Indonesian Independence Day!

Trip Start Jul 26, 2011
Trip End Jun 22, 2013

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Flag of Indonesia  , Java,
Friday, August 19, 2011

It was Indonesia's 66th anniversary of Independence on Wednesday, August 17th.  They became independent from the dutch at that time.  The story behind the flag is that when they finally won and got rid of the Dutch, they just ripped off the blue and left their flag red and white.  For those of you who don't know the dutch flag was red, white and blue stripped.  I felt that was a very interesting and monumental way to begin their Independence. 
At school on Tuesday the staff celebrates Indonesian style by competing in games.  I had no idea what I was in store for...but wow.  I laughed out loud.  They games were borderline inappropriate.  The first one started out to just be balancing a weaved basket on your head an racing to the finish line without it falling.  I got second place in that one!!!  So I figured that these Merdeka games are just like relays and races and it all seemed very normal.  Nope...just when I thought it was normal they brought out the eggplants and string.  Just wait for it...Yep so he began explaining the race.  You need to tie the string to the eggplant and then tie the eggplant around your waist so that the eggplant is hanging between you picture that for a minute.  Oh yeah...I am not done.  Then you will need to use your eggplant that is hanging between your legs to help roll a basketball down the gym floor.  So people were thrusting their hips to get the ball across the gym.  They whole gym was in hysterics!  Everyone was laughing...I am sure you can imagine.  I have a video of it so you can see for yourself.  Please check it out.  So many of the games had a sexual connotation to was all very innocent, but quite shocking.The actual day begins with an elaborate ceremony going on at the governor's house but what I found most interesting were the activities that happen in the neighborhoods.
While the solemn ceremonies are taking place, neighborhoods gear
up for fun and games for the kids. Krupuk (shrimp chips) eating
contests, bike decorating, games, races and lots of fun fill the day. The
women are busy in cooking contests to see who can make the biggest krupuk or the most delicious nasi tumpeng.
One of the most popular games is the Panjat Pinang. An Areca
palm trunk is erected in a public area and well greased with a mixture
of clay and oil. At the top are hung various prizes like bikes and TVs.
Whoever makes it to the top wins the prize. Needless to say there are a
lot of slippery, muddy kids and grownups alike climbing over each other
and struggling to reach the goal. A good time is had by all, especially
the crowd watching the gaiety.We tried to find neighborhood games going on, but apparently they are in the more remote villages outside of the city (I am guessing the "suburbs" of the city).  We are going to dig deeper next year.  I did find some pictures of these popular events to give you an idea.  It was a nice day off and an even better evening celebration with the staff!  Lots of laughs!
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dare on

so funny! :)

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