gone in a whirlwind of food and family. The day began with Ibu waking me up at 5:30 to wash for Masjid and then we walked to the village square, where there is a bigger mosque where the entire community gathered for prayer.

The entire community. As in hundreds of women and men all gathered to pray together and celebrate their faith. There were so many the women were all outside of the Mosque (which really backfired on the patriarchy because we got  a wonderfully cool sunrise breeze while I’m sure it was stuffy as a boot inside.)

Afterward, we immediately got ready for dozens of friends and relatives to stroll in and out of the house like religious trick-or-treating and then it was our turn to make rounds. It’s really an interesting custom. The kids all get money. Most of the Ibus cry and hug. There are snacks and lots of explaining who I am.

IMG_1986In the afternoon, I went to my host-brother-in-law’s family village about half an hour away to make the same rounds again and explain in even more detail who I am and why I’m living in Panawangan.

Because my host-brother-in-law, who I call Aa (the Sundanese title for older brother) per his request, is an adventurous man, we left his family’s village with his three kids and his brother and ventured to the top of a nearby mountain and into a forest preserve, Situ Sangiang.

To say the ride up the mountain was breathtaking is an understatement. It was as if I could see all of the worlds’ mountains as their shadows enveloped each other and fell in folds.


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