Quick explanation before we begin:
Idul Adha is one of the two Qurbans in Islam. The other is Ramadan. This one celebrates Abraham’s willingness to obey God by sacrificing his son, Ishmael (in Christianity, Abraham sacrifices Isaac). To celebrate this, Muslims sacrifice goats, cows, and sheep in some countries.
But Ima start this post off with the day BEFORE Idul Adha!
Some Muslims fast from dawn to dusk the day before Idul Adha. My family was among these Muslims. I decided, to get the “full” experience, to fast with them.
It really surprised people at school when I was fasting and Christian and they were Muslim and not fasting. It’s all a matter of personal preference.
It wasn’t that bad. I’ve fasted for longer.
This time, we hung out with the girls, who were singing Allahu akbar. The boys were singing it in the mosque. People were singing it everywhere. It’s the custom to sing it until the prayer at 5 in the morning. I was told that they take shifts, and I’m glad for it.
The next day (on Idul Adha), I accompanied my host family to the mosque, where they and many other fellow Muslims prayed. It was absolutely captivating to watch them in unison praying to Allah.
At this point in Idul Adha, we went and sacrificed goats. Now, I am aware that people reading may be offended, grossed out, etc. so we are going to go OUT OF CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.
If you would like to see the sacrificing, I will be talking about it and attaching pictures at the bottom of the post. There is blood and dead animals in the pictures.
In my opinion, it’s really cool. But to each his own.
So, after the sacrificing, we went to Serpong, which is near Jakarta. We met my host great uncle and extended family at his house, ate, chilled, and then went to the mall where we
Can you guess?
Ate and chilled. And walked around.
I actually had a lot of fun. They all were so goofy and just chill. I was comfortable, got to practice my Indonesian, and walk around a ridiculously crowded mall.
The next day was a continuation of Idul Adha, just on a smaller scale. At school, they raised enough money to buy 3 cows and 2 goats. They killed them by the side of the school and I had no idea it was happening. I got to catch one of the cow’s sacrifice, though, and that was pretty cool.
On Saturday (the 26th), I went to Jakarta with my host mom, sister, the other exchange student, and some friends. We went to the 2nd biggest mall in Indonesia. We sat in a Swiss restaurant for 3 hours while talking and eating, and then we ate again after.
Wait Ruth, how can you talk so nonchalantly about going to a Swiss restaurant? Do you remember what country it is you’re studying abroad in?
SILLY FICTIONAL INQUISITIVE ME VOICE. I am not sure why there is a Swiss restaurant in a mall in Jakarta, Indonesia, nor why my group chose to dine there.
Sometimes it’s easier to just not question it.
If someone were to ask me what Indonesians’ biggest hobby was, I would say eating. Always always always eating. You want to go to a friend’s house? You will eat. You want to hang out outside the house with someone? Chances are you’ll go eat something at a restaurant. Staying long enough after school? They’ll provide food. There’s food in the two breaks in school. It never ends.
But it’s ok.
9/27, I got my hair trimmed. I think I scared my hairdresser half to death because
- I’m a bule.
- I provided 3 pictures of what I wanted.
3. Did I mention that I’m a bule?
It was a little longer than I wanted, but whatever. It was vastly cheaper than any trim I could get in the good US of A.
Later that evening, I went with my host mom and the other exchange student to Cibubur and met another YES Abroader. It was really good to see her.
Besides that, nothing else monumental has happened this week.
*warning: I am about to talk about
SOME DEAD GOATS*
We went to Al Falakiyah again and saw my host parents goats, who I named Socrates and Maximilian Kolbe. Both of their namesakes died a) for their beliefs or b) in the stead of someone else.
They killed Socrates first. If I could give a tutorial on how to sacrifice a goat based on what I saw:
- Dig a hole in the ground. Put a piece of wood over it.
- Have 4 or so people grab yo’ goat by the legs. Lay it down on the ground. Make sure its neck is on said piece of wood.
- Hold the goat still because ain’t no goat like being sacrificed.
- Start singing Allahu Akbar.
- If you are not the chosen person to do this next part, hold yo’ goat. If you are, you have a pretty big and fancy sacrificial knife in your hand. You are also male. You will quickly kneel by the goat and join in the Allahu Akbars.
- Without further ado, saw at the goat’s throat. Do not be afraid of a little spray; you are slicing the carotid artery, after all. Continue sawing until you’ve severed the trachea and esophagus. Then you can stop.
- Sit back and watch yo’ goat bleed to death.
- For everyone else, hold yo’ goat down until he stops moving. Do not be disturbed by how he attempted to take a breath out of his trachea and couldn’t. Do not be disturbed by how he is not dead, just bleeding and suffocating to death.
- Maybe think about your favorite song.
- Once he stops, pick him up and string him up to a stick by his ankles. He can drain out that way, and you can start skinning him.
And voila! You have now sacrificed yourself a goat!
Although the context is somewhat morbid, I really like the below picture. They all worked together to cut up the meat.
Also, on the second day of Idul Adha, I mentioned that I got to see a cow be sacrificed. It was really REALLY cool, because they had to rope to of the cow’s legs and then use around 15 men to pull it over. After it fell, they had to hold the ropes, as well as its head and back. They cut its neck a lot faster (probably because of the fact that cows are pretty strong). I didn’t have my camera at school, or I would’ve tried to take a picture.
Now, I’m not Muslim, but I feel that Idul Adha helped me understand Christianity better. I understood what a sacrifice death really is, and I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for Jesus Christ through it.
I am really glad that I got to experience Idul Adha completely. With each day, I understand Islam a little bit better.
Anyway, that’s all for now, homies.