“Mudik” Tradition, the Migration out of Jakarta

Ramadhan is a very big period for Indonesians as we have the biggest Muslim population in the South East Asia. A month of fasting begins, where Muslims must abstain from eating and drinking in between the early morning and the evening with praying, and closer to the Eid Mubarak days.

Within this period there is famous term called “Mudik” which means going home to the city origin. So mudik is an activity when people working in Jakarta drive back to their hometown, or kampoeng (meaning “village”) which lie mostly in cities around the Java Islands.

These mudik trends have becomed bigger as most of these workers come from another city, looking for their fortune in the capital. Imagine the huge flow of the population at the same time, leaving the city and creating heavy traffic jams on the way out of Jakarta. It can take 4-6 hours (2 times longer than usual because of the jams). Surprisingly, some of these workers are okay with the condition, getting used to a yearly habit, and the obligation to visit their hometowns during Eid Mubarak days.

Motorcyclists leaving Jakarta during Ramadhan

There are those who find it troublesome, especially if they intend to take a holiday instead visiting their hometown. (This is from personal experience, when we wanted to take a holiday in Bandung 3 years ago.) Even though the traffic jams do not occur in the city, it was still twice as heavy as an usual traffic jam, and its causes one to feel stress and tire. Therefore, there are people prefer to stay in Jakarta, when it gets emptied, and is less crowded for that one time in a year.

The less crowded streets in Jakarta during Ramadhan

Indonesia Correspondent
Jakarta, Indonesia

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