It was my first time to Indonesia and that in the rainy season.
It turned out to have been a good choice, because it is less warm and there are not so many tourists.
The country has been on my list for a long time because my ancestors, like so many Dutch people, were born, worked and lived there.
It is a beautiful country with impressive nature and plantations. You can still find old crafts such as batik factories and the weaving mills.
I visited the rice fields and had the whole process explained to me. Now I dare not leave one single grain of rice on my plate.
Unfortunately, there were also some negative points such as the waste which is everywhere along the roadside and the many mosques which call their prayers loudly all at the same time.
Originally, Indonesia was a Hindu country; but it has changed, mainly in the areas I visited, to be more Islamist: Java, Lombok and Gili islands. However, Bali is still mostly Hindu. What I noticed is that all the religions live side by side in harmony and with respect.
The villages often have a village head leader and there is a strong feeling of community, no matter which religion. When roads are needed, they are made by everybody from that village. The children often go to school for five and a half days. On Saturday morning the Muslim children read the Koran and Sundays are often for cultural outings organized by the school to learn about their history of their country.
What I also noticed was that the schoolchildren speak English perfectly. 60% of the tourism is Dutch, so Dutch tourism often have guides who learned Dutch and in a single case still taught by their grandmother.
The dream of young men is to marry a European white girl and then to live in Indonesia and build something beautiful. The dream of the young women is to have a white skin and marry a European white man and settle in Europe. The whiter the children the better.
Everyone is happy with the current Islamic president Joko Widodo. He is strict but fair and tries to do something about the corruption in the country. Indonesia is the third most corrupt country in the world.
I knew that Indonesia was once a colony of the Netherlands. How was that possible? A country with now 260 million inhabitants and about 17000 islands and so far away. Already flying for 12, 13 hours. How long was that by boat all that time ago?
I do not have many stories this time because it struck me that the Indonesians have spiritualism in themselves. They breathe it out. They are still so close to nature and honour their ancestors continuously.
I found some beautiful wisdom, pictures and music.