Sunday, December 07, 2008

Idul Adha: Personal piety instead of the common good

Opinion and Editorial, The Jakarta Post

Al Makin, Jakarta | Sat, 12/06/2008 11:41 AM | Opinion

Idul Adha, like Ramadan and Idul Fitri, is welcomed by Indonesian Muslims every year with various slogans written on boards and posters. Many of these posters are hung along Jakarta's streets, summoning the Muslims to perform Idul Adha's main rite: Animal sacrifice.

In Ciputat, for example, a picture of an old woman on a big board on Ir. Juanda street says: "Terima Kasih Ita/Thank you brother/sister" (for your sacrificed animals). Therefore, in this season, selling goats and cows for that purpose is big business. Just look at many of Depok's corners, an area of Jakarta, where the smell of goat and cow urine is as painful as that of the black heavy smoke spewing out of old public buses. As soon as Idul Adha is over, the lucrative business will fade away.

Yes, we Indonesians like to show our private piety in public, and this tendency can be seen on these ads during Islamic holidays. Certain politicians, in this regard, also seem to enjoy this opportunity, and use it to promote their own image that they accord with the Indonesian standard of personal piety.

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