New Year in Hometown

Happy New Year!

I am currently in my hometown, Singkawang, West Borneo, Indonesia. If you have never heard of it before, I can give some little facts. The population now is about 200,000 people with three major ethnics: Chinese (mostly Hakka), Malay, and Dayak (the native tribe of the island). Singkawang is famous for its Chinese cultural influence. Chinese food is widely available, and Chinese celebrations such as New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival are always looked forward to.

Mountain, rice field, and good food

People start their activities early in the morning here. Local markets selling fresh meat and vegetables are already crowded at 6 am. My mom usually gets some traditional snacks (kue), which I’ll show in my later post. Fresh soy milk and warm soybean custard (豆腐花) are available for less than US $0.50. So cheap and so good… That’s why I tend to gain some weight when I’m back home. Indonesians call it as ‘perbaikan gizi’ – nutrition replenishment. When I’m back home, my dad will get some durians. Durian is a tropical fruit with very pungent smell and thorny husk (Duri= thorn, Malay). It’s not really in season now, but there are some available in the market. People I know are either really crazy about it or hate it. Most Indonesians I know love it though, especially those who live abroad because durians are not always available fresh and usually very expensive. If you’ve never had it before, try it at least once in your life. I recommend to try the fruit itself before trying durian products such as ice cream and cake because sometimes they don’t taste that good. That way you can really say if you like it or hate it.

Local durian

People here also eat a lot of rice as most of Indonesians do. There were rice fields surrounding my house when I was little. There are still some now, but some have turned into houses and shops. With poor planning, the city development can turn out devastating. It’s rainy season right now, and flood is often times inevitable. I have just experienced flood in my house neighborhood. The water level is not that high; it’s just less than a feet. However, this has never happened before. I’m not sure how to resolve this either and if anyone cares about having more street gutters (which may require people sacrificing a portion of their lands). I hope people will before it’s too late.

Rice with Keribang (ubi family) and salty fish

“Be the change you want to see in the world”

– Mahatma Gandhi.

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