Cultural Exposure

In my 27 days stay in Jakarta, Indonesia, I have learned different cultures of them. All of the pictures that is seen in this blog is by permission, I asked for their permission to capture them and they permitted me and give me the go signal to do so.

Learning different culture is a very interesting things to do. Thus, these are the different cultures that I have learned in the country. I hope you will enjoy reading at the same time learning. 😊

1. I have learned how to use the term “assalamu’alaikum” which means, if you tell this word to other person, it’s like you’re praying for them at the same time greeting them. Anyone can tell this anytime and as a way of saying thank you, you must reply with “wa’alaikumussalam”

2. In the culture of our Muslim brothers and sisters, they always eat Halal foods which means that, the foods is being prayed and there is blessing coming from Allah.

3. Another culture of them is that they are not allowed to eat while walking and it was explained by them that there is a scientific basis regarding this belief.

4. They should also eat and drink with their right hand and this is based again from scientific basis.

5. Muslims don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because it is prohibited in their religion. This is my first time to know this fact, when we were walking and talking with Ms. Nurhikmat, and I respect what they believe on.

6. Why do Muslim girls always wear long dress, long sleeves and hijab? This is what I am curious of and I found the answer. I learned that they should always wear these in order to protect their selves from men and it was explain by them that it is a sin when men saw their different body parts.

7. “Salim”- the one that I will never forget and I will miss. Every time we go to school all children will come to us and show their appreciation through salim.

Another fact regarding salim is that, a man should not touch a woman’s hand or fingers when you do salim. There should be a gap. While a woman and a woman is allowed. 

Salim also shows that you respect the older ones or in a higher position.

8. Sleepers to their limits

Leaving the sleepers in front of the door is their habit because according to them, it is for sanitation and to maintain cleanliness throughout.

9. Taking “Wudlu” before praying is necessary because this purifies you as you enter the prayer area and also it means that you are clean when you praise Allah.

Note: If a girl is having her menstruation, she’s not allowed to enter the masjid. Also, if a person farts even if she/he’s done taking wudlu, they go back again to take wudlu. This is because the rule, everyone that enters the prayer area should be clean. 

The pictures below shows the different procedures in doing Wudlu as I have taken.

First, they wash their hands
Second, they collect water from their hands.
Third, they use the water for mouthwash
Fourth, they wash again their hands
Fifth, they wash their ears also in the back of their neck.
Sixth, they wash their right foot first.
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Lastly, they wash their left foot.

10. Oops. Leave your footwear first policy

I also did this before I entered the Masjid because this is a sign of cleanliness. Everyone that will enter the prayer area should leave their footwear in this area.

11. Every girl in the prayer area should wear “Mukena”. On the other hand, it is okay for boys if they only use their uniform or any trouser.

Mukena is a clothe that long in nature which the girl uses. Those girls who have sash were leaders in praying. Their duty is to  maintain peacefulness while praying.

12. Separate boys and girls in praying.

It is their nature to have a separate area in praying. In this situation, they are in one area but there is a gap wherein the boys were in front while the girls were at the back.

13. One thing more that I always observed and learned is they do five times praying. We always hear them pray because many microphones surrounds our dorm. The first prayer or they call it “Shalat Subuh” is around 4:00-4:30 in the morning before sun comes out. For the second prayer, it is called “Shalat Dzuhur” which is in 12 noon, when the sun is in the middle. The third prayer is called “Shalat Ashar” at around 3:00-3:30 in the afternoon before sunset. In the fourth prayer or the “Shalat Maghrib” it happens during sunset or after sunset. This is around 6:00 PM. Lastly, “Shalat Isya”, they prayed when the sun is not visibly seen and this is around 7:30 in the evening.

14. It was good that Indonesian people also practice eating with bare hands. This is an experience of mine when we went into a fast food chain which is in Mc Donalds. At first, I was wondering where to get spoon and forks but as I have observed, I have seen that they first sanitize and wash their hands. It is like Filipinos also, “not maarte”. Regarding this matter, inside their home, they usually eat in the floor.