Ramadhan Kareem, everyone! 🙂
It still feels like yesterday when I was fasting last year with M still in my tummy and now… a year later, M is 7 months old and we meet Ramadhan again, alhamdulillah.
Ramadhan will always be special for us Muslims. And it’s even more special for us Indonesians who are living abroad. For me, at least, there is always that fond memory of Ramadhan.
Eating sahoor while watching TV (in case anyone is wondering, we were watching religious talk show. My dad and my mum liked it). We -the kids- would usually be half asleep. On some days I would really love to just go back to sleep rather than eating sahoor.
Buying food for ifthar. It’s always something savory like fried bananas, sweet potato, tofu or tempeh – and coconut of course! My dad loved the tofu, while I always preferred casava. We all loved coconut ice – my dad loved the original flavor while the rest of us preferred it with a little bit of sugar.
While we were breaking our fast, the TV would be on. Most of the time it would be Ramadhan sinetron (haha) but sometimes it could be just white noise.
And then after ifthar, we would pray Maghrib together. TV would be off. Dad would be the imaam, while the rest of us squeezing behind. Our living room was not big – but it was full.
After ifthar, we would rest a bit before … back to watching TV. Man, TV was such a big part of our lives back then. Then, nearing Isha time, I would wait for my friend to pick me up and we would go to mosque together for Taraweeh. The rest of the family didn’t really like going to mosque for doing Taraweeh so usually it’s just me.
Being a kid, I didn’t really pick up Taraweeh seriously. I will admit, out of 8 rakaahs, I would only pray for 4, and then headed back home. I think I just loved going outside at night, haha. Oh well, kids.
I remember there’s always this thin booklet named Ramadhan Journal. It’s supposed to be filled up with our Ramadhan daily activities and notes. There is a page to record our fasting, our Taraweeh, and most importantly, the daily khutbahs (should I translate it to ‘sermon’…?). Being a teacher puppet that I was, my journal was always complete. And ended up being passed around my classmates so they could copy the daily khutbahs ;_;
Nearing the end of Ramadhan, we would shop for new clothes if my parents had budget for that. I couldn’t remember the last time we went for clothes shopping – perhaps it was sometime when I was in middle school. We usually went to Matahari and picked 2-3 shirts/pants. My outfit choices were always the same: shirts and pants. I was never interested with girly clothes. Raya was always my chance to get new pants or shirts.
30 days of Ramadhan went by. And finally it’s time for Raya. Our Raya was always the same. We would wake up really early, take a bath, wearing our new Raya clothes, and then headed up to the mosque armed with newspaper in case we had to pray outside (no more space inside). And it’s always the case.
After prayer, we would go back home, ate Mom’s homemade ketupat and opor ayam, and apologized to each other in the spirit of Raya. I was always the awkward one when it comes to this, so it always felt so weird.
We usually went to our relatives’ house on day 1. And then rest at home on day 2. We rarely had Raya cookies though – so visiting our relatives was also a chance for me to eat cookies, haha.
Oh yes, don’t forget the duit Raya :p. I was always looking forward to that cause it means more money to buy books and comics!
And then, Ramadhan was gone.
My memories of Ramadhan in my childhood has becoming more vague now. But I remember I was happy. I was content even though we didn’t have much. I loved growing up surrounded with simplicity.
And being a parent now makes me wanting the same thing for my boys. I want them to have happy memories with Ramadhan.