Indonesia, a republic in SE Asia, has a population of about 250 million. Spread over an archipelago consisting of more than 17,500 islands stretching a distance of 3,400 miles along the equator, it is the world’s 4th most populous nation and the 3rd largest democracy.
There are more than 300 distinct languages and ethnic groups in Indonesia. Bahasa Indonesia is the official language and lingua franca. The official motto is Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, which means “unity in diversity.”
From April 2012 to July 2014 I lived and worked in Indonesia. Here is a collection of sights and sounds about life among the ethnic Batak people in North Sumatra, Indonesia:
Children refugees from eruption of Mt. Sinabung
With grandmothers, refugees of Mt. Sinabung eruption.
Batak people make a special dish from the pig.
The view from my office. Door open every day.
Mincing the pork.
Preaching in Medan.
Church in Siboruon village
House on Lake Toba
Wedding in Sidamanik village – Indonesia
Rice offering and blessing at a wedding – Indonesia
Rainstorm, Pematangsiantar, Indonesia
Lake Toba, from Lumban Silintong, Balige
Lake Toba at Balige’s harbor, Indonesia
House in Balige with pond and water buffalo
Almost harvest time. Balige, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Main road in Balige
Students and staff of the HKBP Deaconess School for the year 2012-2013
Individual reflection time at the retreat.
Riding by motorbike
Restaurant in Siantar
Scraping off the skin of pig, preparing to make saksang.
field, near Balige, Indonesia
Parrents give blessing at daughter’s college graduation
Hiking up Mt. Sibayak – Berastagi, Indonesia
Batak funeral ritual
Wedding in Sidamanik village
Sunday devotion with elderly group, village of Marihat Tiga, North Sumatra, Indonesia. May 2012.
Market day in Balige