The School Break and "Khitanan Massal"

School holiday is always a right time for many Islamic organizations in Jogja, and other cities indeed, to reach out the teenagers and promote Islamic values. The most popular activity is khitanan massal.

Khitan (circumcision) is believed, like other Abrahamic religions, as one of Islamic teachings, shariah. Male Muslims have to be circumcised before they reach an adult age (baligh). In other part of the world, the male babies are circumcised in their earliest age, the day there are born. But in Indonesia, boys are not circumcised that way. The typical practice in Indonesia is that they are circumcised when they are in 5 to 7 grade.

Khitanan massal is an activity to observe that religious obligation in a group of tens boys.
Islamic organizations, like NU and Muhammadiyah, use this school holiday to help those pre-teenagers to observe that religious obligation. During this holiday, NU and Muhammadiyah in Jogja organize some khitanan massal for their youths.

We, Indonesian Muslims, have taken this for granted. But, it is indeed a test for a young male Muslim to be a “full” Muslim by taking this physical pain experience. To put it another way, to be circumcised is part of forming the Islamic identity among the youths.

I remember how teacher encouraged us to be ready for circumcision. He said that, “Yen ora sunat kuwi kàyà Cinà!” (If you are not circumcised, you will be like a Chinese). It is not said here, but it does imply that “Chinese” is another identity we don’t belong to…

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