*** ----> Millions of Indonesians take part in exodus for Eid celebration | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Millions of Indonesians take part in exodus for Eid celebration

AFP | London                                               

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

On motorcycles, cars, buses, planes or by boat, millions of Indonesians have travelled to their hometowns in an annual exodus for the Eid holiday that begins in the country on Wednesday. Major seaports and toll roads have been packed in recent days, while airports and bus terminals were also full of travellers looking forward to reuniting with their families.

The annual migration known as “mudik”, or exodus, takes a toll on Indonesia’s roads.

Travellers who pack their families and luggage into cars or motorbikes can face gruelling trips of 24 hours or longer.

Indonesia’s transport ministry says up to 193 million people were expected to travel for Eid this year, up from 123 million estimated to have made the trip last year in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.

More than 28 million were forecast to have left the Greater Jakarta area alone, enduring hours of traffic or congested airports and seaports to celebrate the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan with their families.

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi called on those making the exodus to avoid motorbikes and take ships, buses or trains instead for safety reasons.

So many people were making journeys home that the Indonesian navy deployed a battleship to transfer residents of capital Jakarta who failed to get tickets to the Javan cities of Semarang and Surabaya, state news agency Antara reported.

Wosse Muhammad Arif Sani, a 28-year-old civil servant, spent 13 hours on the road in traffic to reach his wife’s Central Java hometown from Bogor, a city south of Jakarta.

“For me, mudik is our tradition.

And the lengthy travel time or issues on the road, that’s the art, the excitement. Because the journey takes longer than usual. Seeing people on the road, that’s entertaining,” he said.