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