It’s very quiet around Jakarta at the moment, and that’s unusual for a Tuesday. However, next Sunday is Idul Fitri, the day which celebrates the end of Ramadhan, the Muslim fasting month. That means that the mass exodus from Jakarta and other urban areas known as mudik (going home), which happens every year, has already started.
There is an official week’s holiday allowing folk to return to their home towns and villages, a holiday some save up all year for so they can reconnect with the families and friends perhaps unseen since the previous year. Presents are handed out, children are given crisp bank notes, and a lot of mum’s home cooking, is eaten.
Non-Muslims may well take the opportunity to take holidays too, and every year it is advisable to book trains and boats and planes up to three months in advance. Some may be able to use the free transport laid on by companies and local authorities, although it seems that the family motorcycle is the most popular conveyance. But whatever the means of transport, the roads are hell.
IndoJazzia’s compilation is about the anticipation, the journey and the final homecoming.
Chris Barber – aged 83!