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:
Lake Toba at Balige’s harbor, Indonesia
Main road in Balige
Restaurant in Siantar
Riding by motorbike
With grandmothers, refugees of Mt. Sinabung eruption.
House in Balige with pond and water buffalo
Almost harvest time. Balige, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Students and staff of the HKBP Deaconess School for the year 2012-2013
Batak people make a special dish from the pig.
Hiking up Mt. Sibayak – Berastagi, Indonesia
Children refugees from eruption of Mt. Sinabung
Individual reflection time at the retreat.
Wedding in Sidamanik village
The view from my office. Door open every day.
Preaching in Medan.
Mincing the pork.
Rice offering and blessing at a wedding – Indonesia
Rainstorm, Pematangsiantar, Indonesia
field, near Balige, Indonesia
Wedding in Sidamanik village – Indonesia
Lake Toba, from Lumban Silintong, Balige
Church in Siboruon village
Scraping off the skin of pig, preparing to make saksang.
Sunday devotion with elderly group, village of Marihat Tiga, North Sumatra, Indonesia. May 2012.
House on Lake Toba
Batak funeral ritual
Market day in Balige
Parrents give blessing at daughter’s college graduation