In Pictures : Ramadan Preparations in Jakarta

Ramadan preparations in Jakarta 2017
A coat of paint for Masjid Al-Itishom on Jl Antasari, Jakarta Selatan

Part of the excitement of living in a different culture than our own, is exploring and understanding the traditions of our adopted country. This weekend in Indonesia (and across the Muslim world) begins the Holy Month of Ramadan, a most significant event on the Islamic calendar.

In today’s post we share with you a range of images of people in Jakarta preparing for Ramadan. We captured these images over the last few weeks; and our research entailed wandering along local roads and through pasars;  stopping to watch, asking questions and taking pictures. Observing these traditions whilst living in Jakarta has given us some unique experiences that will remain with us for years to come.

So next time you see one of the local traditons approaching on the calendar, why not take out your camera, involve the kids and create your own lasting memories of your time living in Indonesia.

Finally to all our Muslim friends we say ‘Ramadan Kareem 2017!’

In Pictures: Ramadan preparations in Jakarta

Muslims in Indonesia visit the graves of loved ones before Ramadan

It is a tradition for Indonesian Muslims to visit the graves of family members. During the visit they will clean the grave, bringing offerings of flowers and praying days before the beginning of Ramadan.

preparations for Ramadan in Jakarta
Visiting graves before Ramadan is considered a good thing to do. This image was taken last Sunday afternoon one week before Ramadan 2017 at Cemetery Jeruk Perut, Jakarta Selatan.
preparations for Ramadan in Jakarta
A mother and her son lay flowers on a loved ones grave at Cemetery Jeruk Perut last Sunday afternoon
preparations for Ramadan in Jakarta
Followed by prayer before the grave
preparations for Ramadan in Jakarta
Indonesian Muslims visit the graves of family members, bringing offerings of flowers and praying before Ramadan

Ensuring Masjids are in pristine condition before Ramadan 

Masjid’s around Jakarta have recently undergone a thorough ‘spring clean’ in preparation for their active use in the following month. All the heaviest work in the masjid is completed before Ramadan as it becomes more difficult to carry out heavy work whilst fasting.

Though its main function is as a place of prayer, the masjid or mosque plays a variety of roles throughout Ramadan. Many masjids are associated with Islamic schools and provide diverse services such as Arabic classes, Qur’anic instruction, and youth activities.

Throughout Ramadan community masjids are places where people will choose to gather at sunset to await the sound of the bedug drum which heralds the time to ‘break fast’ or ‘buka puasa.’ This is usually done with a sweet drink and sweet snacks, prayers followed by a full meal.

Ramandan preparations in Jakarta 2017
A fresh coat of paint and some electrical maintenance at Masjid Al Muttaqin, Cilandak ahead of Ramadan that begins this weekend. In the foreground is the Bedug drum used to signal the end of the daylong fast during Ramadan
Ramandan preparations in Jakarta 2017
Wooden doors at the front of Masjid Al Muttaqin being cleaned and polished. Mosques are important centres for the Muslim community. It is custom for Mosques to be used as spaces for’ iftar’ ‘evening meal’
Ramandan preparations in Jakarta 2017
Cleaning at Masjid Al Muttaqin in Cilandak is an act of service
Masjid cleaning is considered an important service to the community. A happy group of volunteers (and a little one!) at Masjid Al Muttaqin this week
Ramandan preparations in Jakarta 2017
Cleaning supervisor and volunteer at Masjid Al Muttaqin
Preparing for Ramadan in Jakarta
The heaviest work at masjid Al-Muttaqin is completed before Ramadan

Pre-Ramadan food shopping

Shopping for and preparing food is an important part of preparing for Ramadan in Jakarta, as it is around the world.

Jakarta prepares for Ramadan
Ibu Fitriana chooses vegetables at Pasar Modern Bintaro to make Samosa which she will cook this afternoon and then freeze ready to enjoy throughout the month of Ramadan
Jakarta prepares for Ramadan
Ibu Fitriana told us she is from Arabic heritage, and so she likes to make foods from the middle east in preparation for Ramadan
Jakarta prepares for Ramadan
Ibu Ajas is buying ‘gula merah’ (palm sugar) to make into ‘buka puasa’ (fast breaking) sweet drinks over the Holy Month of Ramadan
Jakarta prepares for Ramadan
Ibu Ajas and her bag of fresh palm sugar
Jakarta prepares for Ramadan
Ibu Tani is buying fresh ingredients to prepare ‘bumbu’ (spice paste) ahead of Ramadan in Bintaro, Jakarta
Preparing for Ramadan in Jakarta
Ibu Tani finishes her shopping in preparation for Ramadan
preparing for ramadan in Jakarta
A happy vendor at Pasar Modern Bintaro this week aiding customers as they made their last minute shopping choices

There is real sense of anticipation as the Muslim community in Jakarta eagerly awaits Ramadan 2017.

Here are some useful phrases to use to wish your Muslim friends and staff well, during Ramadan.

Ramadan Mubarak: Blessed Ramadam
Ramadan Kareem: Happy / Generous Ramadam
Selamat Berbuka Puasa: Happy Fast Breaking / Enjoy your Iftar

Words: Liz  Photography: a journey bespoke

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:

Ramadan and Eid-Ul Fitr in Jakarta
Visitor’s Edition: ajb’s General Guide for Visitors to Jakarta

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