Ramadan in Indonesia officially began last week on Thursday 17 May 2018. The next month will be filled with the usual rituals and traditions that come with the Holy Month; fasting, hunting for takjil to break the fast, and night markets. In the weeks leading up to the beginning of Ramadan, the state government has been busy monitoring food prices and supplies.
- DKI Jakarta Provincial Government will provide meals to break the fast for underprivileged residents at 223 RWs in Jakarta during Ramadan. Vice Governor Sandiaga Uno said it needed Rp 35 billion to provide food for 223 RW (hamlets), targeted towards tens of thousands of residents.
- The fee will not use the regional budget and will seek donor funding. “The budget will be obtained through public private partnership. We are partnering with Dompet Dhuafa and Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) to help manage public participation in humanitarian activities,” said Sandiaga at City Hall of DKI Jakarta.
- This fund will be used for break fast events of 223 RW for 20 days. Each day requires 400 packages with an estimated price of Rp 20,000 per package.
- The Ministry of Commerce estimates that people’s purchasing power in Ramadan this year is expected to be stable as price of goods increase.
- “I see it as controlled inflation, so the purchasing power of people in Ramadan is stable,” said Director General of Domestic Trade Tjahya Widayanti.
- Tjahya explained that steps taken by the government have proven effective in controlling prices, especially for food prior to Ramadan. For example, stabilising the increased price of chicken and eggs.
- According to the National Strategic Food Price Information Center (PIHPS), the average price of chicken meat currently reaches Rp 36,000 per kilogram. This figure jumped from two months earlier where the average price of chicken meat was still in the range of Rp 32,000 per kilogram.
- Meanwhile, the average price of chicken eggs currently reached Rp 27,000 per kilogram, while the previous two months the average price was in the range of Rp 22,500 per kilogram.
- Breaking fast together: This event is usually held in a house, but also in restaurants, with a group of people. It is also common to hold this at orphanages and nursing homes or to give out boxes of food to the homeless.
- Waking people up for sahur: Usually done by a group of young people going around the neighbourhood between 2-3am, using kentongan or by yelling.
- Ngabuburit: This term is used to describe afternoon walks while waiting for call to prayer to break the fast.
- Sharing takjil: Takjil are light snacks consumed when breaking the fast, such as sweet drinks and cakes. Free takjil used to only be given out at mosques, but these days they are handed out on the side of streets and other busy areas. This event reflects harmony and sense of community togetherness.
- Jalur pacu: This is a rowing race tradition in Riau to welcome the beginning of Ramadan. This tradition is met with a lot of enthusiasm by the people as they go to the river to watch the race.
- Dandangan: Dandangan is a festival originating in Kudus, Central Java, that dates back to 400 years ago. This event is similar to a night market where vendors sell household appliances.
- Takbir Keliling: This is the peak of celebrating Ramadan, and is held to celebrate those who have successfully completed a full month of fasting. Usually done by young men and women on foot, riding motorcycles or pick up vehicles while chanting the takbir.