Hari Meugang part II (or Jess and Sarah’s Saturday Soiree)

As I was lying in bed last night it occurred to me that readers might not like pictures of cow heads. If you were grossed out by my last post, I apologise and can offer the explanation that 12 months of meat markets has dulled my sense of propriety.


You thought the meat market was exciting?! Well, the adventure had barely begun! We were on our way to a house and motorbike blessing! Two recently arrived AYADs were having their new house and motorbike blessed in their very cute village on the other side of town.


We arrived just in time to see the blessing of the motor bike. This old lady (from here on in called “the Ibu” which literally means “the mother”) from my friends’ kampong (village/neighbourhood) conducted the blessing and didn’t take crap from anyone…Not the busy body women standing next to her (who tried unsuccessfully to boss her around), or….
Ibu sprinkles rice over the bike (one of the many stages of a tradtional bike blessing)

Ibu sprinkles rice over the bike (one of the many stages of a traditional bike blessing which also included sticky rice, coconut milk, a flour/water combination etc)

The film crew. Look at the way she stares down the camera.
Ibu gives the camera a dirty look

Ibu gives the camera a dirty look

Yes, there was a film crew present. One of the girls was the subject of a documentary about the AYAD program and the arrival of the film crew cleverly fell in line with the house/bike blessing. The documentary will probably screen on Channel 10 (Australia) early next year.
Australian film crew

Australian film crew

After the bike was blessed the Ibu moved inside to bless the house which meant using a bunch of leaves/flowers to spray a mixture of flour and water over the walls, furniture, people.  (By then my camera ran out of batteries…) Then we all feasted on fruit and sticky rice and some truly sensational chicken cooked in coconut milk (that apparently takes many hours to prepare but I think it was worth the effort). Mum, dads, kids, aunties, Ibus all crammed inside the house and found some space on the floor to enjoy the food.

And in true Aceh style, they ate, they cleaned, they dispersed. Acehnese really know how to celebrate and really know how to get it over and done with. I love this so much. Jess and I were discussing how we might carry this practice back to Australia. Arrive at someone’s house for dinner at 8pm, eat at 8.30pm, finish food, gather dishes and wash them all at 8.45pm, out the door at 9pm. Efficient no?

Unfortunately the Australians bucked the trend and sat on the couch drinking coffee for four hours. Eventually, after all that relaxing, we headed off to the next plan for our day…massages and facials at the four star hotel, Hermes Palace. We had planned to do this around 11am, but by now it was 2.30pm and unsurprisingly, the spa was fully booked for the day….So we headed upstairs to the restaurant and ate burgers and fries by the pool. Not a bad compromise (and possibly as good for the soul).

The Jess and Sarah Saturday Soiree continued for many hours to come, but I have no photo evidence. So I will wait until I can get the photos from Jess to continue the story, which contained one of the greatest moments in Sarah’s Aceh experience…

2 thoughts on “Hari Meugang part II (or Jess and Sarah’s Saturday Soiree)

  1. Greg

    Whatever happened to AYAD Sarah Fortuna being interviewed all year for Australian TV? You haven’t got much time left to be documenataried.

  2. yvonne

    All I have to say is that there is posisbly wrong with me too because I saw the head and thought…COW! how nice. So for those readers who were offended…I have this to say: At least she didn’t show us pictures of the head skinned….a bloody head form with teeth smiling out for all to see.

    I wish that if I wanted to see this docu, I could turn to channel 10 on any tv anywhere in the world and it would sho wme the bike and house blessing. Wouldn’t THAT be a leap in technologythat I would appreciate!

    BTW, I think I just became your most frequent commenter only due to the fact that I stalk your blog and don’t email you (often). Huzzah!

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