Thursday, 29 September 2011

My First (Only) Lebaran

The reason why we went to Bandung  was to celebrate the end of the fasting month (Ramadan) which was the whole of august this year. Fasting from sunup to sundown wowowow. So my day started awkwardly late. Everyone else went to the mosque very early so by the time they had returned I was still asleep. I had to get up and go take a shower, put on clothes ect. while the whole family THE WHOLE FAMILY was starting the celebration in the living room. My bad. Then I had one of my 'what to wear crises' because I didn't think my oui monsieur shirt was the most appropriate choice and neither was the all black sleeveless thing while they were wearing all white and were very much sleeved. I ended up borrowing clothes yay. Then I went out and ate yay. Can't even tell you what it was. However the party was going on.
    As I was eating each teen/child was getting an envelope of money from their parents I guess and they would count it out loud while everyone would ooooh and aaah. Then they started  every not-parent would stand in a line in front of an adult and they'd hand out money. And this was a big family too. So the adult would have a stack of rupiah and would hand out a 50.000 rp bill to each of the maybe 13 or so kids. This was all done loudly with many jokes. Sometimes other adults would steal the stack of money or get in line and beg. I expected just to watch because I thought how greedy would it be if the "rich American" went and stood in line to get money for a holiday she doesn't even celebrate. But noo they'd call my name and pull me into line and I found myself very nicely included. By the end of this every kid had maybe a million rp. I had about 600.000 O_O.
    Then the photographer arrived and had set up his background and business. Apparently each year they take pictures on lebaran of each family unit, the kids, adults, everyone together. So all the girls went and did their makeup and the guys did the rumple hair,shake, make pointy business. There be like 7 people in front of the mirror at the time. Then we took pictures for like 3-4 hours with pictures even being taken behind the photographer. I joined in for my family's, then the girls then outside for the young people's. Note the guys here don't smile either. The serious face is popular here too except for one picture where they pretended to throw a cousin in the pool.
Fam. I'm not wearing shoes but you can't tell in the for real photo.
    After this everyone started to leave and was I thinking oh it's over. But no we too got in the car and drove to another family member's house. I think this is the chance to forgive all the past offenses and make a fresh start. You visit the oldest family members house but as we stayed in their grandmas house we went to visit the rest of the family. We'd eat and sit and talk then move on. After the first house I couldn't eat anymore but I guess if you've been fasting during daylight for a month it's refreshing to eat all you want during the day. The 3rd and last house we visited was maybe my favorite part of the day. It's the house of my father's family where I had my bamboo leaf traditional meal. It was my favorite because I got to just hang with cousins my own age and the cutesy young cousins too. We practiced/ switched our English/Bahasa Indonesia skills. The most relaxing funny part of the day though the whole day was a once in a lifetime you're in Indonesia during lebaran experience wow day. I feel like after going home my fathers family came to visit us there but honestly who knows it was a full day. Fireworks too maybe. But there were fireworks like everyday. But still fireworks.

1 comment:

  1. Great stories Ankhet! Thank you for sharing. It sounds like you are having wonderful experiences!