The Meaning Of Food Diversity During Eid Al-Fitr For The Betawi People

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JAKARTA - Eid al-Fitr is a precious moment to gather with family. In that togetherness, there is one thing that is awaited, namely eating together. The variety of dishes on the table also makes it even more special.

The variety of food and drinks arranged on the long table is called Meja Nyai by the Betawi people. People who come can immediately taste the pastries, syrup, or whatever dishes are provided there, even heavy foods such as buffalo stew, patties, or red bean soup can also be placed there to welcome guests who come.

This culture is believed to be able to bind togetherness between family and closest friends and also show the diversity of Betawi culture. All forms of cultural fusion ranging from Portuguese, Chinese, and Dutch can also be seen there.

Historian JJ Rizal said that for the Betawi people, food was not just a matter of being delicious or expensive, but more than that. The Betawi people believe that in every food served there is a value that can be a valuable lesson and from food we are taught to live in a friendly manner with differences. This is illustrated by the variety of menus on the Nyai table.

Even though they are celebrating Eid, not only food that comes or has Arabic nuances is served. There are nastar adapted from pineapple pie from Portuguese, or Kaasstengels and Botersprits from the Netherlands. The pronunciation of Botersprits is even used as a syringe by the Betawi people. Main dishes during Eid al-Fitr such as buffalo stew and cakes also come from the Netherlands.

A young Betawi figure named Masykur Isnan said that the diversity of this menu is not without reason. From a long time ago, the Betawi people were known to be diligent in fostering a sense of brotherhood and a spirit of togetherness with anyone. Plus this Betawi culture is the result of the acculturation process. Therefore, the Eid al-Fitr momentum is used as an arena to prove that the Betawi people are open and very tolerant. So that the meaning of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika is displayed in the form of a dish.

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