Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mudik – passion of home travelers

Hello there!
Mudik which simply means going home is very much familiar to all Indonesian Moslems. At least once in a year many of us do it as it has undoubtedly become our tradition at the end of beloved Ramadan. People who wander either to work or study in somewhere else can never wait to have it for celebrating The Eid Al Fitr with their families, relatives and friends – the workers usually take a furlough while the students always get the break from the school or university. If I have a chance to do it which is often the case, I pretty much go home every year, but last year I couldn’t do it since then I was in the USA to study English at the University of Arizona. What a luck that this year I went home and gathered with families at my village. My birth-place isn’t really far from the place where I wandered, yet it’s always fun to flock with families on the big day such as Eid Al Fitr therefore I decided to go home. Yeah, I went to Cisewu obviously, it is located in the southern Bandung but still the part of Garut regency, West Java.
In the view point of mine, mudik isn’t exclusively belonged to Indonesians, but people in Moslem majority countries such as Brunei, Malaysia or somewhere else in this world will have this tradition as well. For sure, here in this country is always merrier since we’re the biggest Moslem country and I assume that around 100 million people do mudik yearly. This heritable tradition has become our legacy and will definitely last forever so long Indonesia is a Moslems majority country, I hope so.

People may do mudik by driving private car, by bus, by train, by riding motorbike, by ferry or plane. Since buying the airplane ticket is rather expensive so it’s done just by some people who can afford the fare. Most prefer to drive motorbike or private car since it’s a lot cheaper, more efficient and speedier.

Mudik generally has both good and bad impact for us. There are sort of things such traffic jam, car accident, derailed train and crimes happened during mudik (it’s estimated around 1200 people passed away this year). The jam for example will be definitely more extreme during mudik as we’ve gotta wait for hours just for reaching a quite nearby destination. Nagreg, Pantura and Karawang are examples of the hot spots where jam last longer than it does in other places. Mudik and balik (commuting) usually last up to 14 days (7 days before and 7 days after the Eid). The good thing which is resulted from mudik is that for one, economy growth. Everyone usually spends more money during Mudik, all in all it boosts national expenditure and at the same time generates our economy in macro scale to be “healthier”. Secondly, mudik will make ourselves feel better since the togetherness with family will give us calmness, new spirit, new hope, new idea and new anything to face the harder life ahead. Third, mudik can be a milestone for government to always revise and improve its quality in serving the public. Government is strongly demanded to work hard in controlling land, air as well as naval transportation. The jam and accident will be no longer existed if government has good system to manage it.

As it does give benefit to our Indonesia, doing mudik really needs extraordinary preparation. First, we have to make sure that we got the ticket in a timely manner if we plan to go by public transportation, if we plan go by our own car we must check and make sure that the car or motorbike is in a good condition. Secondly, the left - house or apartment of ours should be cleaned up and set properly (turn the TV off please), don’t miss to bring the keys along the excursion. We’d better tell someone whom we believe to take care of our home while we’re not at home - a good guard or trusted neighbor can be reliable (be picky is much better in this matter). Third, prepare the small money and gifts for the families at our village; this is quite important as they always expect us to give them, at least that what I experienced ^_^. Well, happy Eid Al Fitr to all of you then.

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