Friday, 23 September 2011, the warm indonesian atmosphere was covering the city of groningen, Netherlands. All of the Indonesian people there came and gather together to attend the so called ‘Halal bihalal’ event. Halal bi halal is social gatherings and is part of Eid ul Fitr (suikerfeest) celebration. Do you know why it’s called Halal bi Halal? Well, the word ‘halal’ is Arabic which literally means ‘acceptable’. Halal bi halal itself means ‘to accept’ or ‘to forgive each other’. Interestingly, even though the word is Arabic, the term of ‘halal bi halal’ is only used in Indonesia.

The Halal bihalal event in groningen was organized by de Groningen Moslem Society (degromiest) and Indonesian student association in Groningen (PPIG). This event was held at the main hall of floreshuis building, in the northern of groningen. As the main theme of this event was ‘Back to Indonesia’, the hall and corridor are decorated in indonesian style. More than 200 people attended this event, they are indonesian moslem communities, indonesian students, and some special guests from Indonessian embassy, also dutch and turkish colleagues.

It started roughly at 6 pm with an opening act, the saman dance performance from Indonesian students. Right after that the MC officially opened the event, followed by an opening speech from the chairman comitee of Halal bihalal and from the chairman of Indonesian student association.

The main event started at 7 pm with the lecture/tausiyah from Ustadz Agus Purwanto. In his speech he said that it is important to show our gratitude to God for his blessing in our life. He also remind us to always get along well with others and keep our ukhuwah (brotherhood).  At 8 pm, all people had dinner together with various Indonesian food: sate, rendang,  opor ayam, lontong, etc. During dinner, people were entertained by dancing and singing performances. The night became more lively with the wonderful operet performance from indonesian students. The event was ended by ‘Silaturahmi or maaf-maafan session’ where all people shake hands and ask each other for forgiveness.

Here are a few moments of the Halal bihalal event in Groningen (thanks to Mas Surahyo Sumarsono for the great pictures)

Halal bihalal event in Floreshuis Hall

Opening act, Saman dance performance

Lecture/tausiyah from Ustadz Agus Purwanto

Singing performance from indonesian students

People were also entertained by traditional dance performance

The wonderfull operet performance

Perfect dinner with delicious Indonesian food

The audiences of Halal bihalal event

The  event was ended by  ‘silaturahmi session’

That was a great night for all of us, we really enjoyed it. Thanks to all who contributed to this Halal bihalal event.

Groningen, 30 September 2011

Irfan Prabudiansyah

Foto:  Surahyo Sumarsono

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