The End of fasting: evolving performances at Hari Raya celebrations are a window into deeper cultural change

Paul Mason

Research output: Contribution to Newspaper/Magazine/WebsiteArticle

Abstract

The small hillside village of Andaleh Baruah Bukik lies deep in the highlands of West Sumatra, the area that forms the cultural epicentre of the Minangkabau people. Each year, the villagers hold a Hari Raya celebration to mark the end of the fasting month. The festivities begin with the activities of the cimuntu – ghosts from West Sumatra’s mystical past that still live in the Minang imagination. Just before the Hari Raya festivities begin, members of the community sneak up into the mountains and disguise themselves in coconut hair or coconut leaves, taking on the guise of the cimuntu. They walk down the mountain and through the village collecting money and summoning people to the front of the town mosque to join in the celebrations. No one knows their identities. They play the part of naughty ghosts that scare children, while simultaneously coordinating and controlling the events that make up this special version of Hari Raya.
Original languageEnglish
No.93
Specialist publicationInside Indonesia
PublisherIndonesia Resources and Information Programme
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2008

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The End of fasting: evolving performances at Hari Raya celebrations are a window into deeper cultural change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this