Mini Guide to Indonesia

Baliem Valley Festival

The Papua people Baliem Valley Festival takes place in August and it’s a mock war between local tribes as they believe it brings fertility and prosperity. 20 tribes of 30 to 50 warriors wear traditional clothing and dance to Papua music, called Piton, play local games, and even enjoy pig racing.

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Pasola War Ritual

The Pasola is an Indonesian Jousting Festival. It usually takes place in February or March on the Sumba Island in East Nusa Tenggara. During the tournament, opposing teams try to unseat the opponents off their horses using blunt spears. It’s thought that the “war” was invented to dispute settlements in a peaceful way.

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People and Culture

It’s hard to define Indonesian culture as one that encompasses the entire country given how diverse the population is; however, they all share a palpable spirituality and it’s important to respect their religious beliefs. The people are friendly and polite, and like other Asian countries, shoes should be left outside temples and houses, and food is eaten with the right hand. It’s also not OK to point at someone with a finger, and it’s best to use a thumb or an open palm. Lastly, standing with arms crossed or on the hips is a sign of anger and hostility.

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