Limbangan village's birthday

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November 27th 2007
Published: November 29th 2007
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In the parade..In the parade..In the parade..

the people from the conservation group all carried trees
I have visited quite a few places the past few weeks and haven't written about them yet,.. Kuala Lumpur, Bandung, Limbangan.., i think I'll put the photos in separate blogs now though as otherwise this one could be quite long...

This weekend I went to visit Widi's home village of Limbangan again. That's the village that we are trying to set up a conservation project in and they were having a big celebration for the village's birthday so a good opportunity to promote conservation to the villagers.

On Friday were the main celebrations, this started with a big parade through the village. The village chief and wife and a few other men from the village committee were dressing in traditional Javanese clothes and so the chief's wife took me to get ready with her. They did my hair and make up like a Javanese lady, including a lot of hairspray and hairpiece and dressed me in the traditional clothes. This made me even more of a focal point than just being white!! I felt a bit like a model doll, it was fun tho!
We then walked around the village ending at the mosque. Most of the theme for the celebrations were conservation and celebrating the forest and as part of the parade there was a mountain made out of forest produce and so at the mosque this was offered for the children too so there was a little mini scramble as everyone fought for the best bits!
Then was time for the feast, they lay loads of food out on banana leaves and everyone just helps themselves. Good job my stomach has pretty much got used to anything here now as prob not overly hygienic!
Then we had a little tree planting ceremony as part of the project we are trying to encourage everyone within the village to plant a tree.

Then in the evening there was a show. With a traditional band and singers and a mini puppet show. The village leaders also gave speeches about various things. So obviously I got mentioned quite a lot.. and also had to go up and speak about why I was there and what our plans for the conservation project are etc.. I think they just got generally excited that a bole (white person) has come to village so that in itself has raised the profile of conservation I think.

On Sat night there was another big show in the next village. This was a Wayang (traditional Indonesian puppet) show. The puppeteer tells the story in the highest level of Javanese, which most people I was with said they couldn't understand as it rarely gets used. Javanese is a v complicated language, it has five levels for use on diff occasions, one for use with animals, one for children, one for piers, one for strangers and one for respected elders.
The show was v impressive, it included a massive band/orchestra and singers. There was also a bit with a comedy duo and during this they made me come onto the stage and again say why I was there. The comedians had put the crowd in a good mood so there was quite a lot of cheering that I'd come to visit!

One of Widi's friends decided he wanted to take me on a little tour of the area so on sun morn we went for a little jalan-jalan on his motorbike. He took me to some home industries, a cave, some hot springs... and for lunch and some v nice ice, fruit, sugar drink thing!
The village chief and wife really wanted me to stay in their home while in Limbanagan so sun night I stayed with them. All this staying at diff people's houses is really not good for my health though, I’m getting fed so much food and am not allowed to be full, or not hungry....

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4th December 2007

Really enjoyed reading about your experiences in
Indonesia. Loved the photos too. Indonesia is such a special country. Pamela Sydney Australia

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