By Jessica, IHF Banda Aceh Co-Director
On Tuesday, November 5 we observed the first day of the Islamic New Year here in Indonesia. We only had a few students show up at the center, as it is considered a Public National Holiday. Each school in Banda Aceh participated in a public parade across the town.
The students wore beautiful and colorful clothing, had marching bands, and held a banner to showcase the name of their schools. The students were all in all proudly walking around the city to celebrate this special day with their classmates, while celebrating their prospective schools.
Parents and friends could be seen across town awaiting for their children, relatives, friends and acquaintances to pass by so they could wave and say hi. The city was bustling with music, laughter, and all in all everyone was in a great mood. This coming month is Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar, and is considered one of the four sacred months mentioned in the Qur’aan.
For the rest of the week, the students shared with us about their experiences with the day and what they expect to do during Muharram. It’s quite a enlightening cultural experience to talk with the children and have them share with us about their culture, beliefs and traditions.
We are also seeing a few changes in our Blang Kreung classes. We will be changing venues starting next week, and were able to recruit some new volunteer teachers to help us there. We have been incredibly blessed to meet so many people with huge hearts who can give some of their time to help us in our efforts to provide free education.