Food is Culture

My friend once said ‘food is the way to see the world’ and I couldn’t agree more. Everywhere you travel you try something different. Indonesia is famous for its Nasi Goreng, which translates to fried rice. However, if you look deeper you will find that each city has its own traditional dish and here in Makassar you can find many. Two of the most famous dishes from Makassar are mouth-watering soups, one of which is called Pallubasa. Pallubasa is a soup that makes you crave more just from the smell. It has chunks of tender buffalo stewed in a peppery soup with fried coconut. It’s so delicious it’s impossible not to order more. The most popular Pallubasa is on Jalan Serigala. The restaurant, like most, has aread more

Celebrating the Dead

Toraja has a very unique culture, as it focuses around death. People save their entire life for funerals because, for Torajans, it is a celebration of life. When a person dies it is their time to leave earth so they can enter heaven. This celebration can take place a week after someone has passed away or ten years after, meaning a body can be kept in one room for ten years before it’s buried. Families treat a dead body like it is still alive, but very sick, until they have enough money to hold a funeral. They lay the dead body in a room, fully dressed and continue to bring food and water to it, as an offering. This death culture may make the place seem grim and depressing but it is the complete opposite. When I first went to Toraja, with my friends, I had an experience that I wanted to share with everyone thatread more

Not just a Bike Ride

Last month I decided to go on a bike trip with our tour guide Sandy and one of our guests from Holland. I knew it would be fun, as Sandy loves exploring and is always on the hunt for new and interesting routes. We only had to drive fifteen minutes outside Makassar and we were in Barombong, a pleasant little village, set right by the sea. As soon as we stepped out the car, to start our bike ride, we were instantly hit with greetings from all the locals who were sat outside their houses. Some of them greeted us in Indonesian; ‘Selamat pagi’, which means ‘Good morning’ and others were keen to use the English they knew, especially three young boys that were playing around by a tree. They were full of laughter trying to use their English with us. It lifted my spirits up so high to see how welcome they made us feel, read more

Precious Forests

It’s such a great feeling walking along the path to registration not knowing what’s coming next. After driving for over an hour through countryside with amazing views of rice fields and, for a little part, driving off road you really feel like you’re in the center of village life, with nothing modern in sight. Now, in the middle of a forest with only tents to sleep in and local food to eat, everyone settles down for an evening full of music, friends and laughter. This happens once a year for an event called Musik Hutan. Musik Hutan stands for ‘music in the forest’ and around 500 people join every year. We love being surrounded by nature so we couldn’t be happierread more

The Day of Sacrifice

Idul Adha is the day of sacrifice. It is the holiest day for Muslims, as it is to commemorate when Abraham showed willingness to sacrifice his son to show his love for God. The first time I experienced this day, in Indonesia, I was driving back to Makassar after spending a weekend in the beautiful mountains of Malino. We were driving along a winding road and as we turned a corner my eyes shot directly to a dead cow laid across the side of the road. There was blood everywhere. It shocked me to say the least. Wondering why I had seen such a horrible sight I questioned further. I was told Muslims pay respect to God and help others by sacrificing animals, mainly cows but sometimes goats and sheep, and sharing the meat equally between themselves, their friends and the poor. It was hard to understand how it all related together until someone told me the story.read more