We’ll have Eid holiday in a less than two weeks time. Businesses will close from July 4 to 10. The employees will go back to their kampung or hometowns to celebrate Eid. The actual dates for Eid are July 6 and 7, but people love long holidays so we make it a week. Some people even might take 2-3 weeks offs from work.
Jakarta’s roads will be quieter than usual for at least a week or two, until the arus balik brings back everyone to the city. Sometimes, this “everyone” will come back with their relatives, having persuaded them to work in the promised city. It’s easier to earn rupiahs in the Big Durian. More job opportunities, higher payments. But you’ll have to deal with macet and some grumpy folks.
In kampungs, Lebaran days will be busy days. People will visit their neighbors’ houses, shake hands with each other, asking for apologies even if they’ve never met or communicated for a full year. People will open their houses and welcome guests. It doesn’t matter whether one celebrates Eid or not, they’ll have to welcome these guests.
Plenty of snacks will be served: biscuits, wafers, chocolate sticks, butter cookies, traditional cakes, fried cashews, fried peanuts, and candies. Choice of drinks range from sweet tea to chilled cokes.
Some families will have ketupat (rice cakes) for lunch, some don’t. We’ll have kolak and various kinds of desserts. Perhaps we’ll have satays too, and rendang, and fried noodles, and capcays, and anything that can fill the empty space on the table. We’ll overeat, despite our pre-Eid preaching that overeating is somewhat sinful.
Many people will gain weight, their blood sugar soars after the celebration, and they’ll blame it on food. Good thing is the food cannot sue them for the thoughtless defamation.
People will go back to work on July 11, except those who don’t. This is the time of the year when working couples worry whether their housemaids or nannies will go back to work. Because sometimes, they’ll use this holiday to leave their employers, and end their work contracts.