The Bittersweet Eid

Back in the day, we Indonesians celebrated Eid on the same day, as it should be. It was and still is a joyous occasion where we celebrated the end of Ramadhan. Then, 1998 rolled around. Chaos. Reformation. Democratic resurrection. Weak leaders up till now. Corruption ran unchecked and everywhere. States becoming little kingdoms. Everyone wants to get rich quick , public service means the public service the elected politicians. Well ok, what does all this has to do with Eid? It means, we now celebrate in different ways. And it sucks!

Yes, free from authoritarian shackles, everyone thinks democratic means always having your own say and that your opinion is always right. Nobody cares about uniting the country. The country can go to the dumps. All anyone care is themselves, their family, then their ilks. Again, it sucks!

Now, the way Eid is decided here is by having a big meeting called isbat, where all the Islamic organisation gathers among with astronomers from the military, navy, all legitimate organisation that deals with navigation, astronomy, and the likes. Of all these elements, there’s 2 major religious organisation that likes to differ in opinion, the Muhammadiyah and NU. The former likes to use advancement of technology, the latter likes to use mathematics plus the human eye to determine dates. Nothing wrong with these methods. Each are backed with valid theories and hadith. What is wrong is that they sometimes differ and they can not or would not agree on the same date!

Let me make myself clear, I do not belong to any organisation. I don’t actually care how Eid is determined. I do not have any preference over any method of date calculation. I do not pledge allegiance to any of the religious organisation. My family is a nationalist, my grandparents are not in the history books but they damn well fought for the country against the Dutch and Japanese invasion. Therefore, it’s only natural that I am a card-carrying member of this one great nation called Indonesia. I pledge allegiance to this country – hey I pay tax (or rather, my dad and later, my husband does). I proudly carry the green passport with Garuda Eagle embossed on the cover on my travels abroad. I salute to the red and white flag. I fiercely defend it whenever and wherever. And so, is it any wonder I don’t think it is cool that we celebrate Eid on different days?

Yes, call me undemocratic, call me intolerant, but I say this before and I say it again, I think it sucks (boy, I really need to expand my vocabulary) that the powers that be cannot come into agreement over when we celebrate Eid.
Everyone keep saying, ooh respect differences, difference is beautiful. Well I say, bullsh*t to that. A UNITED country is beautiful. This is one instance where difference is NOT beautiful. Think about it. We’re all muslim. We all believe in the same God, prophets and holy book. We all fast during Ramadhan, we celebrate the same celebration, so how does it make sense to celebrate it on the same day? It is stupid!Β Ok, so, we’re huge country, some place might celebrate it differently, Australia is also split into two, some states celebrate it on Tuesday and the rest on Wednesday. But those who live on the same town celebrate it on the same day!

Here? Forget the town or cities. Even in the same household some people celebrate it on different days. And they are proud of it. They think it’s so cool, so democratic, so tolerant, so modern. Seriously? What were you smoking? Has the liberals brainwashed the masses into thinking that everything must be different? You’re not cool unless you’re different mate!

Send me back to the stone age, but seriously, the same family, in the same household, celebrating the same celebration on different days and nobody thinks that’s weird? Even Catholics and Protestants celebrated Christmas on the same day. And boy, you just need to google I.R.A. to see how bloody their disagreements get. I don’t think it’s cool. I don’t think it is a ‘rahmat’ that husband and wife, mother and father, siblings, differ in celebrating. A family in the same household should be united. They should be together. Likewise the religious organisations should put the unity of the country ahead of their own ego. By deciding to differ I don’t think they are being wise. I think they are being selfish, proud, and egoist. They think they are right and they don’t care about anyone else. Makes you wonder what’s the point of fasting during Ramadhan then? You’re not wiser. You’re just childish.

Yes yes your method may be right, your method may be the better one BUT, any technology is only as good as the person who made it. Any calculation is only as good as the brain provided. And human are prone to mistakes. Why do you think Allah gave us Ramadhan every single year?

Again, don’t think that I support a particular organisation over the other. I don’t. As I said, I’m a card-carrying member of neither. My blood is neither Muhammadiyah nor NU. My blood is Indonesian through and through. All I want is for all muslims in Indonesia or at the very least, in Jakarta and Jabotabek area to celebrate Eid on the same day. No more, no less.

Unfortunately I see to be the only one that wants that. The rest seems happy to be separated. I want us to be united. Not separated. Not divided. Together. That’s all. Until that happens, Eid would probably continues to be bittersweet for me. Hope that would change.

 

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