Indonesians Go Home, By the Millions

September 6, 2010

Author: Norimitsu Onishi

Source: The New York Times

The exodus happens every year.

During the last days of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, tens of millions of Indonesians leave the country’s cities to return to their villages by motorcycle, train, bus and boat.

The mass homecoming is both a decidedly Indonesian interpretation of the Muslim holiday and one of the world’s great movements of people. On a road network whose capacity is strained at the best of times, travelers brave enormous jams, exhaustion and bandits to make it back home. Hundreds perish on the road each year.