Host: Yougawalla Pastoral Co.
Written by Yulia – Yougawalla Pastoral Co.
My name is Yulia, I live at Bulka Station (Yougawalla owned) with my husband Gary and our son Seamus. I am from Indonesia, my husband is Irish and we have been living together in Australia for the last three years. Our first two years was at Yougawalla and since we had Seamus, we moved into Bulka which is closer to town.
All the crew have been really busy for the last couple of months with mustering, yard work, road building, vehicle services, and some other stuff. This month, everyone is taking turn to have a bit of a break. Most will go to Broome for the races, but we have plans to use our week off to go to Indonesia. We will be there by the end of this month, right after Ramadan is over. I think it will be a good time for us because we don’t need to worry about getting stuck in the middle of traffic jams plus all prices for domestic flights and hotels in Indonesia will go back to a normal price.
Ramadan is not the actual celebration, it is the name of the period in the Muslim Calendar, from the first day when you do fasting (not only for food but also for the emotion) until 30 days. So, after Ramadan, we will celebrate Lebaran or Idul Fitri (that is the actual celebration). Lebaran is a big event in Indonesia not only for Muslim but also for non-Muslim. Well, many places will take their time off like school, banks, all the office will closed for up to two weeks. The shopping mall still open and usually they will have big sales and discount everywhere. If you are employed, you will get extra bonus for holiday (we called it THR-Tunjangan Hari Raya). All Muslim people will celebrate Lebaran for two days, usually they will go back to their hometown or village and celebrate with all their family. These activities (we called it mudik) makes all highways in Indonesia full and extremely crowded. Meanwhile the main road in the city will be empty, even for a big city like my hometown Surabaya.
I was actually raised in a Catholic family but Lebaran is a holiday for my family. We either go to some nice places up on the mountain, shopping at the mall, or sitting around in the house – doesn’t really matter. All is fun for us when we have a chance to be together. I love the traditional food for Lebaran like Rendang, Opor ayam (it’s a bit like curry), ketupat (made from rice and wrapped in coconut leaves in a diamond shape), Nastar (traditional shortbread-bites size with pineapple jam in it). The best part is sometimes we don’t need to cook it, because we may get it for free from friends or neighbour who are Muslim and cook it extra for share.
There is one more important thing to do for all of us during Lebaran or Idul Fitri ceremony, it’s apologising and also giving forgiveness to each other. This is said with these words “mohon maaf lahir dan batin” that you may see on the card or any back drop on the sides of the road in Indonesia.