Mallrats Need A Break

Definitely, this is not a picture of butts exhibition.

Down on knees, together, in a basement of Bandung Supermal. Photo by Vicky Laurentina.

Once upon a time in States, a store was shocked coz a bunch of their customer which looked like Arabic suddenly did an odd ritual at the corner of the place’s storage. That year “9/11” event has just been happened, and ever since that shitty day, all “weird” behavior of Muslims was made into stories excessively. When police came to check those Arabics, they found out that instead of going to mess up, those customers were just going to pray Maghrib. Those Americans were shocked coz they never saw a person did “shalat”.

***

I think, Indonesia is a unique country coz most of its citizens still admit that they pray, though sometimes they skip from church, temple, or mosque. There’s a good reason why Friday becomes a leeway among working days in Indonesia. The hectic 9-5 rush hours suddenly must be diminished in midday, to spare time for men for doing Friday praying. It doesn’t matter if the male employee really goes for Friday praying, or he just runs away for corrupting extra lunch time. And oddly, how hard feminists make pressure for women’s emancipation in Indonesia, women still don’t complain if their job burden raise higher at Friday, just because their male colleagues go away for Friday praying.

I was at this mall last Friday, when I went to the parking basement and saw this view. Looking at the costumes they wore, I found out that some of them were waiters, buyer assistants, managers, and even customers. The mall was crowded of people each days, but I saw they break of being mallrats at mid Friday, only for sitting together in “mushalla” by listening to preach and pray for two rounds of scene.

All people need a praying place at their work. Including malls. Malls can’t build mosque at their complex, coz their secularism budget don’t accomodate it. So they make compensation by making a small space in parking basement to become a mushalla. The mushalla may be enough for daily prays, but it doesn’t suit to contain the mall visitors who wanna do Friday praying. So they close some of basement area at Friday until midday, so they can use the area for massal Friday praying. When the Friday praying is over, they re-use the area for parking. This is a strategy to keep the visitors who’s already hung out in the mall since morning, instead let them leave the mall at afternoon for Friday praying and then they’re lazy to return.

Once a foreigner asked me, why male muslims must do Friday praying together, instead doing it alone in each of their homes. I answered, as you’re praying with somebody else, you’ll find out that actually you have a brother who must pray like you, as a reply coz God has created both of you. Praying together keeps you from being snob, coz you’ll realize, that probably, you don’t pray better than anybody else as you thought before.

Mall may be a product of capitalist. But, religion stuff doesn’t need to be separated from the capitalism thing.

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24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. fahmi!
    Dec 03, 2009 @ 12:06:28

    eh, interesting pic. nice capture :mrgreen:

    Reply

  2. jensen99
    Dec 03, 2009 @ 23:30:08

    What are you doing in basement?

    Reply

  3. ajikinai
    Dec 04, 2009 @ 23:01:48

    so tragic…there are so many mosques in our town,but they are empty. Look at them, they even can’t pray in the proper place…

    Reply

    • Vicky Laurentina
      Dec 05, 2009 @ 05:09:23

      Some people prefer praying in their work instead going to mosque. For a simple reason, they wanna pray in the closest place that they can reach. Though, the nearest place may not be proper enough for praying.

      Reply

  4. dokterdita
    Dec 05, 2009 @ 02:34:45

    In jakarta, Some mall which has comfortable mushalla are Senayan City, Kelapa Gading, and Plaza Senayan.

    Reply

  5. Pencil Colour
    Dec 05, 2009 @ 10:00:33

    Hmm, for the first I just can say that this new blog is so cute I really like it…

    Ms. Vicky, I am fan of your articles, you are a good writer , your capture so good

    I know that the basement function is for parking the car. , may be this is the positive tough (although ironic) If some people using for the Friday Paying, I really appreciate to them..they can pray somewhere.

    Reply

    • Vicky Laurentina
      Dec 05, 2009 @ 10:10:52

      Well, when I was an intern for an hospital, each Friday they turned the hospital lobby into an hall for Friday praying. All the patients-in-waiting should be evacuated.

      So, I guess this malfunctioned basement parking is still acceptable.

      Reply

  6. Adrie
    Dec 05, 2009 @ 10:13:31

    Down on knees, descending…for the Almighty

    Reply

  7. Aribicara
    Dec 07, 2009 @ 09:15:31

    I Love Islam 🙂

    Reply

  8. Bang Aswi
    Dec 10, 2009 @ 10:01:02

    Wah, punya blog baru nih. Pertanyaannya sudah saya jawab ya…. Jawaban yang bagus saat ada orang asing yang bertanya tentang mengapa pria uslim shalat Jumat secara berjamaah. Meski jawabannya meski lebih kompleks dari hanya sekadar, “as you’re praying with somebody else, you’ll find out that actually you have a brother who must pray like you…”

    Vick, kapan2 YM-an yuk, silakan invite saya di bangaswi@yahoo.com Thanks!

    Reply

    • Vicky Laurentina
      Dec 10, 2009 @ 10:39:16

      Saya sendiri lupa apa aja alasan solat berjamaah. Tapi yang saya ingat memang prinsip kesetaraan itu. Dan itu adalah nilai yang membedakan Islam dari agama lainnya, yang patut dipahami oleh orang asing yang menanyakannya.

      Reply

  9. Huang
    Dec 10, 2009 @ 11:26:02

    bertandang ke rumah baru kamu mbak 🙂

    wah udah masuk agama ya,, hehe kalo soal mesjid aku cuma inget temenku yang mau sholat tapi gak bisa sholat di masjid yang dia datangin karena katanya gak boleh di pake buat umum.

    Reply

    • Vicky Laurentina
      Dec 10, 2009 @ 11:44:07

      Selamat dateng, Huang. 🙂

      Iya, memang ada beberapa masjid kayak gitu. Aku juga nggak suka sih kalau ada mesjid sok eksklusif. Agama kan mestinya buat semua ya, bukan buat segolongan orang doang. Sangat disayangkan sih.

      Reply

  10. tukang komen
    Dec 10, 2009 @ 13:05:39

    Lho kok sekarang di WP neng….

    Reply

  11. fanny
    Dec 10, 2009 @ 14:50:39

    itulah kekuatan religius.

    Reply

  12. sevenco
    Dec 11, 2009 @ 09:59:40

    di PIM2 mushollanya gak di basement, tapi di lantai yg sejajar dengan shopping mallnya, jadi lebih nyaman. masuk dikit ke arah toilet, nursing room dan smoking room, ada musholla yg cukup nyaman.

    Reply

  13. rofiqi
    Jan 05, 2010 @ 10:18:40

    once i did friday pray @ plaza senayan, it was at parking lot and there were a lot of people and i think that the management should provide appropriate place for friday pray session, although they have a musholla with comfy place, but still we have to rush to the parking lot for the friday pray session, what a shame.

    Reply

    • Vicky Laurentina
      Jan 06, 2010 @ 04:18:48

      Probably we might say, it’s still much better than applying inappropriate place at all. More office can’t prepare any good place for their staffs, their mushollas are too small, or their locations are too far from the closest mosque.

      Reply

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