Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Independence Day

Independence day in Indonesia is unique. I think the main reason for this is that it is the primary non-religious holiday of the year. Therefore, everyone can celebrate together, regardless of who they are.
In preparation for the holiday (early August), everyone spruces up their yards, frontage, streets, etc. The flag is proudly displayed. Red and white is put up everywhere. And everyone here is proud.
Our yard is no exception. However, our flagpole had a branch hanging over its top. So, I had to climb a try to cut down that branch before we could put up our flag.

Traditionally, each neighborhood has a celebration with food and games. This year was a bit different because Independence Day coincides with the fast. So, we went to our language school to enjoy some I.D. activities.

First, we cooked fish. They broke us into groups and made it a cooking contest. So each group prepared a few fish by their recipe. As an afterthought, we added hush puppies to our fare. Here I am cooking those.
After cooking the fish, it was on to the games. These are all traditional Independence Day games here. One was a race to fan a balloon over a distance of about 30 ft. Elijah tried this one. It turned out that the wind was more of a factor than the contestants' skill. (It was an unusually windy day.)
Nathanael and Moriah tried carrying a marble in a spoon back and forth.
Here is my moment of victory in the 'putting a ball-point pen in a bottle' game. Not as easy as it looks. As you can see, the Indonesian spectators get excited.
Moriah and Nathanael also tried the kerupuk eating contest. Think of it as hanging a rice cake from a string at nose level and trying to eat it without using your hands (or drinking water for that matter). Moriah placed second because of her unique ability to grab the food with her lips and work it down into her mouth to get decent sized bites.

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