Blogs from Tana Toraja, Sulawesi, Indonesia, Asia - page 3


Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja July 14th 2011

After arranging for the bus to collect us from the hostel sometime between eight and nine, waking up at 7:55 wasn't the best start. But I managed to have time to get ready and have my last breakfast at Wisma Maria - homemade bread with homemade jam and smoothie - so good. The bus finally arrived to pick Hylke, Joszi and myself up just after nine and it looked alot more comfortable than the one we arrived on! Joszi forgot her mp3 player so after telling the driver she had left her passport he returned to the hostel. The bus gradually filled up with men, rice, rice and more men and after we asked them not to smoke it was a not very eventful 13hr trip to Tentena. The roads are in such a bad condition ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja July 12th 2011

This morning we slept through the 7am alarm waking up at 8am after a night of heavy rain. The plan was to take a scooter again to the village of Pallawa for the funeral ceremony but due to the rain and subsequent wet roads Meana wasn't confident driving so after breakfast we went in hunt of a bemo. In the end we took a bemo half way and then a jeep to the village. The jeep left when full and we were the first in so we had to wait about half an hour. They crammed as many people in as possible, two people in the one front seat so it made for an uncomfortable trip. It dropped so off just a short walk from the village and even though we were told to be there ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja July 9th 2011

Wow Indonesian people are so friendly! The first two days in Rantepao Meena and myself hired a scooter and set out to explore the outskirts of Rantepao. Firstly we headed south and visited Ke'te Kesu, a small village of traditional style houses, hanging graves, cave graves, rice paddies, collections of bones in open coffins with skulls placed to watch to goings and comings. It is a great example of how the Torajan people treat the dead like the living and shows their traditions have been the same for thousands of year. We then followed the road back towards Rantepao through rice paddies and amazing scenery to Karassik. Karassik is another town that has traditional houses and a great view over Rantepao. For lunch it was Mee Goreng, amazing. After trying to find out some information about ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja July 7th 2011

It was time to finally leave Malaysia after two month to discover Indonesia! So exciting, but i had a lot of traveling to do to get to my first destination Rantepao in Tana Toraja. Aiming for the 930am bus from Semporna i was told this bus no-longer left even though it was advertised, good start! But after asking around a bit more i found out there were mini buses that left when full so i headed for them and after waiting half an hour it was full enough to depart to my first stop Tawau. The two hour bus journey was bumpy, hot and uncomfortable, we got stopped my the police and the driver got a ticket and then one of the passengers wanted dropping off inside an army base so we got stopped by the ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja April 21st 2011

As you travel from Tentena to Rentapao you will notice a shift from Muslim to Christianity with some villages displaying a large Crucifix in their front yard as well as the symbolic Crucifix lining the streets. I wondered as I was sitting in the bus watching the crosses fly past one after another like a flicker in a film, how & why is religion so intoxicating & consuming to some? Why does religion have to mean fanaticism & absolutism? In 2005 there was unrest in Palu, Poso, Tentena and surrounding districts between the Muslims & Christians which, resulted in a hideous bomb attack in Palu on Christmas day killing 8 people coupled with a bomb attack in Tentena killing 22 people. Such occurrences attract negative press within our western media leaving us, westerners little understanding of ... read more
The tradtional House

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja February 26th 2011

The second day of a Torajan funeral ceremony. As we drove to the site of the funeral our guide explained to us that the site would have taken several weeks to prepare. It consisted of bamboo structures erected on stilts with colourful roofs over them, decorated with equally colourful drapes. They were arranged around a square area of rough earth. One structure was smaller and higher than the rest; this was where the coffin was displayed throughout the ceremony. All of this would be taken down after the funeral and used for firewood. When we arrived there were already lots of people there looking down from a pathway to the square area in the middle, they seemed to be enjoying what they were watching. We looked over and saw one buffalo on the floor taking ... read more
Soon after arriving this is the sight that greeted us!
After all the buffalo had been sacrificed.
While the food is served the palm leaves are removed.

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja February 24th 2011

After so much time snorkelling and lazing around on white sand beaches we were ready for a change. We took a bus heading northwards to an area in the South of Sulawesi called Tana Toraja. The area is high in the mountains with even higher mountains surrounding it. The temperature was a pleasant 26/28 degrees C - much cooler than the 40 degrees in Makassar. The nights are cool enough to sleep without a fan or air-con. This area is known for it's strange customs and funeral ceremonies. We booked ourselves into a pleasant little guest house with mountain views, then joined up with four other travellers and hired a car plus driver/ guide for two days to see the area and learn about their strange customs. On the first day we visited a traditional village, ... read more
Traditional Torajan Village
Traditional Torajan House

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja February 20th 2011

Sometimes in life, things just don't end up following the route expected of them. Of course, the problem with this statement lies in the expectation, as opposed to the thing itself. It is my view that a thing expects nothing of itself and that it would be a better world for all if we expected about as much from them ourselves. That "shit happens", is about as universal a truth as it is possible to find; yet how many of us blithely navigate our lives under the arrogant belief that "shit will not happen to me"? Or, worse still, that through my judicious ministrations I can almost certainly "prevent shit ever happening to me"? Unfortunately, as is proven in life by every disappointment suffered, no matter how trivial or catastrophic, we are unable, or more truthfully ... read more
An example of Torajan wealth
Young man at funeral
Tau Tau

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja January 23rd 2011

See text in English below 5 diciembre 2009 Era el último día que estábamos en Tana Toraja. Pensaba pasar el día tranquilo sin hacer nada especial antes de tomar un autobús nocturno que nos dejaba en el mismo aeropuerto de Makassar. Después de los intensos funerales tenía más ganas de hacer nada que de hacer algo. Si acaso por la tarde iría con un ocek a la cueva de Londa, que Astro no nos había enseñado porque tiene claustrofobia. Pero a media mañana nos llamó Astro y nos dijo que había una boda, y que podíamos ir si queríamos. Así que fuimos para allá. Yo no estaba muy convencido, pero Manon parecía encantada. Cuando llegamos ya se habían casado, ya habían salido de la iglesia, entrado en la casa paterna para cambiarse de ropa y vuelto ... read more
La boda --- The wedding
La boda --- The wedding
La boda --- The wedding

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja January 15th 2011

The text in English is after the one in Spanish 4 diciembre 2009 Hoy era seguramente el día más importante en el funeral. Aún así, había menos gente que el martes pasado, cuando llegaron la mayor parte de los invitados. Cuando llegamos al recinto funerario por la mañana ya había un cierto olor espeso que inundaba todo. Al mirar al suelo no había duda: era sangre. Aunque hoy era el gran día de los sacrificios, en este funeral del señor P. Kattu y la señora M. Tengan, había tantos búfalos para sacrificar, que empezaron un día antes. Por lo menos, se aseguraban así, que hubiera sitio en el suelo para que yacieran todos sin estar amontonados. El día anterior mataron 12, hoy aún no sabíamos. El método usado es muy simple, y muy efectivo si el ... read more
Búfalo esperando la muerte --- Buffalo waiting death

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