Indonesian Style Eid Takbeer, accompanied by Bedug (Traditional Huge Drum)

Vice President of the USA Mike Pence with his wife, visited Istiqlal Masjid in Jakarta, Indonesia (April 20th, 2017)

During the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr or Eid-ul-Adha, mosques in Indonesia perform an all-night takbeer (glorifyng Allah) accompanied by a traditional drum called "bedug".

bedug is a huge wooden double-barreled drum with water buffalo leather on both sides. At each daily prayer the bedug will be played before the adzan  (call for prayer) is recited. The size of the bedug usually depends on the size of the mosque. Some large mosques have a bedug larger than 5 foot in diameter. Due to the size, its sound travels very far. Before the era of loud speakers, this was how the Indonesian Muslims notified their community that it's time to pray.

In mosques a bedug is accompanied by a kentongan, a slit drum made from wood or bamboo. Before the adzan is recited, the muadzin (who calls the prayer) will play the kentongan first then play the bedug.

In the past, a kentongan was not only used to call for prayer but also used to call a meeting, as an early warning system, as a clock, and other types of community notifications. In order to do that, a kentongan was attached to the village office and security guard posts. It would be played to warn the villagers in case there was any emergency like theft, robbery, or natural disasters. If there was no emergency, a kentongan was played every hour to notify villagers about what time it was because watches were pricey and considered luxury items. Each security post acted as a messenger, so all villagers received the messages even if they were far from the originator of the messages (other security posts or village offices). By recognizing the rhythm of the kentongan, villagers would know the time, if there was an emergency, a town-hall meeting, or a death.

Bedug and kentongan in Masjid Istiqlal Jakarta. This bedug and kentongan were made from teak wood with beautiful Javanese engraving.
Closer look of Bedug in Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta.
The US Ambassador Joseph R. Donovan Jr. played Istiqlal Mosque's Kentongan  in Jakarta. (12/19/2016)
The US Ambassador Joseph R. Donovan Jr. posed with Istiqlal Mosque's Bedug in Jakarta. (12/19/2016)

Note: In the takbeer video the Kabah footage was added just to enhance the spiritual environment, the takbeer itself was played and recorded in Indonesia.


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