Friday, August 13, 2010

Capitalism during Ramadan

Capitalism during Ramadan

Al Makin, Yogyakarta | Sun, 08/08/2010 10:59 AM | Opinion, The Jakarta Post

Islam, like Buddhism, teaches us to endure suffering, through which we can learn some lessons including in patience, disquietude and self-control.

From dawn to dusk, during the month of Ramadan, Muslims are commanded to fast. Ideally, Ramadan is a month in which modesty, moderation, calmness and self-restraint are maintained.

However, André Möller, a Swedish anthropologist who conducted field research and observation in Yogyakarta and Blora, Central Java, noted that not only do Indonesian Muslims perform Ramadan rites (fasting, praying and reciting the Koran), but also perform cultural activities creatively, so much so that they have created a unique tradition, distinguished from Islamic traditions found in other countries.

Indeed, for contemporary Muslims, Ramadan is not merely a religious obligation, with the promise of reward in the hereafter. Ramadan has to do with worldly matters.

In fact, during the fasting month, the economic situation in the market dominates the news. Inflation soars, as prices of basic needs — rice, vegetables, egg, meat, cooking oil and flour — rocket. As a rule, when demands mount in the market, so do prices.

The fasting month, which ideally teaches us to experience hunger and thirst, blesses those who own capital.

In the same breath, the average people shoulder more burden, as the basic needs are more unaffordable to them.

Capitalism fills the air of Ramadan. There are more temptations for consumers to spend their money on fashion, transportation and food. Profits flow into the hands of those who own capital.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


Salam Kenal, Saya Bernando J. SUjibto (BJ)

I awfully pleased to read your opinion. It was awesome! I really want to know who you are, who stated your self as lecturer at UIN Sunan Kalijaga. I am in the last semester of undergraduate of Sociology Department FISHUM. So far, however, your name is rarely voiced by students nor lecturer. Of course I was poor! I know I commend upon you because you have strong idea and excellent opinion in several publications.

Al Makin, are you here in UIN now? Could you give me your email please? I need learning to you and it is very happy having great lecturer like you.

Let me know your email here by sending it to my email:


ALl the best

BJ Sujibto

4:04 PM  

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