Ramadan Quizzes & Sinetron

Aug 3rd, 2010, in IM Posts, by

The onslaught of Ramadan religiosity on television approaches; the mixture of consumerism and faith.


Farid Pribadi, a Sociologist at the Universitas Negeri Surabaya, writes in the "Ramadan Illusion on Television" that the upcoming fasting month of Ramadan is the season for television screens to be filled to bursting with religious themed soap operas, general entertainment shows, and even quizzes and sitcoms with an overtly Islamic theme, where the performers habitually wear Muslim and Arab dress.

Farid worries that the phenomenon of religious themed television, while ostensibly having the possible effect of deepening the spiritual meaningfulness of the fasting month, is too much mixed up with materialism and consumerism, and quotes the thinker Yasraf Amir Pilliang, who defined such things as post spirituality.

Farid in particular takes a dim view of Islamic themed quizzes and sitcoms; the former where viewers attempt to win prizes - often cash ones - by phoning in an answer to some question of religious significance, is a degradation of Ramadan and an insult to the poor; the latter being non-educational and often featuring insulting or nearly crude lines designed to get laughs.

Ultimately the problem of "post spirituality" in television is bound up with the capitalist nature of the medium, as television station owners are primarily guided by the profit motive, and hence will pander to the lowest common denonminator in order to win viewers, and make more money, he says. [1]


5 Comments on “Ramadan Quizzes & Sinetron”

  1. avatar Michel S. says:
    August 3rd, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Outside Ramadan, this religious-themed materialism is sadly ever-present as well. Preachers are springing up from various religious tradition — whether Christianity, Islam, or Buddhism — with their own form of the prosperity gospel and televangelism channel.

  2. avatar deta says:
    August 3rd, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Nice article, Patung… I mean David ;-)

    It’s very true that the media becomes a powerful tool to subconsciously drag people into consumerism by constantly spreading the misleading images and messages for the interest of the TV station owners and the goods producers. As a result, other than TV stations, department stores and FO owners are the ones who take advantages from the upcoming Ramadhan (and Natal for this matter) as people becoming more and more consumptive during this supposedly religious month. And I think it’s also because at present Iedul Fitri is no longer seen as a religious festive but evolve to some kinds of cultural festive which is worth the lavishness

  3. avatar realest says:
    August 3rd, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    the consumers watch ‘em, and the customers(consumers) are kings. that’s why they air preachy dull religious jargon in the wee hours of the morning – when nobody watches them :/

  4. avatar Hans says:
    August 4th, 2010 at 2:35 am

    Weird, it’s something I expect to Christmas and Easter,
    yes of course, have all their right to an opinion,
    but it is not enough that they themselves acquire a sad face down life

  5. avatar Dirk says:
    August 10th, 2010 at 12:36 am

    Religion is a source of big money. Look at the billions gained by the Departemen Agama : making huge profits out of the Haj. The departemen agama doesn’t get a lot of money out of the pilgrimage to Jerusalem by protestants and catholics, although local churches do make a nice profit.

    Instead of building mosques and churches, think about the money we could save for education and micro-loans to poor people.



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