Welcoming the Islamic New Year with Dragons, Drumming, and Dancing

With New Year’s Day just around the corner, I thought now would be a good time to share my experience with Muharrom, or the Islamic New Year, in Sidoarjo back in October.

Indonesiaful.com

For one day only, the fantastic and the ordinary mingled side-by-side in Sepanjang, Sidoarjo. For one day only, the fantastic and the ordinary mingled side-by-side in Sepanjang, Sidoarjo.

— By Kelly Fitzgerald —

“Miss, the students want time to prepare for Muharrom. No class today, okay?” my co-teacher said with a smile Friday morning, five minutes before our last class of the week was supposed to begin. It was my second week teaching at SMA Wachid Hasyim 2 Sidoarjo and I was not to be easily deterred from entering the classroom. My brow furrowed slightly while I considered what to say.

“But Bu, don’t you think their learning is important too? The students have a test in two weeks. I would feel bad if we don’t have class before then.” Having made my point, I bit my lip and waited. She thought for a moment then shrugged with a nod. Okay, your funeral, her wavering smile seemed to say. I ignored the unsaid words…

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