Sunday, May 9

Many Indonesians left hungry, confused as Aidilfitri postponed

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JAKARTA: Many Indonesians found themselves hungry and confused yesterday after the government declared the Aidilfitri festival that ends the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan would not start there for another day.

The government decided late Monday, after consulting with religious bodies that the moon was not in the right position for Aidilfitri to begin yesterday, as it has done for most Muslims around the world. It will start today instead.

“It’s a rather chaotic situation. People have had to change their schedules that they had fixed many days in advance,” said Icha Susanto, account manager at a private company in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.

“We are disappointed as it’s hard for our family members to gather in one place due to the shifting Aidilfitri.”

Susanto, 31, said she also felt sorry for families and food vendors who were forced to waste food they had prepared for the first day of the three-day celebration.

However the country’s second-largest Islamic group, Muhammadiyah, decided to start Aidilfitri yesterday, with some astronomers still maintaining that they were correct. — AFP