Ramadan in Lombok IndonesiaAbout Ramadan 2020
Ramadan in Lombok – The Fasting Month 2021
it’s almost time for the start of Ramadan, the fasting month, across Indonesia, so now is a good time to dispel some of the myths that get aired at this time of the year.
Naughty tour guides and taxi drivers in Bali will tell visitors no to go to Lombok during Ramadan because all the restaurants are closed, there’s nothing to eat and non of the taxis are operating, etc. Whether this is genuine ignorance about the nature of Ramadhan, or a bid to keep the tourists in their own backyard is debatable, but the facts remain the same in Lombok, its business as usual all year round. It would be silly to suggest that, in tourist hubs such as Senggigi, Kuta/Mandalika, and Gili’s, accommodations and restaurants would close for the entire month and the whole island would just grind to a halt. nonsense – we’d all be bored!
Hotels are open for business as always, restaurants serve meals all day, bars are open with live music and alcohol, and taxis run at their usual erratic pace. Many locals are fasting, but non-Muslim locals and tourists are catered for with usual Lombok hospitality. You can even have a cold Bintang with your bacon and eggs, if that you wish!
Ramadan starts with the first sighting of the new moon in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which occurs around 13 of April this Year 2021, lasts for one lunar month (until the next new moon).
As Islam is the majority religion of Indonesia, much of the archipelago will be abstaining from food, drink, smoking, and sex between sunrise and sunset each day for the next month.
Muslims regard Ramadan as a month for exercising self-control over base desire, and for fasting, meditation and reflection. Muslims believe that, by following the fast, they cleanse both their bodies and souls and thus become closer to ALLAH (God). Similar to fasts and retreats practiced by all the world’s major religions, the act of fasting is seen as a sacred sacrifice to bring the person closer to Godliness.
Fasting Muslims will wake early in the morning, to prepare and eat their first meal for the day and to say morning prayers. after sunrise, no food, drink, or smoking is allowed for the rest of the day until sunset. During Ramadan you will often see the local people out walking just before the sunset, to take their minds off their hunger and passing the time until they can Buka Puasa ( Break Fasting ) is a happy occasion, with families gathering together to pray and share their evening meal after a day of abstinence.
Lombok has a mixed community of Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, and other religions, so local Muslims accept that not everyone is fasting. For employed in the service and tourism industries, it’s normal for guests to be eating, drinking, and enjoying their holidays. Staff is happy to do their jobs as usual. Most Muslims seem to agree that it’s only the first week or so that’s difficult after that the fasting becomes normal and their bodies adapt to the new routine.
If you’re traveling in some of the outer areas and small villages which are not geared for tourism, it may be more difficult to find Warungs open during the day. It’s worth buying snacks and meals to take with you or to eat in your hotel later. As an aware traveler, you can show courtesy by not eating and drink in front of fasting people, but generally, people will make allowances for the fact that you are a guest and not fasting.
Most Lombok businesses respect the different beliefs of their community and make flexible arrangements to support their practices. Staff may be a bit tired, as they’re waking up so early in the mornings and losing energy during the day. It’s particularly difficult when the weather is hot and people would love to have a drink, but this is the part of the fast. At the end of the day, there is a sense of pleasure at being able to overcome temptations and complete the fast. Please be patient if most of the staff seems to disappear at sunset, They’ve just gone to breakfasting and will be back at work soon, Smiling after a good meal and something to drink! Text By Barbara Higg.
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