By: Rurri Yani Sartika
New Jersey, US
Eid Fitri just a week passes. In Indonesia, the boisterous still felt. But different in other countries, celebrating Eid in foreign country certainly not as in Indonesia, especially if the country is a non-Muslim majority.
Even if the citizens of the majority of Muslims, cultures, people and food in Eid Fitri certainly different from Indonesia.
As in United States (US), where Muslim minorities, Eid Fitri feels lonely, not even a national holiday. Meanwhile, if in Indonesia the holidays can be for a week or more.
In Indonesia, on the last day of Ramadan, we can hear voice of Takbir reverberating from mosque to the mosque, even in some places until there is a parade. But not in US, in the country which I live in today, no takbir echoed.
Muslims from Middle East and North Africa who live in the US are not familiar with 'takbiran' tradition like done in Indonesia. This cultural difference greatly affects the atmosphere of 'takbiran' night in US.
Every year, Eid Fitri prayers in Kendall Park, New Jersey, where I live today are common at Rowland Park. This place is a sports hall provided by the local government.
Ied prayers in the open field like this because the number of pilgrims who come and also sports arena has adequate parking space. Meanwhile, if the implementation of prayer in the mosque in our neighborhood, capacity is not adequate.
There are different things for women pilgrims, if in Indonesia almost all women worshipers wearing white mukena, here is not like that. People pray with clothes they wear from home. Closed and colorful.
The cultural diversity of Muslims in New Jersey served as an attraction for me to experience the different atmosphere of Lebaran. Muslims who come for Eid prayers introduce their original culture through the clothing they wear. Harmonization of cultural diversity looks wrapped beautifully in the choice of clothing selected.
Like Muslim from Pakistan which wearing Syarwar Kameez, long dress complete with a scarf. Muslims from Ethiopia wear brightly colored clothing fitted with distinctive patterns of the region. Muslims from the Middle East wearing Kaftans, robes and turbans wrapped around his head. Muslims from Afghanistan wear a traditional cap called Pakol. But many of them use formal clothing, because afer prayer they must back to work.
Some people which I met say, Eid is also a good time to introducing culture from each country. They keep their original cultural heritage even though they have lived and turned into US citizens.
The organizers of Eid Fitr prayers usually provide lunch together before returning home. So, we can stay in touch and greet each other with forgiveness while enjoying food.
When asked what the difference of Eid in US and Indonesia, I think the basic difference is if in Indonesia after prayer we go home to parents or elders to greet plus eat a typical dish like ketupat and chicken opor. It did not happen in the US.
In addition, because Muslims are a minority in Uncle Sam's country, homecoming culture is not a national problem that can cause congestion everywhere. From dozens of TV stations, none of the US TV channels aired the event related to Eid Fitri.
After all, celebrating Eid in your own country and getting together with your family is the best. But it would not hurt if you want to feel Eid Fitr in abroad, of course there will be a distinct impression gained.