Monday, September 8, 2008


During this fasting month my daily schedule is “tweaking” – just like when you talk about computer: “tweaking” means “making performance modifications to software or hardware”. Don’t you think it’s amusing when you think about it that way? The fact is, I have to wake up at around 3 a.m. to eat, which means, in order to have enough sleep, I’ve got to go to bed earlier. The break-fast is at around 6 p.m. which is exactly the time I finish work. Sadly it’s impossible to have the breakfast at home then. But it is the case of many people who have full time job, too – so I’m not alone :-D And eating out during the fasting month can be quite interesting. Many eating places, either street food stalls or in-building restaurants, very often serve special menus only available during this ‘season’.

Traditionally the break-fast starts with something sweet (ho-ho, that’s dessert for breakfast!), then gradually we eat ‘heavier’ meals afterward. In this case longing is good. I never find food seem more appetizing than during the fasting month! And the call for prayers at sunset, the time we can eat and drink again, sounds like the nicest music in my ears.

In my hometown Yogyakarta in Central Java, in the area where my mother and sister live in the old town, every day at around 3 p.m. along the main pedestrian street, you can find various traditional food (many of them available specially during the fasting month only) by local food sellers. When I was kid and still lived there, it was a ‘fasting month tradition’ of the area to bring out specialties of each house to the neighbourhood. I still remember, around 2 hours before the break-fast time, my mother would assigned me to ‘hunt’ for fried rice-noodle at Mrs Hud’s stall, warm guava soup at Granny Jonah’s, sweet sticky rice with coconut and palm sugar at Auntie Ani’s. The next day would be different food from different stalls. These traditional pancakes or cupcakes (mostly using palm sugar in the ingredients), black rice porridge, sweet sticky balls with palm sugar inside, banana sweet soup, boiled vegetable with kaffir-lime-leaves-scented peanut sauce…hmm yummy! I miss those food, really, especially this special time of the year. No wonder, the words about this tradition spread outside the neighbourhood and according to my mother now every day during Ramadan the main pedestrian street looks like a ‘food market’. It’s fun to hear that. Now it’s my turn to give my little sister an ‘assignment’ to hunt – not for food – but for pictures of the food market. I haven’t got any at the moment, and I guess I really need some to be posted in this blog :-D

In the meantime, I browsed for some pictures of the neighbourhood on the internet. And here they are:

These pictures are from YogYes’ website with a description about the neighbourhood.

These pictures I found on Flickr:

The Grand Mosque of Kauman

© Rachma Safitri. This picture is originally located here.

Typical arch entrance to the neighbourhood

© Bklanting. Original location here .

What’s so nice about this picture when I found it: see the house with green fences on the left? it’s the house where my mother and sister live! Quite interesting that I saw it on somebody’s picture on Flickr :-D

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this sure is a very interesting post, Amreta! I liked it a lot! :) Have a nice day!


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