28 Jul 2014

A Turning Point...

Ah, Lebaran... Now, Indonesia’s biggest holiday is, naturally, not only a spiritual moment, but also a series of traditions. Some are focused on the festivities (the food, the new clothes, the cookies), while others are more about us and the people we hold dear (visiting friends and families, asking for forgiveness and forgiving, mudik).

On the one hand, yes, these are the hallmarks of Lebaran... however, wouldn’t it be nice if some of the things we do on the big day itself, we continue doing during the days to come? You know, things like...

Forgiving and forgetting...
Forgiveness should be earned by the one asking... but being a forgiving person has its merits. At the very least, learning how to let go of grudges and hurt feelings can lead to a more stress-free life. On the flip side, readily owning up to our mistakes and asking for forgiveness is also a trait that’s worth working cultivating.

Visiting Friends and Family...
Another word strongly associated with Lebaran would be silaturahmi—the bonds of friendship and brotherhood (and sisterhood too, right?). Now, how often do we keep in touch with our extended family? College friends? Next-door neighbors? Saying ‘hi’ once in a while to your neighbor won’t kill you... and Skype is free to use while Internet access is getting better (well, slowly) everywhere. So, why not make silaturahmi a part of our daily activities instead of a once-in-a-year tradition?

Still, a phone call (or a Skype session, e-mails, and so on) can’t really take the place of a face-to-face meeting. True, sometimes a direct visit to a distant relative or an old friend would be impractical, but what if, for our next vacation, instead of going to a popular tourist destination, we pick somewhere where there’s someone close (or someone who used to be close) whom we haven’t seen for a while? That could actually be quite an incredible journey, no?




Image Copyright:
szefei / 123RF Stock Photo



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