Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Welcoming Dance in East Belitung
School children out to visit the boat to practice their English.
The internet is excellent today, yahoo!!!   On one of our tours we visited a school and had fun telling all the teenagers we were from Canada and we knew Justin Beiber!!!  There is Beiber Fever all over Indonesia, he is hugely popular.  Anyway after the tour was over one of the yachties suggested that it would be cool to show the kids our boats. About a 100 kids showed up,  24 yachties were sitting on the beach holding up their boat name signs and the kids came tearing down the beach to find us with matching pieces of paper, they piled in the dinghies and off we went, a mass of dinghies roaring away from the beach piled up with kids.  We had them on board for about an hour and tried to get them to speak English to us, they were very shy but we did get some information out of them.  We gave them Canadian flag patches to sew on their clothes!
Canadians celebrating Thanksgiving in Indonesia!

The picture of the guys on their horses was a very unusual experience.  This island is very close to Malaysia and the Chinese influence is also very prominent.  LUCK is huge here as well as the belief in demons.  This group got on their horses and called down their demons and then they rode the horses around, drank potions to get themselves into an altered state and then tried to exorcise the demons.  The exorcism consisted of being whipped, eating handfuls of hot chili peppers, and eating glass.  One fellow actually went a bit crazy and charged into the crowd, there was a very huge guy there to control the horse riders if they  were in danger of hurting themselves or other people.  Another fight with a demon was demonstrated by the fellow above.  He wrestled with his demon in form of a ghost. The ghost was a bunch of rattan fibers bound together covered in white material.  This fellow rolled around on the ground trying to break the rattan in half, you could see  the strain on his face and in the tenseness of his muscles.  He would wrestle with the ghost sometimes on top, sometimes underneath and  he would pull with all his might using his feet against the ghost as leverage. Every once in awhile he would stop and collapse and rest for awhile before resuming his mission.  This went on for quite awhile and he ended up with the ghost bent double.  We think he won so that would mean that he got rid of the demon and the village would have good luck for another year.  
  Update: The president is not coming so we do not have to move our boats 2 miles away from the beach, which if it came true we would all have left for Singapore.