Lebaran: Celebrating Eid at Home

After Eid Prayers

Eid Mubarak! Apologies for the unwanted posts. Apologies for posting not regularly and not consistently. πŸ™πŸ§•πŸ™‡β€β™€οΈ

So, well, I don’t know what to write. I’ve got my lists of anime and dramas, but I don’t feel like writing about them or posting them yet, so I thought I could share about my lebaran celebration now that I could have it at home while being away for several years. πŸ™ˆπŸ˜…πŸ₯°

If you search for information about “lebaran” on Google, you’ll find that it refers to the popular name of the two official Islamic big holidays especially in Indonesia, but this time I’ll talk about lebaran for Eid Al-Fitr, the one after Ramadan/the fasting month. In short, it’s a special day for us, Muslims 😊 (Oh, by the way, looks like I wrote my experience fasting and celebrating Eid in the US here, here, and here).

Going home from the mosque.

So yes, this year I observed Ramadan and celebrated Eid back at my home country, Indonesia. I’m happy that I could finally do tarawih prayers with my Dad and my family again. I loved it ’cause my Dad was quite fast πŸ˜‚πŸ™ˆπŸ˜…βœŒ So usually it would last only for 30 minutes to one hour. And then we could go home and rest. Well, I wish I could say I was happy because I could eat suhoor and iftar with my Mom’s cooking but my Mom got an accident and broke her wrist. She had to undergo a surgery so she couldn’t really cook. Hence, we kinda cooked by ourselves. Oh, if you thought I was the one taking over the cooking job, nope, you’re mistaken. I cooked only once in a while when I felt like it, and when I didn’t feel like it, I just ordered food online, and sometimes my brother cooked under my Mom’s supervision for us. (Yeah, I’m so not wifey-material, sorryπŸ˜”πŸ’”). But, well, I was glad to be home even though I was kinda jobless because with what happened with my Mom, I could stay by her side, take her to the hospital, accompany her there, pay for everything, etc. Oh, if you think I’m such a good daughter, no I’m not. It’s just that that’s the only thing I could do. I feel like I should’ve and could’ve done more, but I don’t know why I was such a useless daughter. It’s just…I don’t feel enough with myself; even though my Mom is actually ok with it, I feel like I should be more, I feel like I haven’t fit the standard of a good daughter, you know, those who’ll cook for the parents, do their laundry, clean the house every day, etc. it’s just not me. I want to be such a daughter but then I also don’t want to ’cause I feel like being like this should be ok, is it not? But why do I feel guilty? But ugh, ok, it’s not time to lament this, maybe another time? Let’s go back to the happy occasion: Lebaran.

Eid prayers.

So, mm, usually we made Ketupat (rice cooked inside a small container made from young coconut leaves) and Lontong (rice cooked while wrapped in banana leaves) for lebaran, but because Mom’s hand hasn’t completely healed, this year we skipped it. We still got them from some relatives, though. We usually cooked to send to some relatives, but this year we skipped it. Mom said she’d cook and send such food to them once she heals later even though I actually offered to order/buy and cater the food from someone for that purpose.

Then, Eid Prayers. This year I went to the Mosque with my Dad. Mom stayed home. My brother went to another mosque. My sister, well, since she lived with her new family now, she couldn’t celebrate or pray Eid together with us anymore. So I was kinda “alone” in the mosque. I noticed that some people were wearing masks. Well, we still got Covid pandemic. But unfortunately I forgot my mask πŸ˜”πŸ˜­ Sorry, I was kinda in a hurry ✌ Then, when they chanted “Takbir,” somehow my eyes couldn’t help getting teary, I felt like crying. I don’t know, many thoughts seemed to rush in, maybe it’s the thought about how great God is and how small I am? Maybe I thought about my mistakes, what I might’ve done wrong, and things I should or could’ve done better? Maybe a sense of failure for not being able to live up to everyone’s expectations? Maybe I’m disappointed in myself? Maybe it’s the uncertainty about the future, the possibility that I might not be able to observe Ramadan and celebrate Eid next time? And maybe the limited time I have with my family? ‘Cause we don’t know when any of us will leave, right? So I couldn’t help but cry. I’m such a crybaby, no? I can’t help it.

The cemetery where my baby sis n baby bro rest.

Next, after Eid prayers. We usually went to the cemeteries to clean the tombs, put some flowers, and send prayers for our deceased family. It’s kinda “our future house,” no? We kinda went from one cemetery to another because our family members are kinda buried at different places. For example, my late grandma’s tomb was in another village because she lived there.

Then, after that, we sort of went around visiting our close family/relatives, asking for forgiveness, tasting some lebaran cookies, and some kids usually getting some pocket money from the adults. Back when I was a kid I got quite a lot from my uncles and aunt who worked abroad πŸ˜†πŸ˜ Well, I know “a lot” is relative. I was poor, so getting IDR 50k to 150k (around USD $3-10) was quite a lot for me. I felt rich, I was happy ’cause I thought I got a lot of money. But, actually, later on my friends often told me that they’ve got at least IDR 500k, and I was like, “Man, they’re totally of a different league, a different class.” And they reminded me that I was indeed poor πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ˜­βœŒ But I guess that’s why we shouldn’t keep comparing ourselves to those who’ve got more? Otherwise it’ll make us unhappy and ungrateful; we’ll never feel enough, we’ll never be satisfied with what we’ve got. But really, without comparing to others, I felt genuinely happy with the little money I’ve got, so yes, lebaran was a happy occasion for me. 😊πŸ₯°πŸ’–

My Dad spreading flowers.

Then, clothes. For some of us, lebaran is a chance for us to wear our best clothes. Sometimes it’s the only excuse for us to get/buy new clothes, meaning we only buy new clothes once a year. But also, some of us couldn’t afford it so we don’t get to wear new clothes. As for me myself, when I was a kid, my Mom didn’t always buy new clothes for us. Sometimes she bought used clothes from the thrifty stores. Well, even though it’s used but it’s new for us kids so we were happy πŸ˜†πŸ₯° Again, life is good when we’re thankful with what we’ve got πŸ’– And often times, I got hand-me-downs from my aunt. My aunt loved buying clothes so sometimes the ones she gave to us were still in great shape. And speaking of which, would you believe it? There are some clothes that I got and wore when I was in high school, and now I can still wear it. I can’t help envisioning how big it had been in my body back then. LoL Well, physically, I don’t grow that much. Still, it must have been too big for me. But my aunt worked as a maid in Malaysia, so her clothes were from Malaysia, and Mom believed Malaysian clothes were of better quality, so wearing it must be cool. I guess that’s why Mom made me wear it even though essentially it’s too big for me πŸ€£πŸ˜‚ Can’t complain, though. And I’m glad that I still keep those clothes. I rarely buy clothes, but I keep my clothes so I can wear them from time to time until they’re worn out. Oh, for this year I didn’t buy new clothes either. I got one beautiful black abaya from my Malaysian friend. She was trying to get rid of some clothes when she was leaving the states. I loved it so I took it. Some buttons were gone, though, but I mended it, so it’s good now^^ But sorry, I didn’t have a chance to take a picture wearing it, so I can’t share the pic yet πŸ™ˆπŸ˜…βœŒ

My late paternal grandma’s and grandpa’s.

And, right, I mentioned lebaran cookies, right? I remember helping my Mom make them when I was a kid. But I think as we got financially better, we rarely made them ourselves and just bought them from the market/store. Not sure if we got lazierπŸ˜‚πŸ™ˆπŸ˜… This year, we didn’t make any ourselves either. My sister ordered some from her friend to be sent to us. Mom and I bought some when we went grocery shopping. And that’s it. I guess we didn’t get that many guests so often times we ended up eating the cookies ourselves. LoL (I’m not really a fan of such cookies, though, ’cause, you know, I prefer savory foodπŸ˜‰)

Some lebaran cookies.

And, mmm, lately some people express some inconvenience about lebaran. They think it’s an occasion that makes them uncomfortable since that’s the event where they get “insensitive” comments and “personal”/”private” questions, and often times it’s “unnecessary small talk” such as “When are you getting married?,” “Did you gain weight? You look so fat,” “How much do you get paid now?,” “Why aren’t you getting another child?,” etc, from relatives and friends – who usually aren’t so close to us. Well, I can sort of understand that, though. When we are kids, we don’t have to answer such questions, people don’t really have certain expectations from us, so we can just enjoy the celebration without worries. However, as we grow up, there are these “standards” in society that people expect us to achieve, like we should get married by this age, we should have a kid after we’re married, we should have a great job with good salary, etc. otherwise we’re a failure or we should feel embarrassed. Well, I guess today’s generation is more aware of the fact that such things can’t be imposed on everyone because people are different, we have our own timing, and just because we achieve something later than people in common or in average, it doesn’t mean we fail. Unfortunately the elderly often doesn’t understand this, so it makes us uncomfortable. Well, not all elderlies, of course 😊

Some lebaran food we got from acquaintances/relatives/neighbors.

As for me, I actually don’t mind such questions. They can ask, and I can answer as I want. And I understand that sometimes it’s just their way to show they care or maybe they’re just trying to find a topic to talk to us, so I’m ok with it and try to answer as best, politely, and nicely as I could. (Not sure if I wrote it before, but) what I don’t like is if after I answer their questions they start judging and preaching as if I’ve made a wrong choice, as if I’m such a failure. That, I hate. And only then I would give “a savage answer,” I guess? And sometimes I also don’t like it when people are so ignorant. For example, a friend from high school suddenly asked me how many children I’ve got, and I was like, “But you’ve been seeing my WhatsApp statuses, didn’t you pay attention?” I didn’t say it, though. I just answered that I’m not married yet so I haven’t got any kids yet. (Fyi, this friend who asked has actually got divorced and then remarried and now got some kids; wouldn’t it make her uncomfortable if, for instance, I asked about her divorce or remarriage?). And sometimes people insist that I am rich and get a lot of money only because I get paid in foreign currency even though I have explained that I am just freelancing, working part time, almost like a jobless person. Well, I don’t get that much money, seriously, but I feel enough with it because I live with my parents so I don’t have to pay rent and I’ve got lots of free time to do what I like. I said so, right? I’m tired. I’m at a point where I don’t want to work too hard or overwork myself just for the sake of living. I don’t have kids I should send to school, and if I die now or tomorrow, I won’t bring my money with me, so as long as I don’t leave behind any debts, I feel enough, I feel okay. For now. I even consider becoming a farmer or doing business related to farming, laying low, living a frugal life πŸ˜ŒπŸ™ˆβœŒ But some people just have to insist that I must get a great job, lots of money, etc. as if I’m a failure if I don’t get it. Jeez, so annoying. Amen to getting a great job with lots of money, though πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ™ˆπŸ™βœŒ

And, mmm, well, I guess that’s all for now? Let me know if there’s something about lebaran that I missed or something that you want to know 😊

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