Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Eid Ul Adha - Warning Within Text

Ok I'm adding a Pre Warning Warning too because the pictures are pictures and I don't want anyone to be surprised by how real they are (because they're pictures). But first cute picture:
He didn't survive the day. But very cute.
Finally November - just as it's over too. So the very first weekend I returned to my hmom's house in Bandung to celebrate Eid Ul Adha. I was there the whole weekend but this is just my explanation of the holiday which we celebrated on Sunday. The holiday comes from the part where God told Abraham to kill his son and Abraham was about to but then God was like 'Nope Test Kill this animal instead' and so he did. That is probably a gross summary but I hope it does it's job.
      They started off the holiday with a visit to the mosque. What I didn't know before was they have a family mosque on the grounds. Other people can visit too but wow that sounds really nice. I started off my holiday by eating. We ate, watched tv, all the family asked how my Bahasa Indonesia was (they still like to talk in English though so they can practice). Then the cow arrived.
      Eid Ul Adha's main celebration activity is the cutting of a cow and several goat's throats in representation of the son's life being saved and that animal's life being offered up instead.
Coming down from the house.

The whole family went outside as they felt like it. Caca and I went earlier to take pictures with all the goats and the cow. Caca had a goat there. Apparently it was purchased and raised for her and even named after her and this year was it's time to be sacrificed. It was cute and let me pet it.

      The atmosphere was not what I expected as you get ready to sacrifice 7 or so animals. Everyone was joking and laughing. One of the goats pulled out it's post and my hpapa did a dance around it trying to put it back in. Kids maybe 4-6 in age were there being afraid of the goats and running around.
Fair Warning: You might not want to read this if you don't want to hear about animals dying this way. And there's pictures too.
      Then it was time. The cow went first. It was quiet for this part or people would mutter a few prayers/prayer type statements. They made it lay down over the hole they dug for it's blood. They pushed back all the neck skin and then they cut it's throat. I always imagined it to be a quick process - like a gulliotine. The head would just be off and it would be dead. No. It was a long process, not one easy cut. And it didn't just die. It's blood spilled out and it could still moo for a while. After that it just looked around as it's heart beat out all the blood.

      Next came the goats. Because it would take a while for all of the cow's blood to drain out there was another hole for the goats. The goats were quicker and less noisy. As they were being killed  people started chatting again. The kids started roaming again. Some would go take close up looks at the cow.

When Caca's goat was sacrificied she was called so she could go and watch. After the goat's throats were cut  they'd move them to the side so it could finish dying. They would kick and move and I don't know - is it to stop dying? They're throats would be cut and their blood on the ground but they're feet would still be going crazy. Once they were finally dead they were hung up so they could cut them up for eating.

      Then we gradually went back up to the house again. Some people cut the animals up themselves I think but the workers did that for us too. As we went home we got a bag of cow meat and goat. The rest of the meat goes to those who cant afford it. Perhaps the homeless or orphans or someone. It's good to know that it's not wasteful.

The area where all this went down. View from the house is crazy. Only dark because you can't see anything if I made my camera normal.

It was so surreal. To Muslims it's a meaningful holiday - they do good they're feeding the hungry. To them it's holy, it has some greater meaning or purpose. To me, a non-Muslim the only way I can describe it is surreal. Life was just as usual afterwards. I can't really judge - that's not why I'm here. I haven't come to any big religious conclusions either. People will do a lot for their beliefs.
Host cousins. I like this photo. Sums up the holiday and the family dynamic for me

I am glad I got to experience it though.
(There are extra pictures from after on my tumblr Links on the side too.)


  1. Wow. Very enlightening. We have pictures of our family slaughtering goats and pigs too but our family didn't do it for religious purposes. They just wanted to have a fresh 4th of July meal. Thanks for all the warnings:)

  2. wow it's the greatest blog that I've ever seen. you have a greatest experience from here, Indonesia. I think you are the lucky woman that can visit this country. Enjoy it! :D