Mini Guide to Indonesia

Weather

Like many other Southeast Asian countries, Indonesia has primarily two seasons: dry and rainy (as opposed to summer, spring, fall, and winter). It’s generally hot and humid, but if you plan to climb the mountains or explore the highlands, you should take a warm layer of clothing. The wet season runs from November to March, and dry from April to October.

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Food and Drinks

Due to the many foreign influences throughout the years, Indonesian food is quite diverse. There are several rice dishes such as the famous nasi goreng, noodle dishes, a selection of soups (do try sayur asam, a tamarind soup), and even jackfruit stew (gudeg). Fruit juices, coffee, and teas can be found anywhere, though the real popular drink is Bitang beer.

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Festivals

Funeral Rites in Tana Toraja

The Toraja people are famous for their unique burial rites. While they identify as Christians, in practice these rites are considered animists. When someone dies, the family may keep the body for years while they save for the funeral ceremony, called tomate. The festival can last up to a week, where ritual dances take place and buffalo and pigs are slaughtered to take the soul to the afterlife. The dead are placed in a tau tau effigy (mini wooden statue) and buried in a cave or hollowed tree.

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The World in Chili

Chili is one of those comforting fall dishes that just hits the spot on a cool, crisp day. A good bowl of chili is warm, spiced just right, and features enough protein to keep you full for ages. We can all agree on the merits of a bowl of chili, but for a lot of people, that’s where most agreements stop. There are so many different kinds of chili that are popular around the world — most centered in the United States, which has definitely become the world’s capital of chili.

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