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Ondel-ondel: The Dancing Giant Puppets of Betawi

 

While the National Monument or Monas is the icon of the metropolitan city of  Jakarta, the icon of its indigenous “Betawi” people is undisputedly the 2,5 meters tall  giant puppets that are never absent from any celebration or folk fiesta: called the Ondel-ondel.  The term ondel-ondel itself refers to both the puppet as well as the performance.

 

The Ondel

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Lenso Dance: The attractive Handkerchief Dance of Minahasa

Just as any other ethnic group in Indonesia, the Minahasa region of North Sulawesi are a people blessed with abundant unique traditional cultural features. Aside from the Maengket Dance there is also another that is equally fascinating: The Lenso Dance. Sharing similar characteristics with the Minahasa, the dance is also found in Ambon and other parts of Maluku Province.

 

The world Lenso i

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Lenggang Nyai Dance: Jakarta's Elegant Dance fusing Betawi with Chinese culture

Beyond its modern and dynamic daily life as a metropolitan capital city, Jakarta still offers the authenticity of its indigenous Betawi culture. Aside from the vibrant performance of Ondel-ondel and the vigorous Pencak Silat martial art, the Betawi express the beauty of their culture through the art of Lenggang Nyai Dance.

 

Although it is a contemporarily created dance, the Lenggang Nyai d

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Sampek: the melodious strings of the Dayak

There is a proverb inscribed in the Dayak literature that says: ‘Tekuak Lawe’: “Sape’ benutah tulaang to’ awah” literally meaning that “the sounds of a Sampek can crush the bones of a wandering spirit”. This simply expresses the sheer mesmerizing attraction that radiates from the Sampek, the unique traditional musical instrument of the indigenous Day

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Nyepi: Bali’s New Year’s Day of Complete Silence

Every culture and religion in the world has its own way to define and celebrate the coming of the new year. While the Chinese have the Imlek celebration, the Muslims celebrate the first of Muharram, and the world in general celebrates the first of January, the Hindus of Bali welcome the New Year based on the traditional Saka Calendar with the ritual of Nyepi.  This year,  Nyepi , the day

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Sigofi Ngolo: The Ocean Cleansing Ritual of Jailolo Bay, Halmahera

Every year, for hundreds of years, the Sigofi Ngolo has been faithfully observed by the people of Jailolo Bay, in West Halmahera. A festival alive with vibrant decorations and rhythmic sounds, Sigofi Ngolo is a festival of honor to God, giving thanks for abundant crops, and becoming one with nature: all things on earth and under the sea. The ritual, though translated to mean ‘cleansing of th

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Pucak Penulisan Temple: A Megalithic Relic from the Early Bali Age

An island shrouded in magic and mystery, often referred to as The Island of the Gods, it has been said of Bali that there are more temples than homes. Perched at the summit of Mount Penulisan, 1,745 meters above sea level, Pucak Penulisan Temple is the highest temple in Bali, as well as the oldest.

 

More popularly known as Pura Tegeh Kahuripan, Penulisan Temple is located in the village of

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Sasadu: Traditional Gathering homes of the Sahu Tribe

Built by the indigenous Sahu tribe on Halmahera Island in North Maluku, Sasadu are spacious, yet simple houses formed from wood andpalm leaves. In the local dialect of West Halmahera, sasadu is translated to mean a gathering house. These ancestral homes can be found in the center of every village and can accommodate up to 500 people. They are used as a place for the village’s residents to ga

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Funeral Rites of the Dayak Maanyan in South Kalimantan

If the indigenous people of Bali have the grand ngaben cremation ceremony and the Toraja have elaborate funeral traditions, the Dayak Maanyan sub ethnic group who inhabit the Warukin Village, in Tabalong Regency, South Kalimantan also have extraordinary rituals to send the soul to the afterlife at its passing away.

 

The Dayak Maanyan inhabit the area that stretches across the border betwee

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Mandi Balimau Kasai Potang Mogang: The Self-purification Ceremony in Pelalawan

Indonesia is well known as a country rich in tradition and cultural customs that have been handed down for centuries, from generation to generation. Despite rapidly changing times, many traditions remain unchanged, strongly rooted to an age-old culture. One such example can be found in Pelalawan, a District in the Riau Province, which has as district capital Pangkalan Kerinci. Communities in this

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