Metropolitan free of hustle bustle, once in a year

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Only on Eid Al-Fitr Holiday, we can see Sudirman street uncongested. (photo: IO/David Bonar)

IO – Mudik, a  term relating to “homecoming” custom which is famous every once a year, becomes a special ritual for Urban Muslims returning to their hometowns and look forward to being united with families, friends or relatives to celebrate joyous Eid, locally known as Lebaran. During this time, the capital normally flooded with millions of people becomes completely quiet. The streets look peaceful. The flow of hustling activities can rarely be seen. The congestion rate is drastically reduced.

Metropolitan activities spread to other locations during Eid holiday. Java and Sumatra Island became the busiest among the other archipelagic areas. Millions of capital citizens were spread out around their respective hometowns, leaving the Capital in such a short time. And this is where the line between Java and Sumatra Island is packed with urban community activities.

Within a span of one year, capital citizens who don’t celebrate this annual homecoming emigration can enjoy the spacious city calmly. People use this opportunity and embrace moment like this by exercising, taking leisurely walks with their family or simply having casual drives towards the downtown area. As it is precisely during such moments, serenity conquers every side of the capital. Almost a week to 10 days can feel like a breath of fresh air with empty roads giving us a slight glimpse into the past, how Jakarta may have been in the early days. It may be wishful thinking, if we could at times go back to those days and have clearer roads, easier and smoother commutes around the city during normal days.

Mudik is indeed a unique magnet for the urban who are willing to take a short-break from their busy lives. That is to say, the Capital can withdraw a little from the daily hustle and bustle. Presumably, it’s only Eid Holiday that is able to empty the Capital. And for those returning to their hometowns, it’s quite obvious that only the moment of Eid could spare them some air and set aside from busy routines. (chester)