Consumer behaviour at Ramadhan and Idul Fitri during Covid-19 is markedly different than prior years. In 2020, Indonesian Muslims are observing the holy month of Ramadhan and celebrating Idul Fitri (the Eid festival) in very different circumstances with the Covid-19 pandemic. Large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus have been enacted throughout the country, including in Jakarta the epicentre of the outbreak in Indonesia. This effectively prevents many of the Ramadhan traditions in Indonesia, such as breaking fast together, social gatherings, “ngabuburit” activities (buying light meals and sweet snacks for breaking fast), and group prayers.
In April 2020, Cimigo conducted qualitative In-Depth Interviews with 66 residents of Greater Jakarta, aged 21-60 among mass, middle-class and affluent households, to understand how they plan to celebrate Ramadhan & Idul Fitri amidst PSBB period.
Consumer behaviour at Ramadhan and Idul Fitri during Covid-19
As Ramadhan in Indonesia is not just a religious event but strongly imbued with cultural traditions, a sense of gloom and sadness permeates this year’s celebrations as people feel they are missing out on the rituals, and the sense of togetherness and community. “Ngabuburit” activities for example – the act of purchasing light meals in the afternoon for breaking the fast and killing time before Iftar – are a communal tradition that is uniquely associated with Ramadhan, and will be missed this year.
Different attitudes and emotions towards Ramadhan & Idul Fitri are observed across socio-economic class (SES). Households with better financial position show a more positive outlook than the ‘mass’ households who are facing financial pressure. Middle Class & Affluent households also seem to possess better understanding and compliance with the social distancing measures, and thus not planning to do “mudik” (going back to their hometown) during Idul Fitri.
Regardless, Indonesian Muslims are trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy and doing what they can to keep the Ramadhan & Idul Fitri traditions alive, such as visiting their close family & relatives who live in the same town (due to the restrictions on inter-province travel).
Note: The quotes in this report are in Bahasa Indonesia to capture the original sentiment of respondents.