Taman Mini Indonesia Indah

Today we took a P-Day and went to “Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park”.  Nining, a lady in Jakarta 2nd Ward (one of 2 Indonesian-speaking wards in Jakarta)  wanted to take us to this park and translate for us.  As a teacher, she was still off for Christmas break, so we went today.

Started in 1971, this park is 250 acres celebrating Indonesian culture, food, dress, beauty and architecture.  Indonesia is thousands of miles wide (wider than the US) and was put together in 1947 as a coalition of previously independent areas, countries and people.  Consequently, Indonesian provinces are VERY different in language, food, dress, dance, building styles, etc.  There are 17,000 islands here and over 750 dialects!  And Indonesians are VERY proud of their hometown or province – whether Central Java, South Kalimantan, Sulawesi, or on and on and on.  (There are food carts here in Jakarta that sell “Nasi Goreng Ayam Medan” (or Malang, or Surabaya, or Jogja, or any other city or village in Indonesia) which is “chicken fried rice like they make it Medan”).  Jakartans then, can basically find any of the food they grew up on.

Ok, so Taman Mini is a huge park featuring 31 different provinces of Indonesia.  While the title says “Mini”, these buildings are anything but miniature.  Each province has examples of community halls, places of worship, homes, etc.  In addition there are 20 some museums (technology, insects, telecommunications, transportation, etc., etc.).  There is no possible way to see it all in one day, so we picked a few provinces (East Sumatra, West Sumatra, Aceh, Papua, Bali) had lunch, went to the Komodo Dragon  Museum (it was air conditioned and we needed to cool off) and called it a day.

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Whenever we go anyplace where the public gathers, we are like rock starts.  I know that sounds funny and a little ridiculous (because it is!), but everyone wants their picture with the bule’s.  I honestly don’t know if it’s because it’s so unusual for them to see a white person, or they think we are rich or what (DeeAnn was asked once if she was a movie star), but Indonesians think nothing of stopping us and asking if they can take a ‘foto’ with us, or us with their kids. We take it in stride and have a good time with it!

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Waiting for the bus – more photo ops.
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The Province of Papua was most interesting
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Papua warrior getting ready for battle
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How could we NOT take a cheesy tourist picture? 
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So I bought this little hand-carved figurine – about 14″ high – for a whopping 200,000 Rp. ($15).  I’m sure in Papua it would cost maybe $5! 
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Papua kitchen with multiple fire pits
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Papuans (who are very dark-skinned) in a stand-up canoe.  
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DeeAnn and Sister Baird in the Komodo Museum – not because they were interested in Komodo Dragons, – but because they wanted to stand in front of the air conditioner!
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We finally made it to Bali
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Very distinctive Balinese architecture
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More Balinese architecture
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Taking a break
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Elevated house.  And yes, I climbed the stairs on the right!  No way would this ever have been allowed in the US.  

 

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Broken steps, broken hand rails, straight up – basically an accident waiting to happen.  But in keeping with Indonesian rules of common sense, ‘if you don’t think it’s safe, don’t climb it’.  The walkways over small ponds have no guard rails.  Same thing : ‘if you don’t want to fall in, stay away from the edge.  If you don’t want your kid to fall in, hold their hand.’    

 

 

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This was at the top of the stairs
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Looking down

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So we’er walking from the bus to Papua, and I hear “Hey Meester, where you from?”   ‘America’, I said.  “America?  Oh, I love America”! he says.  So I said ‘And I love Indonesia!’  “OK, OK !! Good”!! he says with this HUGE smile.  Great exchange!

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In the Bali area
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Still in Bali!
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Community lodge from Sulawesi – a family lives in the room behind each door and they share the common area
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Each door has a unique family design
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Example of a community hall in Sumatra where they hold weddings.  All around were displays of unique wedding dress for both men and women from each village within the province.   
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Elder and Sister Baird met this family who invited them to their home.  So typical of Indonesians!
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The bamboo floor requires you take your shoes off
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The lake in the middle of the park.  
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Examples of provincial pottery.  Another difference with the US – you can just pick these up and (potentially) drop them.  But, if you do, they hope you don’t.  
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Hundreds of families picnic around the lake

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On the tram with the Baird’s
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Lunch – can’t really tell, but we’re sitting on the floor – no chairs.  The Mie Ayam Goreng (fried noodle & chicken) was delicious!

Back to the office tomorrow!!!

 

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