Birth of the Prophet
Procession / NgarakThe first part of the ritual was a procession (ngarak). Home Islanders began gathering for the festivities at the mosque from 7am. Then with a few announcements Mr Nek Shah got the the procession going.
|An imam makes a few announcements before we set off. Behind him,|
the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Australian flags
At the front were the imam and wakil imam. Behind them were boys from the religious school (they study the Koran and Hadith after school everyday) carrying banners.
|Imams at the front with wakil imam, and boys carrying banner behind them.|
Further back marched the tambourine men (orang rebana) who chanted. The chanting was loud, joyful and welcoming. Unlike a Christmas pageant, there were few spectators. The emphasis was on joining in, rather than just watching the procession.
|Women and children, further back in the procession.|
The procession did a lap around the kampong (village). The pace was cracking initially, so the whole procession took about 25 minutes to complete, returning back to the mosque.
|Procession comes to an end.|
After that, the next part of the ritual involved readings and eating. I'll discuss that in my next blog.