Sungkem is a form of respect for elders and recognition of personal mistakes.

  2 April 2024 02:25 - The tradition of apologizing is an important part of Eid celebrations in Indonesian society , including Javanese society. After a full month of fasting, Muslims celebrate Victory Day with various rituals and traditions, one of which is asking each other for forgiveness. This tradition reflects the spirit of improving relationships between individuals and forgiving past mistakes, so that everyone can start a new chapter with a clean heart.

Javanese people call this tradition of forgiveness sungkem. Sungkem is a form of respect for elders and recognition of personal mistakes. Sungkem is one of the sacred processions in Javanese tradition during Eid

During the Eid period, the streets in various cities in Indonesia are filled with the sound of sorry greetings spoken by word of mouth. Society, regardless of social status or age, unites in a spirit of togetherness to forgive. This is a precious moment where friendships are strengthened and relationships between community members become more harmonious.

Not just a greeting, the tradition of apologizing on Eid is also accompanied by giving gifts or pastries as a form of respect for mistakes that may have been made. In Javanese culture, for example, there is a tradition of giving "takjil" as a sign of apology. This takjil can be in the form of food or soft drinks given when visiting neighbors or relatives' homes.

Thus, the tradition of apologizing during Eid is not just a ritual, but also a social value that teaches the importance of honesty, humility and the courage to admit mistakes. This tradition is part of efforts to strengthen ties and build a better society emotionally and socially.

As follows, has reported from various sources, Monday (1/4), the tradition of apologizing during Eid in society accompanied by words in Javanese.

The correct way to sungkem.

Apologize for Eid in Javanese according to tradition  2024 various sources

photo: Zakharia

Sungkem is carried out properly in accordance with applicable traditions. In Javanese society, the proverb 'village mawa cara, country mawa tata' is known. Javanese unen-unen means that each region will have its own way of socializing. The following method is based on sungkem which is commonly practiced in many areas.

1. Prepare the end delivery.

Ujung in Javanese terms can be interpreted the same as sungkem. When performing sungkem it is highly recommended to bring offerings. This is related to the character of the Javanese people who like to share their good fortune with others. Gifts given without a specific requirement must include special items. You are allowed to bring anything according to your abilities.

Even in rural communities, this sungkem procession is often only accompanied by giving each other the harvest from their gardens. The handover is given not for the purpose of being burdensome but as an illustration of harmony and a form of respect for the services of older people.

2. Put those closest to you and your elders first.

Sungkem is one way to express forgiveness for all the mistakes you have. Basically, apologizing can be done at any time. The difference between sungkem and apology usually lies in the moment, namely during Eid. You can use this moment to apologize for mistakes to the people closest to you.

You are advised to talk to your parents before visiting other relatives. After all, your parents are the most important people in your life. After going to your parents, you can go to a spiritual teacher, someone you consider to be your religious advisor, and an ustaz or kiai. Apart from these options, you can also visit extended family. You are advised to go to your older family, such as your grandfather, uncle, or even your older brother.

(Intern/Robiul Adil Robani)

Sorry Lebaran in Javanese according to tradition  2024 various sources


3. Prepare a suitable place for prostration.

Sungkem is done by honoring the person you respect. First prepare a comfortable place to perform the prostration. Find the right moment to talk to your parents. Give a higher seat, then invite your parents to sit there.

4. Procession of prostration.

- Sit lower than parents. You can squat or crouch.
- Clasp both of your parents' hands and bow your head there.
- Bring both parents' hands together gently and then kiss.
- Say your apologies in the lap of your parents.
- Absorb and listen to the parents' advice and response from your apology.
- After finishing, release your hand grip with the parent. Kiss both cheeks and forehead of your parents.

Lebaran apologies in Javanese.

Sorry Lebaran in Javanese according to tradition  2024 various sources


"Before I say it, I wish you a happy birthday, father/mother/grandmother. I am here to come to your father/mother/grandmother, I ask for the prayers of father/mother/grandmother, I ask for an ocean of mercy for all the mistakes of my actions I hope that I can make my father/mother/grandmother happy and make my heart shine. And we are also thankful, so that my worship and prayer can be accepted in the presence of God. SWT and may Allah forgive us for all our mistakes."


Before I speak, I would like to say happy birthday to father/mother/grandfather/grandmother. I came to visit my father/mother/grandfather/grandmother. Hopefully all of that can make my father/mother/grandfather/grandmother feel better and make my heart and everything clear. And for the same we all also beg, may my worship and all be accepted by Allah SWT and may Allah forgive all our mistakes.