Khabar Southeast Asia

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Ramadan brings blessings for seasonal vendors

By Yenny Herawati for Khabar Southeast Asia in Bekasi

July 26, 2014

 Ramadan seasonal vendors in Tangerang sell a variety of dishes for Iftar on July 14th. [Yenny Herawati/Khabar]

Ramadan seasonal vendors in Tangerang sell a variety of dishes for Iftar on July 14th. [Yenny Herawati/Khabar]

Excitement for Ramadan remains strong and festive as the holy month draws to a close.

For seasonal vendors in Tangerang, the month of fasting has brought blessings for them and their families.

"Most of us are women who usually just work at home. However, in the month of Ramadan , we are trying to increase our income so we can celebrate Idul Fitri with enough money," said Dewi Julianti, who works at the seasonal market in Tangerang.

Hundreds of seasonal vendors share such prosperity by giving back during the holy month, she added.

"We are also helping homeless people by giving them some of the food that we have," she said.

Another seasonal vendor, Muriyati, said she had collected more than Rp. 9m ($780) during Ramadan.

"I also donated some of the food to homeless in need, and of course zakat (alms-giving)," she said.

Indonesia has enjoyed a relatively peaceful holy month so far, despite initial fears that a contentious presidential election might stoke tensions.

Wahyudi Tanu, a police officer in West Java , said local authorities also helped safeguard the region.

"I think we have seen Ramadan run more smoothly than last year. I have not heard about various irresponsible sweeps by hardliners ," he told Khabar. "However, we decided to help the community by reassuring them that they are safe."

But crowds anywhere could be targets for terrorist attacks, he added.

"As you know, most people involved in this seasonal market are women and children. Therefore, it is important to ensure their safety," he said.

Muslims benefit from Ramadan by being conscious of its true meaning and sincerely observing the month of fasting during the daylight hours, Tangerang cleric Muhammad Syariffudin told Khabar.

"Muslims should keep their faith above all. Ramadan is the time for Muslims to be closer to God. It is also a time for reflection," he said. "We also need to pray for various incidents that are occurring in the world right now.

"I suggest everyone not forget to share your blessings during Ramadan. Please remember to save some of your income for zakat , as well so we can help those in need."

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