Idul Fitri

Idul Fitri is the Indonesian name for the Islamic holiday: Eid. Indonesians also frequently refer to Eid as Lebaran. Eid falls on the first day of Shawwal in the Islamic calendar. Shawwal is the month immediately following Ramadan. This holiday is celebrated throughout the Muslim world. Eid festivities and traditions vary by region, but they typically consist of lots of food, praying, reading the Quran, and gatherings of family.

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Jam karet

Jam karet

Time is very important to Americans. Punctuality is a virtue held with high regard for most citizens of the United States. The phrase “time is money,” was coined by the “First American,” Benjamin Franklin, and might as well be stamped right below “In God we Trust” on US dollars and coins. I was raised believing it is better to be thirty minutes early to any event, be it a meeting, doctor’s appointment, or date, rather than thirty seconds late. I’d imagine most Americans feel similarly, though perhaps not to such a degree.

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Mau ke mana?

Mau ke mana?

Indonesians are quite the inquisitive people. Upon first meeting someone they are prone to inquire about all sorts of things most Americans would find odd, or even impolite, to ask an acquaintance. Age, marital status, religion, and when you have had your most recent shower or meal are all things Indonesians do not hesitate to ask. These are not questions many Americans would readily find appropriate to pose, even to someone with whom they regularly associate.

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From monggo to mangga

From monggo to mangga

The Javanese word for please is monggo. In Sundanese people say mangga. In both Indonesian and Javanese mangga means mango. So to say mango in Sundanese people say buah manggah, which literally means mango fruit. Explaining this somewhat trivial difference in language was always one of the first things people in Kediri would do when I told them I would be moving to West Java.

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