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Tuesday March 28th 2017

Expressing Lebaran

Language | Monday, 29 August 2011 | sundanesecorner.org

Hawe Setiawan

Residents of District of Cisalak, Regency of Subang, West Java, were celebrating Ied al-Fitr on August 31st, 2011 (Photograph: Hawe Setiawan)

The Sundanese word for Ied al-Fitr, which is the moment that mark the end of the bulan puasa or sasih siam ‘fasting month’ of Ramadan, is ‘lebaran’ or—in more formal and polite manner—‘boboran siam’.

I don’t know whether the word lebaran has something to do with the basic word lebar in Sundanese. Clearly, the same word is also known in our national language: the bahasa Indonesia. So do with the word puasa ‘fasting’ that is derived from Sanskrit. The two languages also share the polite or formal word for fasting: saum that is derived from Arabic.

The common way to express greetings during this very special occasion in Sundanese is as follows: simkuring sakulawarga ngahaturkeun wilujeng boboran siam. Hapunten lahir batin ‘my family and I wish you a happy Ied al-Fitr. Please forgive us honestly.’ One can also say neda sih hapuntenna lahir batin tina sadaya kalepatan ‘we/I beseech your true forgiveness for every wrong doing we/I did.’

To reply the greetings one can say sami-sami ‘so do we/I’ or just say hatur nuhun ‘thank you’.

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