Xmas in Jakarta

Old Dec 25th 2013, 3:41 am
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Default Xmas in Jakarta

Although Indonesia has the largest population of Muslims in the world, it is not an Islamic state. The country is secular and the government works on Pancasila (five moral principles). To this purpose nearly all the major religions are recognized and none more so than Christians. Judaism and atheist are excluded.
Every religious holiday is a joyful event in Indonesia and, generally, all religions participate with each other.
So Christmas is a big celebration in Indonesia, as I witnessed last night, through my extensive in-law relatives.

Most of the family went to their local churches around 8 o’clock to give prayers. Others, like me, assisted in cooking the vast array of food, pre-organized, at our own homes. My wife’s speciality was macaroni pie.....I carried the large dishes to the car.

At 10PM all the family (some 45 adults and kids) congregated in one members big house. The children were taken to a bedroom where they dressed as shepherds or fairies or angels or goat herders...much argument prevailed as to who was who. A couple of parents dressed as Mary and Joseph and the totally unrehearsed story of ‘Jesus found in the Manger’ began. It was scripted in Bahasa Indonesian but, as the lights were only candles, the kids couldn’t read their lines and it ended up being farcical and spontaneous. This led to ridiculous joy and laughter. A few of the more pious were slightly offended by the appearance of mirth to such a serious moment...the rest ROTFL.

One of the kids played keyboard so a few xmassy songs were attempted in Indonesian with myself singing in English...no-one noticed any disparity...seems like Xmas songs are the same the world over.

Next came the eating of all the delicacies that were on the table...I say eating....but the food went so fast it looked more like vacuuming.

It was near midnight so one of the church leaders led everyone into serious prayer and hymns...the kids all fidjeted and fiddled around because...they knew what was next on the agenda and couldn’t wait!

Yep! Santa came down the stairs with a helper with big bags of wrapped parcels. Each kid’s name was called and they received their presents but had to make a little speech...most just said Terimah Kasseh (thank you) but other little monkeys wanted to do gangnam dancing and sing K-pop.
Some adults also received gifts but they were not permitted the microphone...it is well known in Indonesia that if you give some an opportunity to speak or sing karaoka....it will never stop!

I brought a couple of bottles of chilled champagne so those that wanted to cheer Christmas the bule way had a glass...I had two.

It was now early morning Jakarta time, the kids were tired so the party broke and we all went home...another traditional Family Christmas in Indonesia was considered well blessed.

This poster would like to offer similar happy thoughts and blessings to all readers on this festive occasion.......no matter one's religion.
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Old Dec 25th 2013, 4:11 am
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Default Re: Xmas in Jakarta

That sounds great fun, Davita.
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