Happy Idul Fitri (Eid Mubarak). Please forgive me for my physical and emotional wrongdoings
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and First Lady Iriana extended Idul Fitri greetings from the Bogor Presidential Palace on Saturday to all Indonesians celebrating the Idul Fitri festivities on Sunday (May 24).

"Happy Idul Fitri (Eid Mubarak). Please forgive me for my physical and emotional wrongdoings," President Jokowi and First Lady Iriana stated.

Muslims across Indonesia are celebrating this year's Idul Fitri festivities that mark the end of the Islamic holy fasting month of Ramadhan differently owing to the ongoing global pandemic of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

This current situation calls for sacrifice from people across the country by forgoing homebound travel to their hometowns, quite averse to what was followed since decades and by not holding the regular "silaturrahim" (Islamic brotherhood) events.

"I feel that this is absolutely not easy, but the safety of our families and relatives is much more important and must be our common priority," President Jokowi remarked, adding that this challenging situation that almost all nations on earth are facing will soon end.

President Jokowi and First Lady Iriana will not follow the tradition of holding the open house event at the State Palace on May 25 owing to the COVID-19 situation, Presidential Secretariat Deputy Head of Protocol, Press, and Media Bey Triadi Machmudin stated.

In its place, President Jokowi has appealed to the people at large to uphold the spirit of "silaturrahim" during the Idul Fitri festivities virtually through the use of various digital media platforms.

"The 'silaturrahim' tradition with relatives and friends must continue to be preserved. Athough they cannot meet physically, it can still be done virtually,” Machmudin stated.

President Jokowi has also appealed to ministers and cabinet members to not convene open house events.

"Of course, what Mr. President does is expected to be emulated by other cabinet members. Vice President Ma'ruf Amin too will not hold the open house event," he affirmed.

During his first presidential term, President Jokowi routinely held the open house event in connection with the Idul Fitri festivities. During last year's Idul Fitri celebrations, he had held the open house event at the State Palace, while in 2018, he held the event at the Bogor Presidential Palace.

However, this year's open house event will not be convened owing to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The Idul Fitri festivities, marking the end of the Ramadhan fasting month, will fall on May 24.
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Translator: Hanni S, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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