Going to Indonesia? Prepare yourself for a challenge!

I originally wrote this blog post for my friends from TidakPedas, and since I am back to Europe for a little while now and intensively thinking back of my time as a Darmasiswa student in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, I re-post it, because every word I wrote is true!!! hehe… from my experience of course! … unless you’ve traveled to Indonesia recently, and know what to expect, this country for sure is going to take you out of your comfort zone! And that is a good thing! Pay attention to the details and observe yourself: does it surprise you? Does it shock you? Does it annoy you? How do you usually do those things? How would you do them differently?… These are good questions to ask yourself in the beginning and you’ll be surprised to notice that while comparing Indonesia to your own culture, you face your own concealed judgments and prejudices … Continue reading

nature

Nature vs Humanity

I am living in Indonesia for almost 8 months now and during this time I had the chance to connect more and more with nature. I live in an urban area, the Special District of Yogyakarta, but in an area where rice fields are reachable in a 5 minutes walk. Actually, Indonesian houses, even in the cities, used to be surrounded by a lot of nature, having each their own jackfruit, banana, mango trees and maybe a small rice field hidden in the back of the house. But now things are changing. Concrete is making its way in every neighborhood for facilitating transportation, primarily by motorbikes, and people have started selling their land to support their urban lifestyle which requires owning a car and a motorbike.. or several motorbikes, one for which member of the family. I am not saying that urban development is good or bad, what I am … Continue reading

Batik: fabled cloth of Java

My Indonesian experience so far enriched me so much! I am grateful to be living here in Java, Indonesia and to study from professionals the amazing UNESCO certified Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity certified Indonesian textile art, batik. It was one of my dreams to study art formally and this art form is so beautiful and it suits me so much. Besides the technique itself which has its challenges, batik is an art so full of philosophical meaning! Each type of batik says a story. Batik is a textile art based on the technique of decorating and (repeatedly) dyeing a fabric by using removable wax to save the parts of the fabric that are not intended to be dyed. Batik is centuries old and the diversity of patterns, motifs and colors used stand as a proof for the cultural diversity that can be found in Indonesia itself … Continue reading

The Durian fruit: a love story

My love story with durian didn’t start off so passionately from the beginning … I was warned that one either loves it or hates it. Still, the rule is this: you have to try it three times before you can be sure of your feelings toward it.  At first I found the smell to be a bit disgusting (just to have an idea, some people describe as “the smell of a very dirty toilet”) and the taste not so special. But as I gave it more chances I finally fell in love with it. I observed with surprise how my senses changed their perception: the smell is one of the best, delicate and distinct perfumes  in the world, the consistency and taste are comparable to one of the most delicious artisan Italian gelato you could find out there! And yes, it is all natural! And it doesn’t stop here! Durian … Continue reading

5 months after. Beyond all good or bad there is a space: Indonesia

Just a couple of days after my 5 months anniversary of my Indonesian experience. These months have been really, really intense! I was eager to start my Asian adventure and I was expecting a huge cultural shock, which actually happened (it always does when traveling)! On one hand, landing in the airport in Jakarta, I felt immediately extremely familiar to these people here, on the other hand, their behavior and reactions are different… Indonesia is a fascinating destination and I wasn’t ready for it, at all! Well, I believe it is hard to be totally prepared for another culture, there will always be things that will get you out of the comfort zone … Which is actually good! It is great to be out of your comfort zone because this is when u grow! And that is what I am experiencing: I am growing and I am becoming stronger! I … Continue reading