Hari Besar (Big Days) in Yogyakarta


Holidays in Indonesia are sometimes called Hari Besar, which means Big Day, or even Hari Merah, Red Day because they are red on the calendar. So how does a western person celebrate western holidays here?

Canadian Thanksgiving 2001

Canadian Thanksgiving - jpg - 39242 Bytes

We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving October 8. Our Yogya SALTer Heidi Paetkau from Canada was the excuse, and Donna Runnals from McGill U. was happy to come as well. We had labu pie, pretty much like pumpkin, to go with the roast chicken and mashed potatoes, among other things. Also pictured are Pak Kris and Joanne Brown. We were supposed to be staying home due to threats from Muslim extremists to remove all Americans from the country in response to the American bombing of Afghanistan. While we were eating a dozen police officers arrived and set a 24 hour guard on us based in the empty house next door. They haven't left as of October 20 when I'm writing this.

Christmas 2000

Duane with the Advent wreath. - jpg - 13737 Bytes

We returned to Yogya from a week-long vacation on Lombok December 23. So no getting ready for Christmas had happened except for Advent worship planning at the Yogyakarta International Congregation. Christmas Eve was Sunday, so we went to church at Yogya GKMI at 8:00 A.M., then at 5:00 the International Congregation had its service of lessons and carols. After church we went out to dinner with Ron and Sally Jo Milne, newly arrived leaders of the Goshen College SST group which arrives soon. Christmas Day began when my secretary called at 5:45 A.M. to wish us merry Christmas. Then came GKMI worship, including communion, baptism and dedication of infants, starting at 8:00 A.M. Home again we decorated for Christmas, took pictures of each other and thought about baking cookies. The cookies didn't get baked.

Putting up the bamboo nativity set. jpg - 18490 BytesNativity set. - jpg - 11280 Bytes

Cookie baking did happen later in the week, at least we made peppernuts. The recipe was bigger than we remembered, as always. On Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) we had our helpers Tari and Kris and their daughter Siti over for dinner. Since Tari and Kris wore clothes made out of cloth we brought from Papua, Duane put his shirt on too.

Duane cutting peppernuts. - jpg - 13894 BytesClare Ann baking the peppernuts. - jpg - 12970 BytesPak Kris, Mbak Siti, Ibu Tari and Clare Ann at Boxing Day dinner. - jpg - 18405 BytesTari, Kris and Duane wearing the clothes from the same Papuan cloth. - jpg - 20286 Bytes

Two days later we went to their house for dinner and then on to the all-night Kesenian Kuda Lémpéng dance in their kampong.

Dinner at Ibu Tari and Pak Kris' house. Tari's mother is in the doorway. - jpg - 24338 Bytes

Thanksgiving 2000

Thanksgiving dinner with (l-r) Tari, Lidia, Lilik, Kris, Gayle and Clare Ann - jpg - 19691 BytesThanksgiving dinner - jpg - 19691 Bytes

We had company for Thanksgiving dinner. Lidia, a former MCC IVEPer, Lilik from the Jakarta office and Gayle Zacharias from Canada joined us. We could maybe have had a turkey, for the price of going to a fancy restaurant, but chose three chickens for the honor instead. Clare Ann has figured out how to turn out proper pumpkin pie from local labu and Ibu Tari is about ready to solo on pie. Clare Ann and Ibu Tari made the meal while the others went to Borobudur. Duane taught a class before dinner.

Our 30th Wedding Anniversary

Duane and Clare Ann on their 30th wedding anniversary - jpg - 26760 Bytes

Certainly a big day worthy of a trip to a tropical island. But what to do when you live on one? We decided to be tourists in Yogyakarta, the #2 tourist destination in Indonesia after Bali (where we were three weeks ago). So we went to see the Kraton (the Sultan's Palace), to batik and silver factories, and took pictures of each other.

Duane eating Mexican dip - jpg - 26579 Bytes Clare Ann serving up chocolate mint chip ice cream on chocolate brownies - jpg - 28670 Bytes

Special food at home included Mexican chip dip on real imported tortilla chips, and chocolate brownies with Baskin Robbins chocolate mint chip ice cream. This was to remind us of our chocolate wedding cake with green mint frosting. Then Clare Ann packed to leave for Jakarta in the morning.

Christmas 1999

The churchly side was full enough. Our Indonesian church had three lengthy programs.
At one of the Christmas programs in 1999 Duane joined the men's choir - jpg - 30257 Bytes We sang Silent Night in English and German at one of the services. - jpg - 18551 Bytes Duane sang in the men's choir and Clare Ann played piano for them.(Duane is standing on the floor and the others are up one to three steps.) Then we sang Silent Night as a duet with guitar. Duane preached and Clare Ann led worship at the December 26 Christmas celebration of the Yogyakarta International Congregation, our English-speaking church. Christmas also requires cookies. We had managed to get most of the ingredients for peppernuts and the frosted sugar cookies we needed most. Those went pretty well, with the usual problem of having too many cookies. Notice that the original stove and oven box have been replaced. Our cooking is oven-dependent.
peppernuts - jpg - 14868 Bytessugar cookies - jpg - 21442 Bytesbaking - jpg - 23773 Bytes
We did Christmas breakfast the same as usual with wreath bread (missing the almond extract but not bad with fresh orange instead). We had used the advent Bible readings and candles through advent as usual.
breakfast - jpg - 33449 Bytescandles - jpg - 25350 Bytes
Christmas afternoon we first change a tire, then check the dirt road to the house for nails again. Found a few.
tire - jpg - 18719 Bytesnails - jpg - 26860 Bytes
Then it's time to do the Christmas cards that actually get mailed, and eat chocolate almond candy.
hb9.jpg - 24021 Bytescards - jpg - 20474 Bytes
To finish the day in fine style Duane comes down with the flu. Fortunately it's just the achy kind.
Flu - jpg - 24866 Bytes

Thanksgiving 1999

We ate the Thanksgiving meal with Dwight and Kathy King at their house. The turkey was a large chicken. We had actual cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes.
Thanksgiving - jpg - 36052 Bytes


Last modified October 20, 2001. Prepared by Duane Ruth-Heffelbower.

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