The tsunami that happened on 26 December 2004 is always celebrated by the people of Aceh, especially in the areas that has hit by the tsunami. Gampong Lamhasan, located in Peukan Bada subdistrict, Aceh Besar, is one of the areas which was severely damaged by the tsunami. The people of Gampong Lamhasan have their own way to celebrate the tsunami memorial ceremony.
The main difference of the Gampong Lamhasan ceremony than others is the celebration date. Unlike the others that celebrate at every 26 December each year, the people of Gampong Lamhasan celebrate it based on the Hijriyah (Islamic year) date. In Hijriyah year, the tsunami in Aceh happened on 14 Dzulqaidah 1425 H, meaning that the resident of Gampong Lamhasan celebrate the tsunami every 14 Dzulqaidah that is different in BC date. In this year, the ceremony of tsunami memorial in Gampong Lamhasan was held on 30 September 2012.
“We deliberately choose to celebrate the memorial based on the Hijriyah’s date because we agreed that it is more accurate than the BC’s date beside because we are Muslims.” said the Imam Meunasah (religion leader of the village) of Gampong Lamhasan, Tgk. Ishak (57), explaining the unique date to celebrate the tsunami memorial.
The ceremony itself is held at the Meunasah Gampong (village’s small mosque). There is a miniature ship made by the residents and it is put it in front of the Meunasah as a symbol of safety from the disaster. The ceremony is held in a one full day. In the morning, the people pray together at the Meunasah and then they eating together as the symbol of thanks to Allah that they are safe from the disaster. After that, they go home and wait to the night event, a religion speech from a famous orator that comes from various pesantren (Islamic school boarding).
The orator’s speech is about how to reflect the tsunami as a warning from God to not prioritizing the world life than the Hereafter and to be a better person in many aspects. “It is always an exciting moment to hear the religion speech because the way of the orator delivering his speech is very attractive. We love it!” stated one of the resident of Gampong Lamhasan, Hasanuddin (42), commenting about the religion speech event.
“This ceremony should be always be held considering that this is a big thing happened to us and also to inform our next generation that this tragedy is ever happened.” Mariati (34), stating about the necessity of this ceremony. Moreover, the Geuchik (leader of the village), Buchari MY (38), hoping that the ceremony can strengthen ties among its residents. “With all activities in memorializing the tsunami that happened 8 years ago, I personally hope that the bond of residents can be strengthened and the residents can reflect what the tsunami has taught us to get closer to God.”