Mudik at the Peak of Ramadhan’s Migration Tradition

Tradition of going back to homeland in Idul Fitri has been running in moslems all over the world. Indonesia, which has moslem as majority, this tradition to go back to homeland which we called mudik is seen as a big deal, not only because it’s major holiday for but also because this tradition causes a really massive traffic jam. According to last census at 2010, 87% of 237.641.326 Indonesian people are moslems, which of course celebrate Idul Fitri. Due to the uneven development this coutry has, a lot of people tend to not stay at their homeland and choose to try their luck at cities instead. It’s estimated that this year there will be at least 30 million people migrating to their homeland for the sake of celebrating Idul Fitri by various transportation, from train, bus, car, motorcycle, or even something as bizzare like bajaj.

Yes, I actually see by my own eyes someone use this to mudik.

My family from my mother’s side is dominted by moslems, my grandfather is moslem, so do my uncles, my aunt and my cousins. Because of this, despite being buddhists, me and my parents also included in this tradition. For years we always avoid the days where the traffic jam is on its peak, even sometimes pick the D-day to mudik and go back days before the end of holiday, making our stay at my grandpa’s house really short. But much to my father’s disappointment (which of course will ride us there) the plan won’t work this year because the only chance we are able to get a car will be on Friday, 3 days before Idul Fitri and the peak of mudik in Indonesia.

I actually have ever gone on the peak of mudik before, that time I was forced to pee in a stranger’s home (with a permission of course) due to the long and never-ending line of cars ahead. I also remember the huge boredom I felt back then and how tiring that trip was. It was really horrible and I was worried this trip will be as bad or worse than that. My father was optimistic the traffic would be “just fine” but I know better than that and more or less braced myself for the long trip ahead.

True enough, a normally 5 hours long ride ended up a 12 hours long ride. The ride was relatively good on highway, which we thought signaled a good thing. But just when we went out the highway gate to the normal road, all we saw was cars, lots of cars and motorcycles, and we couldn’t barely move. But honestly, the trip was not that bad, we don’t have any specific target to arrive at our destination so we went on this ride by our pace, rest when tired, buy snack when hungry. I think that made this trip less stressful, that and also the help of my beloved smartphone of course. I’d be a mess without my smartphone and internet connection.

There are some interesting things along the way. One of them is how I saw people used bajaj to mudik, despite the existence of law banning that transportation to mudik. I can’t imagine how tiring riding on that vehicle in presumably a long distance trip. Another which stroke a chord was when I saw a mosque opening a charity for Gaza. There’s nothing wrong with this, but I can’t help getting confused when I saw a man waving flag of ISIS. I don’t understand, is that supposed to get sympathy so people would donate? If it is, how come? Is Hamas-Israel conflict in Gaza a tragedy of humanity? So why did he raise up a symbol of a group who caused a tragedy of humanity also? Then why?

In the end, I believe this mudik, despite done at the peak of traffic jam, has been gone relatively smooth. Props to the police and governor who has an effective strategy to lessen traffic as much as possible by directing the flow of vehicles into various routes. It might not be a right parameter for whole country but from what I heard from people around Cikampek, this year’s mudik season is better than previous year. Of course there’s a lot of room for improvement but for now, I’m incredibly thankful for all polices and others included so I could arrive at my destination safely. Happy Eid Mubarak all! Stay safe when you going back to your home from mudik! 

 

 

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