During our last village trip, there was a huge church service and celebration to mark the end of the Christmas season. Everyone from all over the area was invited and there was a big potluck meal afterwards. Following that, there was batunjuk. This is a tradition from North Sulawesi that immigrants brought with them to our area, and the best way to describe it is a good old-fashioned hymn sing. Everyone sits in a circle inside the church and two people are chosen to start and are given flowers to hold. They choose the first song and as everyone sings they walk around the circle in opposite directions. When the song is over, the flowers are given to the person where they stop and those two new people pick the next song. This continues for several hours, sometimes even all night! The songs are chosen only from the old, traditional Christian songs that are rarely sung anymore, so it has a nostalgic feel to it. Even though they were old songs, it was encouraging to see people of all ages participating. Coffee, tea, and snacks are served and everyone relaxes and enjoys the singing; occasionally there’s dancing as well. I shot some video of the festivities to give you an idea of what it’s all about. The singing went on for hours and hours and hours . . . but it was great fun!
Monthly Archives: January 2013
Just after the start of 2013 we headed up to the village as a family to spend a little over a week in our new village house. It was an excellent trip: we met more of our neighbors, went to church and Sunday School, and generally learned a little more about life there. The church also hosted a special community-wide service to celebrate the end of the Christmas and New Year’s festivities. It wasn’t just a church service; afterwards there was a meal, singing, and then dancing (called dero) that went almost all night long.
This blog post is just a random sampling of some of our pictures from our time there. Later I’ll post again with some video and more information about the singing – it was interesting to see and participate in!
Kara and the girls enjoying the beach. A little rocky, but otherwise excellent:
Kids playing in a fishing boat by the shore.
Elizabeth LOVES exploring the beach and wading in to look for special rocks and shells.
Once everyone got over being shy, we had kids in our house nearly every afternoon:
Not the greatest picture, but here’s Elizabeth in Sunday School.
The inside of the church. For being in a village, it is quite a large church building and the community is very proud of it.
The church is on a hill, and this is a view from the front of the church looking back towards the beach and our house (not visible).
Some of the best (and freshest) fish ever. It may not look great to you, but don’t knock it until you try it! Here it is chopped up and prepped for frying.
The local sawmill. It was really nice to order wood for some shelves and to be able to pick out the lumber myself and have it cut to my specifications. This sawmill has to obtain government permission to cut trees, and they are given seedlings to replant in the areas where they chop down trees.
The kids playing in the field in front of our house:
Overturned canoes make great benches:
That’s it for now! Another blog post will be posted later about the singing tradition, batunjuk.