Thursday, July 25, 2013

Spice Girl Caravan To Indonesia

When conversing about Indonesia, all I used to think of was their never-ending societal telenovela or the increasing number of legal and undercover immigrants swarming Malaysia year by year. Indonesia's hard knock life has compelled many of the younger generation to places like Malaysia and Singapore in search of a better life - or at least better pay. For a long time, I was unaware that Indonesia really does have a lot to offer.

Apart from great Indonesian singers who have made it into my local scene, I know nothing much about the country. My mom once told me an Indonesian tale about a woman whose beauty was like no other, but it was a curse to her. She was raped then gave birth to a son. Not wanting her son to be ostracized for his origins, which would give him low cultural status, she left him at a Buddhist temple right after he was born. She regularly visited and watched him from afar, while he grew up to be a great sculptor. 

One day, she introduced herself to him. The son had never seen a woman, much less one with such ageless beauty, so he fell hard for her. He refused to believe she was his mother. She tried repeatedly to convince him, but had no proof. She finally satisfied him by promising that if he could carve 100 statues between sunrise and sundown, she would marry him. Otherwise, he had to accept the truth of her contention and let her go in peace.

The next morning, he took up the challenge. Since sculpting was what he did best, the goal was attainable. The woman had faith that God would not let such madness come to fruition. Just before sundown, he finished his 100th statue, then turned away knocking it down accidently with his robe. It crashed to the ground along with the hope of his heart. That was the last he saw of her, but it was the beginning of the fine Borobudur temple. Rumour has it that unmarried couples should not visit this place together, otherwise the relationship will not last. That is why rumours are called rumours and myth is myth.

Linda Mazlan is a travel writer who enjoys meeting local people and learning about local culture. She has traveled to a slew of countries in Europe, a few in Asia, and will soon go to Australia. This burqa babe is living proof that when someone else (like the Taliban or Vogue Magazine) instructs you what to wear, that is oppression, but when you decide, that is fashion.


  1. A fascinating story about the temple!

  2. yeah, well diff culture would hv told it differently i guess. But thts wht ive been told. yet, many unmarried couples visit the temple each year. myths are fascinating