Circumcision / Khitanan

According to Islamic customs in Indonesia, boys are circumcised (sunat or Khitan) while they are still young. The boys we know of who have gone through the ritual have been between 5 – 11 years old.

Across the alley from where we live, a young boy will be circumcised on this weekend. They are currently erecting a tent which covers the entire alley, and it extends for approximately 75 feet. Saturday there will be many hundreds of people coming and going. Loud music will be playing from morning (it started at 7:30 am) till late at night–with paid musicians and singers. Karaoke is also common, and anybody that wants to sing is welcome. And the volume of music…, this entire side of the city knows there’s a party going on! Since the stage is erected within 20 feet from our front door, our entire home is vibrating. I’m concerned that the windows won’t remain intact–it’s really that loud! But, that’s Indonesia–they love volume with their music, and they love lots of activity.

Several days prior to a Khitanan (circumcision celebration), invitations are hand delivered to neighbors, friends and relatives. Below is the outside and inside of the invitation to the Khitanan.

Front and back side of the circumcision celebration invitation card.

Inside the invitation card to the circumcision celebration.

Below is a video link we found of a typical Khitanan. The video also shows the friends, family, and neighbors that gather to join in on the celebration. Events like this always includes a traditional Indonesian meal.

WARNING FOR THOSE WHO DON’T LIKE BLOOD: The Below Video Shows the Actual Circumcision

The celebration this weekend will also include a “Cukuran.” That is a ritual in which a infant, 40 days old, will have their hair cut for the first time. The customs surrounding a Cukuran can be read on a previous post of ours by clicking this link.

Young girls are also commonly circumcised in Indonesia. The Population Council recorded that 96% of the families they surveyed in the City of Bandung said their daughters were circumcised.