Thursday, 14 June 2018

What makes Lebaran in Indonesia Different

As most of people who borned after 1980 in Jakarta (yes I'm still young :-P), I have been growing up in Jakarta since I was child, and never ever spent Lebaran outside of Indonesia until I was assigned to US when I was working in IBM a few years ago. A couple years later, I spent a total of 4 of my Lebaran in Bahrain, until this year, I back for good to Indonesia and spend Lebaran here again.

I have to admit that spending Lebaran in Indonesia will make you very social eventhough you’re a geek. In my case, I can’t even touch my laptop during the day - one of the very rare case.

I didn’t know how’s Lebaran in other places, but while in Bahrain (and similar case happened in almost all of the Middle East countries), I literally only spend 1 hour of prayer, 2 hours of visiting KBRI meeting fellow Indonesian, and that’s all.

During Lebaran in Jakarta, you have to spend 1 hour of prayer, 2 hours of meet up with neighbours, 3 hours to spend with mother’s family, 3 hours to spend with father’s family, 3 hours to spend with wife’s mother’s family, 3 hours to spend with wife’s father’s family,
and it’s the minimum spending time! You have to add a few hours in case you need to visit your family in other cities, with additional few hours if the traffic jam is crazy.

Spending Lebaran outside of Indonesia is a lot of way simpler, especially for the people like me, who are not so social. So, I have prepared a few tips for those of you who also feel that meeting a lot of people is overrated:
  • Prepare a to do list of things that can be done via your phone during meeting with the people.
  • Keep your list in your phone/tablet.
  • Prepare power bank(s), and make it sure that it’s fully charged.
  • Keep your phone also fully charged.
  • Skim your to do list a few days before Lebaran, and make sure that there is no blocking moment - for example: “Duh, this task required me to open laptop and VPN connection first”
  • Make sure that you have put a mindset that you have to finish your to do list. A lot of people did the previous task but not having commitment with their list.
  • Networking is networking. It may helpful to you some day, you won’t know. So, if you are forced to have a long conversation, bring an useful topic, not a so-so type of conversation.

While those facts irritating me, spending Lebaran in Indonesia are a lot of more joyful than in any other places in the world. It’s the real happy day for all of the people, so it will also bring happiness to you.