JAKARTA, April 30 — The festive season exodus or “mudik” where millions of Indonesians working in major cities rush for their hometowns to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri reached its peak today.
Whatmore, for the first time in two years Indonesians have been allowed to travel to their hometowns as the government eased the restrictions due to COVID-19, thanks to lower caseloads and efforts being taken to revive the economy.
Indonesians are expected to celebrate the auspicious day on Monday or Tuesday.
Around 85 million people are expected to make the journey, including 14 million from Jakarta metropolitan area alone, with 23 million private cars and 17 million motorbikes hitting the roads leading out of the capital city.
To protect the public during this year’s mudik, the government has sped up Covid-19 vaccination by providing better access to vaccine including at airports, bus terminals and ports.
As of today, about 80 per cent of 208 million targetted population have received their second vaccine dose, with 36 million getting a booster shot.
The government reminded its people to always stay vigilant in order to avoid a spike in new COVID-19 cases and the emergence of a new wave of virus transmission.
President Joko Widodo is scheduled to perform Aidilfitri prayer in Yogyakarta and would not host an open house during the celebration.
Meanwhile, Zulkarnain, 33, a security guard in Jakarta, said to Bernama: “I’m so excited to see my parents for Hari Raya. I am taking two weeks leave and my flight to Palembang is tomorrow.
“I can’t wait to meet them especially my mom. I really miss my favorite food, Pempek. We just did a video call. My mom is at the kitchen preparing it.”
Pempek is a savoury fishcake delicacy, made of fish and tapioca, with its origins in Palembang, South Sumatera.
For the past two years Zulkarnain and his family celebrated Lebaran virtually via WhatsApp video call.