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Getting to Know Mudik, Eid tradition which has its origin in the colonial era

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Jakarta, IO – Eid Al-Fitr celebration in Indonesia is closely related to the mudik (exodus) annual tradition. For most Indonesian people, going back to ones’ hometown is a significant moment to gather with their family and relatives.

Indeed, it has been carried out for generations, even since the colonial era. It is often associated with the urbanization phenomenon, in which many people move to the city in search of better economic opportunities, per Suara.

In that period, the internal migration apparently created social and economic disparities between villages and cities. The Dutch administration then implemented an Eid leave policy for civil servants by allowing them to visit their families in the villages.

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With the passage of time, it became a tradition, performed not only by civil servants but also the wider community. The word “mudik” actually comes from “udik“, which means source or origin. Taken together, it means returning to one’s origin.

Eid is also seen as a moment to return to “fitrah“, an Arabic word which means to be pure or clean again. The manifest in the customary acts of giving and asking for forgiveness, especially to ones’ parents and older relatives as a token of respect and gratitude. (un)

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