Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Interesting Cultural Tidbits

Notice the rope through their noses then tied to the truck.........nice!

Ahhhhhh, Unit Seven!! One thing that is very interesting is that we get to read and discuss newspaper articles that deal with Macchiato beliefs and also we get to interview our Pelatihs and other people about any topic we want in regards to their beliefs. Here are a few nuggets of info you might find interesting. Now keep in mind that not every person here believes this but MANY do. Kind of like saying American hotels often avoid having a 13th floor but not all Americans believe the number 13 is bad. (By the way...who are they trying to trick by not having a "13th" floor and just going to the 14th? It doesn't change the fact that the 14th floor is actually the 13th!! Craziness!!)

Over here there are several foods that are forbidden for women to eat while pregnant. First, you can't eat two bananas at one time or you will have twins (is that really bad?). You shouldn't drink hot sauce from the bottle or your child will be born with thick lips (think bad botox). If you eat chicken feet and claws your child's handwriting will look like "chicken scratch"! (love that one!) You can't eat turtle or your child will be slow (really though, who wants to eat turtle?), if you are angry with someone while pregnant you run the risk of your child looking like the person you are mad at (truly a scary thought!)! While this seems hysterical to me and believe me, we have created A LOT of humor from this article, it is sobering to remember that things like this keep people over here in bondage from fear.

There is a beach on this island were you are warned to not wear green because the "Queen of the Sea" who drowned there thousands of years ago will pull you under and you will die....and believe me, most will not wear green anything there!

Now, onto my "wawancara saya", my interviews. Since I currently have one of my favorite Pelatih's and he is getting married this weekend I have been asking a lot of questions about women and marriage. I found out this week that there is a "temporary marriage" that can be arranged here by contract. A contract that is not recognized our authorized by the government but used none the less. Here is how it works: A rich foreigner, usually a man, comes over here to work but leaves his wife and family behind in his home country. While here he decides he needs a wife so he sets up a contract marriage that is only valid for the prescribed amount of time that he is working in country then it is immediately dissolved upon his return home! Sometimes at the end of the contract the woman is paid a large amount of money and that is that. Often times the woman does not have a "good contract" and will "live the good life" until the contract is over and then she is left with nothing but whatever children might have been born and trying to figure out a way to provide food, shelter and school for them. I have to say, I was appalled at this practice. Too tired to go into a long rant but I think it is obvious how wrong this is on so many levels!

So we have had our eyes opened to an even bigger picture of how great the need is here for the CEO. Reminded again how superstitions, taboos, and fears surrounding everyday life occurrences keep them blinded from the truth and kept from experiencing true freedom.

I'll close with his last one, if a cicak (a gecko) falls from the ceiling and lands on your head or shoulder it means one of your family members is going to die soon. So really, who was the first guy to come up with that? Like did one land on him and then Grandpa died the next day so he is now sure that it was because the lizard fell? How do you reason that out in your head? What makes you connect those random dots? And what prompted someone to spread that after he heard it? So many questions and so little answers!!

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