Now safely back in the UK I conclude my Indonesia blog with my overall impressions of this enchanted country. I have gathered my thoughts on varying elements and present them to in three sections: People culture, Tradition culture and Fashion culture.
Indonesians are one of the most laid back, polite and friendly people I have ever met. You don’t get a feeling of social hierarchy there. We met quite a lot of important people and yet they never made us feel like we owed them anything, or that we had to kiss their asses. The Indonesians don’t stare at you for being a foreigner. They show love. This might be because Indonesia has been occupied, invaded and visited (by the Dutch, Japanese, Arabs etc etc etc) so many times over the years, new cultures don’t phase them….Each culture that has come has left its mark without the Indonesians being resentful about it, be it in art, religion or whatever. One of our tour co-ordinators said that he spends he holidays travelling around the islands of Indonesia staying each night with a different family, who he doesn’t know, who invite him in. That’s pretty cool. Such is the people culture in Indonesia.
Tradition and heritage is alive and strong and celebrated. There is Batik everywhere. Both young and old people wear it and are inspired by it. There is a story behind each design and there are thousands of designs. That’s a lot of stories.
The food is……nothing like I’ve ever tasted before……If I were to describe Indonesian food using music, I would say it was like Aphex Twin……
There are also many other traditions which have been preserved and are practised on a daily basis whose product’s largely provide the domestic market such as wood carving, weaving and art using natural elements…like bones for example.
The "Singing Fish" dish and a worker at a weaving machine
Fashion isn’t really that “big” in Indonesia but it is growing. While we were there, people kept asking us how we could export Indonesian fashion to The West, for commercial reasons of course. Indonesian products might be too traditional for Western tastes how they stand but careful/sensitive collaboration between the two cultures can potentially create something beautiful. You would just need the right designer. And that’s where I come in.
Imran getting papped and a cool piece of Batik
I hope you have enjoyed my blog. I might start blogging properly now if/when I have interesting stuff to share.