In most Malay communities (e.g., Bukit Lawang) the funeral ceremony lasts for 7 nights. The apem sungkit cake is usually served as a main course on the third day of the weeklong funeral ceremony.
This tradition has existed for a very long time. Usually, women participants, such as mothers, sisters, and wives, will prepare the apem
sungkit cake together to be served on the third day. In actuality, food items such as apem sungkit cakes are served as thanks
to all those who have helped and shared during the grieving period. In addition to the apem sungkit cakes, the grieving family will usually serve simple meals for attending guests.
Usually, in the Indonesian Malay community in times of grieving, neighbors, family and/or friends will contribute rice, money, energy and
time to help the grieving family.