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The country of Indonesia is a vast archipelago of about 18000 islands, most of which are uninhabited. Its six major islands are: Sumatra, Kalimantan (Borneo), Java, Irian Jaya, Sulawesi and Bali.

Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world with over 220 million Muslims. It is also home to a several dozen millions diverse minorities. The island of Bali is one of the most visited islands. It is mainly inhabited by Hindus and is one of the most famous tourist sites in the world, due to its magnificent hotels, beautiful beaches and spectacular sanctuary sites.

The different islands are like different worlds and each offers its own different sights and attractions. The geographical and ethnic diversity is great, and the many different minorities have influenced the ruling Muslim minority with their eastern cultures and beliefs. Some extremist, fanatical groups do exist, they mostly originate from the Aceh region in northern Sumatra.

Indonesia is situated on the Pacific ring of fire, an active geothermal area with i active and smoky volcanoes and occasional earthquakes.

Indonesia boasts many forests offering sightings of unique varieties of flora and fauna. It is an actual day paradise for zoologists and botanists.

Up until 1945, Indonesia was a Dutch colony often referred to as the Dutch East Indies. Since its independence, several areas, including Irian Jaya (in the western part of the island of Papua), have been seeking their own independence from this island country.

Traveling in Indonesia is a memorable and challenging experience and there is no limit to the time you can spend there, soaking up new experiences.

See for yourselves what a stunning place it is:

In the picture –the rice fields of Sumatra. Notice the different growth stages – the plowed fields, planted seeds and the sprouting plants.

 

 

Sumatra is one of very few places where orangutans can be viewed wild in nature.

 

Sending the dearest departed soul to its eternal resting place. Sumatra.

 

Muslim wedding in Sumatra. We were invited to join the festivities and taste the delicacies. We gave the couple a generous gift for their nupitals.

 

The Toraja’s houses are built in the shape of their boats. On the doorway bull’s horns are exhibited. The bulls were sacrificed for the passing of the family’s paternal figure.  Photo taken in Sulawesi

 

When one of the Toraja’s minority passes away and is buried, a doll in his image is created and positioned on a ledge so that he can view the living and watch over them.

The Toraja people sacrifice dozens of cattle when an important figure dies. They believe that the sacrificed animals will lead the deceased to a better place. Pigs (pictured in the market) are also often used as sacrifices for the departed soul.

 

As part of a burial ceremony, bull fights are also held. It often happens that an escaping bull tramples some of the onlookers.

Cock fights are illegal and yet often take place. Cocks are trained before the fight and many can be bought for this purpose in the marketplace.

 

 

The Dani people, a minority living in Irian Jaya, keep to their traditional lifestyle.

The Kotika is a hollow pumpkin used for different ceremonies.

 

 

We are on our way to visit the Dani people in the Baliam valley with the aid of 6 porters and one guide.

 

 

In the evening many smokey fires can be seen. The locals are preparing their main food staple- yams.

The Dani women are responsible for the housework and fieldwork. This work keeps them occupied from morning to night.

Jaipura is the site from which flights depart to Baliam village for a vist to the DANI people.

Drying fish.

Bali is famous for its tourist attractions, beautiful beaches and hindi temples.  The picture depicts a new temple opening ceremony.

 

A Hindi funeral for a dignitary. Hundred thousand people cram into the limited space. Water is sprayed to keep the viewers cool. Huge platforms were carried by hundreds. The ceremony lasted several hours after which the body was put inside a bull and burned. This ensures the departed soul is safe.

 

 

 

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