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The Origin of Mudik

Spectr News Theme Isny Dewi R.
21, May 2019
835

Idul Fitri is only two weeks away. The nomads who live in big cities like Jakarta will usually do a tradition called mudik (homecoming) to celebrate Eid with their beloved family in their hometown. Usually the mudik season starts seven days before Eid. There are several ways to mudik to their hometown. From using public transportation such as train, using private vehicle like car, to join free mudik which is usually held by the government every year before Eid.

Although we all probably already know what mudik is. But do you know what is the origin of mudik? Apparently, there are interesting stories in it. According to the History lecturer at Sanata Dharma University in Yogyakarta, Silverio Raden Lilik Aji Sampurno, mudik already existed since the days of Majapahit and Mataram Islam. In the past, Majapahit's territory included Sri Lanka and the Malay Peninsula. Therefore, the Majapahit kingdom placed its officials in several regions to guard their territory.

One time, the official will return to the royal centre to face the King while visiting his hometown. This was then attributed to the phenomenon of mudik. Aside from the Majapahit kingdom, mudik was also carried out by officials from Mataram Islam who were guarded in their territory. Especially they returned to face the King during Eid al-Fitr.

The term of mudik itself became famous in the 1970s. Mudik is a tradition carried out by nomads in several regions to return to their hometown to gathered with their family. According to the Javanese, mudik came from the word “Mulih Disik” which means going home for a while. It's only a short time to see their family after they migrate.

While the Betawi interpret mudik as "kembali ke udik". In Betawi, udik means village or hometown. When Javanese want to return to their hometown, the Betawi say "mereka akan kembali ke udik". From there, the language experienced a simplification of words from "udik" to "mudik".

In addition to visit their families in their hometown, when mudik, the nomads also usually go to the graves of their relatives, to go on vacation to tourist attractions in their hometown or surrounding areas.

Isny Dewi R.
Isny Dewi R.
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