Depok (Indonesia) (AFP) – Every year ahead of the Muslim feast of sacrifice, a showroom in Indonesia swaps cars for hulking cows costing up to $25,000 each, seeking to lure a wealthy elite increasingly keen on ploughing money into celebrating their religion.
Salesgirls in tight outfits and heavy make-up accompany customers as they view the prime livestock that will be slaughtered at the Eid al-Adha festival, which falls on Sunday in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.
“They are the Lexus and Mercedes of the cattle world,” said salesgirl Desnia Yoshie, clutching a Samsung tablet displaying an online catalogue with details of the animals for sale.
The emergence of places like the “Mall of Sacrificial Animals”, as the showroom in Depok city on the outskirts of the capital Jakarta is known, comes against the backdrop of a sustained economic boom coupled with increasing piety among many of the country’s Muslims in recent years.
Far from eschewing religion as they get richer, the rapidly emerging middle class and increasingly wealthy elite are seeking to outdo each other with spending on their faith — from pricey religious offerings at major festivals to designer headscarves for women, observers say…