September 3, 2011

Pulang Kampung

Busy busy busy...that's my excuse for neglecting this blog. June-July was a HECTIC period at the office as usual, because it were the months leading up to the Ramadan (the Islamic fasting month - many clients commissioned product testing projects which needed to finish before the Ramadan started).

Each year, the Ramadan period differs because it follows the Islamic calendar which is based on the moon cycle. It usually moves backwards by about 10 days. This year, the Ramadan was from late July - late August. So next year, it would probably be from mid July - mid August.

We then celebrate the end of the Ramadan with a Muslim holiday: Idul Fitri (Eid ul-Fitr in english).
In Indonesia, the official holiday lasts for 2 days but then in recent years, the government imposed a "joint holiday" a few days before and after the official Idul Fitri holiday.

This year, the calendar marked Idul Fitri to fall on a Tuesday & Wednesday. But...Monday, Thursday & Friday was announced as a joint holiday which means that we had the entire week off! Actually, the joint holidays are taken off of your annual leave so actually it is not something "free".

In Indonesia, the Idul Fitri holidays are like Christmas-New Year holidays. People go back to their hometowns to celebrate it with the extended family. We call it: pulang kampung (literal translation: go back to hometown). During this period, travel fare skyrockets, if not sold-out.

If you want to see Jakarta a bit less crowded, then this is also the time :) However, restaurants are very crowded because of course all the help has gone pulang kampung. Ahhh...Jakartans :P Quick side note: there are stories that some families even stay at hotels because they don't want to be bothered with all the chores!

Because my grandparents are no longer alive, usually my family and I don't go back to our hometown for Idul Fitri. But this year, we did. So I have a couple of posts coming up ahead to make up for all the time I haven't written anything :) Stay tuned...

Typical: Traffic jam because everybody is on their way pulang kampung

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