Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Hari Guru

Teacher's Day also PGRI. This took place the day after Thanksgiving. There were no classes instead we stood for a very long ceremony. The teachers were handed flowers a poem was read to salute them. It was about how if there wasn't any teachers there wouldn't be a president and other important people and so on. They sung in the ceremony and raised the flag. It was quite amusing for us all to see them doing what is usually the student's responsibilities. At the end a sign was unfolded and confetti was dropped and all the teachers were handed a rose.

      Then the games began. Well there was a long wait in between. But finally I saw one teacher wearing both a dress and pants go and adjust themselves and I was like oh female teachers are going to play soccer too. No. No. This was a cross-dressing soccer match between the male teachers and guys in different classes. They had fun with that, not only did they cross-dress but they had this musical chairs things going - so music would come on and they'd have to dance before beginning again.I think the students won both games - but who's counting.
I very much enjoy this picture of the teacher's dancing.

It's good he's wearing pants.
      Then the female teachers played musical chairs. Eventually they started playing dirty - sometimes ex-players would drag the chair away. Current players were instructed to make the dance circle bigger because they were all jockeying for the front space. Who won? Well I think it was actually an ex-player who just ran and sat in the chair when the music stopped.

      Next was bakiak race. I don't know if I've spelled that right but bakiak is the name of wooden sandals. The ones used in the race were long pieces on wood with 3 pairs of cloth straps. Sandals for 3 people! 3 teachers would get on and then race the other teams - equivalent to a 3 legged race basically. There was some falling down. It looked really fun actually. I'd want to try but this day was for the teachers.

      After this the games were basically over - some of the boys and teachers played more soccer. I headed to the local mall for wifi and got to skype with my family. It was Thanksgiving there - so I guess I gave them a pretty awesome thanksgiving present if I say so myself.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Indonesian Wedding

A few weekends ago I went to an Indonesian wedding. Yaaay. Now I've met a lot of family members but I had never met this one. But that's ok because neither had my two host sisters. And we still didn't meet her at the wedding.
Truly don't remember what was happening. Me being me I guess but at a wedding.
So that Friday I spent a while getting dressed. Weddings you have to dress up. I would say that I ended up middle fancy - there were some people there in jeans and others in long incredible gowns.
    The wedding was held in Taman Mini in a huge building. I guess we only went to the celebration part. The wedding was a huge room filled with food. The truest way to describe it. You walk in and sign the guest book handing over your envelope of money. I think its the norm to only give money as gifts for weddings. Then you roam and eat roam and eat. It was buffet style so you could wander over to the Dim Sum section of the Indonesian food section, the bread section, the dessert section. Sometimes my host parents would stop to talk to people they knew, otherwise it was like just eating.
Didn't try this. Feel like it had meat in it.

    The outfits though. The bride and groom were dressed in dazzling traditional wedding outfits. The bride had this headpiece with glitteryness and things dangling off. Their job the whole night was to stand there on display as different family members came to take pictures of them. They never sat. I never saw them eat. This was really 'It's all for our guests and family and the beauty of it wedding celebration'.

Some of the quests wore more traditional outifits too. I saw a couple of men with sword type things walking about. Or maybe just the case. My family was more modern - I guess. Well they didn't wear traditional outfits.
Not entirely pleased with this picture.  
Obviously I love Indonesian weddings now. You eat and look at cool outfits. My host sisters don't like to go often because they say you'll get fat. That's truth though.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Eid Ul Adha - Warning Within Text

Ok I'm adding a Pre Warning Warning too because the pictures are pictures and I don't want anyone to be surprised by how real they are (because they're pictures). But first cute picture:
He didn't survive the day. But very cute.
Finally November - just as it's over too. So the very first weekend I returned to my hmom's house in Bandung to celebrate Eid Ul Adha. I was there the whole weekend but this is just my explanation of the holiday which we celebrated on Sunday. The holiday comes from the part where God told Abraham to kill his son and Abraham was about to but then God was like 'Nope Test Kill this animal instead' and so he did. That is probably a gross summary but I hope it does it's job.
      They started off the holiday with a visit to the mosque. What I didn't know before was they have a family mosque on the grounds. Other people can visit too but wow that sounds really nice. I started off my holiday by eating. We ate, watched tv, all the family asked how my Bahasa Indonesia was (they still like to talk in English though so they can practice). Then the cow arrived.
      Eid Ul Adha's main celebration activity is the cutting of a cow and several goat's throats in representation of the son's life being saved and that animal's life being offered up instead.
Coming down from the house.

The whole family went outside as they felt like it. Caca and I went earlier to take pictures with all the goats and the cow. Caca had a goat there. Apparently it was purchased and raised for her and even named after her and this year was it's time to be sacrificed. It was cute and let me pet it.

      The atmosphere was not what I expected as you get ready to sacrifice 7 or so animals. Everyone was joking and laughing. One of the goats pulled out it's post and my hpapa did a dance around it trying to put it back in. Kids maybe 4-6 in age were there being afraid of the goats and running around.
Fair Warning: You might not want to read this if you don't want to hear about animals dying this way. And there's pictures too.
      Then it was time. The cow went first. It was quiet for this part or people would mutter a few prayers/prayer type statements. They made it lay down over the hole they dug for it's blood. They pushed back all the neck skin and then they cut it's throat. I always imagined it to be a quick process - like a gulliotine. The head would just be off and it would be dead. No. It was a long process, not one easy cut. And it didn't just die. It's blood spilled out and it could still moo for a while. After that it just looked around as it's heart beat out all the blood.

      Next came the goats. Because it would take a while for all of the cow's blood to drain out there was another hole for the goats. The goats were quicker and less noisy. As they were being killed  people started chatting again. The kids started roaming again. Some would go take close up looks at the cow.

When Caca's goat was sacrificied she was called so she could go and watch. After the goat's throats were cut  they'd move them to the side so it could finish dying. They would kick and move and I don't know - is it to stop dying? They're throats would be cut and their blood on the ground but they're feet would still be going crazy. Once they were finally dead they were hung up so they could cut them up for eating.

      Then we gradually went back up to the house again. Some people cut the animals up themselves I think but the workers did that for us too. As we went home we got a bag of cow meat and goat. The rest of the meat goes to those who cant afford it. Perhaps the homeless or orphans or someone. It's good to know that it's not wasteful.

The area where all this went down. View from the house is crazy. Only dark because you can't see anything if I made my camera normal.

It was so surreal. To Muslims it's a meaningful holiday - they do good they're feeding the hungry. To them it's holy, it has some greater meaning or purpose. To me, a non-Muslim the only way I can describe it is surreal. Life was just as usual afterwards. I can't really judge - that's not why I'm here. I haven't come to any big religious conclusions either. People will do a lot for their beliefs.
Host cousins. I like this photo. Sums up the holiday and the family dynamic for me

I am glad I got to experience it though.
(There are extra pictures from after on my tumblr Links on the side too.)