Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by mumunmumun on 20 November 2010 • Opinion
It was a public holiday on Wednesday, 17th Nov 2010 (Wow, I can’t believe it’s November again already). For those that didn’t know what it was, it was Idul Adha. Idul Adha is a major Moslem day that celebrates sacrifice for religion. It goes way back to the days of Abraham, one of the 25 prophet of Islam. In short, he once dreamt that God commanded him to sacrifice his son, Ishmael. It was a big sacrifice for anyone of course, but he believed in God so much that he decided to follow through. Just as Abraham was about to slit his own sons throat, God appeared to him and said that it was just a test. And Abraham passed. Some test huh? But since then, sacrifice was changed to goats and cows. Chickens are not included but I guess it because there was less chickens in the middle east at that time 🙂 It also celebrated as the day for Hajj and the process of pilgrimage, also to commemorate Abrahams dedication to sacrifice his son.
So the ritual is, we do our morning prayers as Idul Fitri and then each mosque does the sacrifice of goats and cows. People that can afford them, is obligated to chip in or buy one and distribute the meat to those in need. This day is also to teach us to share our riches if you may say that. We distribute it in the form of meat so all can enjoy a dose of protein in their lives. A good ritual for Indonesians especially since a lot of people can afford a lot of meat. Of course the contributor gets a share but just a little a bit for festive sake. This is a ritual celebrated in any Moslem tradition all over the world.
On this day, it’s a massive slaughter in the local mosques . Usually the men gather and start slithering necks of the herds. It’s not a pretty sight, and I’m sure that PETA would be on our backs for it, but it’s a tradition and it’s anybodies way of life when it comes to being an omnivore. I personally think that we should all get use to see animals slaughtered so we realize that meat is valuable. It takes the lives of livestock. And the most important thing about today’s meat is, we pray for the animal we slaughter, a process that we can’t always guarantee happens in any butchery. At this point, the meat is considered kosher or halal.
It is also watched by all ages. The slaughtering is not R rated, it’s more PG. But usually kids come to the slaughter with their friends and not their parents anyways. I remember going to these event as I was a child. Seeing the animals struggle was never easy but always made me want to see more. It’s a fascinating process to see an animal die and skinned. And then it’s heartwarming to see the meat distributed to those less fortunate.
What Indonesians, and Moslem in general, believes is that the animals are happy on this day because they are serving a purpose for God, and it is an honour. It’s not some other day to die for humans. On this day the animals die for a bigger purpose, and those sacrificed on this day are considered blessed. See… even animals have a mind of their own… or as the Koran says so at least.
Indohoy thanks the pictures to Anggi Taufik. These pictures are the raw version from last years sacrifice but is a common scene in any mosque all around Indonesia. For more of this photography enthusiast pictures you can link up here.
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