As part of our Ramadan Around The World series, we will be sharing heartwarming stories on how Ramadan is celebrated around the world. Based on the story submitted by Raisa Lestari from Labuan Bajo in Indonesia, this interview has been edited for length and clarity by Have Halal, Will Travel's editorial team.
Labuan Bajo, a humble town located in East Nusa Tenggara, is known for many things. Aside from its relaxing beach getaways and cultural trips to traditional villages, it is home to Komodo National Park named after the world's largest lizard, the Komodo dragons that roam this scenic paradise.
For Raisa Lestari, a Muslim living in Indonesia, Labuan Bajo is also her new home after residing in the town for 2 months. Similar to all first-time experiences, she'll be celebrating Ramadan from a fresh perspective while embracing a month full of blessings.
The destination may change but routine remains the same, depending on the situation. "I always wake up at 4AM for suhoor and enjoy a light meal, which consists of tea with toast or cereal. Eating too much during suhoor will make me drowsy throughout the day and that's why I prefer light meals."
Credit: Raisa Lestari
While waiting for
the day to break, she performs her morning prayers and either return to sleep or spends time reading and watching movies before preparing for work. "Then, I would go to the office and try to squeeze in as many tasks as I can until iftar. For iftar, I would drink hot tea first and eat a couple of dates before praying and exercising before dinner." Her favourite iftar food? Any types of soup as well as opor (chicken dish cooked with coconut milk). "Eating opor isn't uncommon during normal days, but eating opor during Ramadan and Eid is definitely a different feeling."
Besides fasting from sunrise to sunset, Ramadan has its challenges and Raisa has a creative way to solve it. "My biggest challenge is staying focus at work despite the minor dehydration. I overcome it by spraying face mist occasionally to stay alert."Credit: Raisa Lestari
While Eid is a celebration we all look forward to after a month of self-reflection and self-improvement, it'll be celebrated differently this year. "For this year, I'll be celebrating Eid away from home due to the travel restrictions imposed by the Indonesian government. So I will be spending the day with my friends who aren't
able to travel to their hometown."
It may be a while before we can travel overseas again, but exciting attractions and things to do await in Labuan Bajo. What's at the top of Raisa's recommendation list? "It's definitely Komodo National Park where it hosts a lot of scenic underwater view such as Manta Point and Kanawa as well as Pink Beach, which is literally pink, and Padar Island! When you visit Labuan Bajo, you should check out Goa Rangko, Liang Ndara traditional village or spend time exploring the city!"
Share your Ramadan Around The World stories
The diversity of the ummah truly exemplifies the beauty of Islam, and it's great to read stories such as the one submitted by Raisa Lestari! If you want to share how Ramadan is celebrated in your country, fill in the form below and stand a chance to be featured!
P.S. If you can't view the form above, you can submit your story in this form