FARHANUUM ONLINE: Each country has its own way of celebrating Syawal as a sign of victory for Muslims worldwide after a month of fasting.

According to UUM student, Dr. Ika Indrawaty Hamzah, the tradition of celebrating Eid ul-Fitri in Indonesia is celebrated differently in every district and the atmosphere can be incredible.

“The tradition that is carried out is called the night of ‘takbiran’ – chanting of the Eid Takbir on the eve of Eid ul-Fitri aloud where dozens of people who are on the streets or at mosques or parading in their cars will chant the Eid Takbir accompanied by the drumming of the ‘beduk’ (large drum). The chant of the Eid Takbir marks the unity of Muslims on the eve of a special day.

According to her, another common practice is called the tradition of exodus back to hometowns for Eid ul-Fitri known as ‘mudik’ for city dwellers traveling back by public transport such as buses, trains, airplanes or private vehicles.

Another tradition is "halal bihalal” or establishing relations with close family members and seeking forgiveness from parents. It is usually done by the youngsters to the elders as a form of respect or seeking forgiveness.

"Not forgetting, the Hari Raya allowance which is usually given out in the form of money or food stuff, people who work would give out essential items such as sugar, margarine and wheat flour while ‘salam tempel’ is a monetary gift given to children," she added.

According to her, various special menus are prepared including ‘ketupat’ – rice wrapped in pandan or coconut leaves. The ‘ketupat’ is usually served with side dishes especially made a day before the Eid ul-Fitri.

‘Burasa’, a dish made from rice and coconut milk wrapped in banana leaves cooked from morning until evening. Coto Makassar, a gravy dish made of buffalo meat, Nasu lekku is a spicy chicken dish that is covered with grated galangal.

“Tapai ketan is made three days before the festival is also popular in the Bugis district, meanwhile ‘Barongko’ is made from bananas mixed with coconut milk, eggs and the mixture is steamed using banana leaves. It tastes sweet and eaten as dessert,” she shared.

Meanwhile, Mr. Fauzan Sholeh, from East Java, said that during his 6 years in UUM, Eid ul-Fitri celebrations between the two countries are similar; lively.

“The Eid ul-Fitri celebration in Indonesia is no different from Malaysia if the next day is proclaimed Eid ul-Fitri, after Maghrib prayer, the whole congregation at the mushollas and mosques both in the city and in the village will begin to chant the Eid Takbir.

For the Eid ul-Fitri this year, his preparation was simple. He prepared cookies and ‘ketupat’ for friends who visited him at Maybank INASIS.

Mr. Sarmed Jamal Ahmed from Baghdad, Iraq welcomed Ramadan with gratitude but described the month of Ramadan this year as challenging with the COVID-19 situation that hit the world.

“Ramadan this year was very different than before, the atmosphere was quiet as many students returned home following the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Everyone was in their room as they wanted to take care of their health while adhering to the directives to stay calm at home and avoid crowds," he said.