Today, 3 months after Norway celebrated its national day, Indonesia does the same.
The Dutch held Indonesia since sometime in the 17th century, and the Japanese from 1942-1945. Indonesia declared independence a few days before the Japanese capitulation at the end of WWII. Still, the Dutch held on tight and there were fighting and UN mitigation before they were self governed in 1949.
It’s been a long journey to the stability and peaceful nation Indonesia is to day. The first fair election of government happened in 1999, and Indonesia is now the third heavily populated democracy (253,6 million), and the worlds largest Muslim-majority (87,2 %) country in the world.
It’s easy to get the Muslim part as there are lots of women in hijab, the mosques starts their prayers at 05:00 and there are prayer mats to be seen. At the same time is there a lot more freedom to be had than in a lot of other Muslim governed states. There are no strict rule about alcohol, it seems. In more rural areas all the farmers brew their own wine. And all drink it; women and children included.
And there are more women without hijabs than with, here at Senggigi on Lombok.
We have also learned that there are at least six languages just here on Lombok that hold 3.8 million people. They have a common language for Indonesia to make communication possible, but do not understand the languages between them.
At today’s celebration of independent day, we saw …….(drum roll)……
There have been a few banners showing the national colors of red and white, but nothing more. All stores are open, the sales people at the beach carry on, the restaurants serve their food and all is normal. It was a little more people than normal on the beach this evening. Possible they got the afternoon of work or it may be normal for a Sunday.
And it looks like a pig sty after them. It is unbearable to see how the locals just throw garbage down around them. Seconds before these last lines are written a man at the neighboring table uses a napkin and just throws it on the floor. We saw it in the mountains, we see it in the streets and on the beach. OK, Indonesia is a developing country but one would think that keeping it decent around one self was more natural than this.
Another cultural thing that still baffles me is the use of “self whitening creams”. Where we westerners hold the sun brown skin in high esteem for both women and men, several of the Asian countries are into “the whiter the better”. So we have to be constantly aware when buying after sun lotion, so not to end up with one that takes away all those hours at the beach during the night.
But first, let me take a selfie:
And finally as we have posted few food pictures do we present: Grilled snapper fillet with fried rice and Lombok spicy sauce.