Main Piece (direct transcription):
S: “In Indonesia, When Ramadan, or the thirty days of fasting has past, Eid is the last day. On Eid, it’s tradition to go to the mosque in the morning, and after the mosque, you go directly to the cemetery where all your relatives are. Sometimes, in my case, some of my relatives are in different cemeteries so we’ll go to the first cemetery, and then the next. It’s tradition to go to the cemetery and bring water, food, and flowers. We bring gallons of water and water bottles, and then we open the water bottle and pour it over the grave to hydrate the dead and feed them since it’s Eid, and it’s the last day of fasting. We also put the food near the headstones. The headstones look a little different than traditional American headstones. Even though it’s important to bring flowers and such on other occasions to the cemetery, it’s especially important to bring these things on Eid after going to the mosque.”
Me: “Can you describe what the headstones look like?”
S: “They’re not very large. In America, it’s really funny because in cemeteries, the bodies are very spread apart, and very far from each other, but in Indonesia, they’re very, very close together. What would be two burial sports in America would be around six to eight in Indonesia. They are VERY close together.”
Context: I was skyping my friend S, who is a student at University of Seattle and went to middle and high school with me in Albuquerque. She is half Indonesian from her mother’s side and grew up with both Muslim and Catholic faith. I was asking her about her about Indonesian traditions and folklore since she’s visited the country regularly to see her Indonesian family, and I hadn’t really heard anything about Indonesian folklore before. Since her Muslim faith is closely intertwined with her Indonesian heritage, she told me that she had a lot of traditions and stories that reflected both Indonesia and Muslim faith in her family.
My thoughts: I like this piece because it not only gives insight to Muslim faith and their traditions after Ramadan, but also about how Indonesian culture treats life after death, and their loved ones who have passed on. She told me this through her experience from visiting Indonesia during Ramadan, which I think is really special because she has first-hand experience with this tradition during Eid. I thought that her description of the cemeteries and the closeness of the graves in Indonesia were helpful to envision what the actual event is like, and she later told me that she thinks it symbolizes the closeness of Indonesian culture, and how Indonesian individuals really like being close to one another, and forming a close community.