Ravel of whistles, balloons, alcohol and pagan games – what kind of festival is this? This, my dears, is a jungle christian funeral.
Even if in jungle, this monkey is tied by his leg.
We had to go to Konut because this is the only place to see traditional Kalimantan houses. However, a common name for Indonesian culture seems to be revival. Because every time they have decided to modernize everything and teach the people of the forest live like civilized souls they’ve understood the importance of a tourist trap they’d miss and started rebuilding everything as thoroughly as possible. Dance, music, patterns and buildings have now become objects that have to remind the forgotten culture and carry it on in history. In Konut there’s one of the houses that have survived the different policies and has now, after renovation, been made suitable for living.
At first the idea of a house where all the people of the village lives seems a bit exotic. But when in Konut, where there are regular houses too and only one shed of ten flats on docks, we see that there’s not much exotic has survived. One simple terraced house, I think. Only the walls of the flats do not reach the roof so that if you wish you could throw an apple core into your neighbour’s room
If one kid runs, full house of 20 families is immediately awake.
The town itself is in chaos. The festival here seems to be the same as in the previous village, even the faces and merchants seem to be the same, but there’s people ranting on the streets, there were the gambling den and rooster fights should be taking place. Everybody wants to take a photo of us, everybody wants our attention, everybody’s yelling and touching. And our annoyance to the village increases with every second.
Me, the most interesting object.
Before long we understand what’s the cause of the chaos. Namely, someone from a Christian family has died and today there’s the funeral. People from the surrounding villages and towns have flocked, because death matters to everybody. The whole village is involved, and how: the children are sold whistles and balloons, ice cream and pop corn. Men drink alcohol and roll dices. The roosters are killing each other. At the same time about ten men, with their knees feeble, are carrying the coffin to the cemetery. Women, over crying each other, follow them.
It takes 16 uncoordinated men to carry one coffin.
Spending our first night in this traditional house and hearing all the steps made in flats around us we make a quick decision and leave Kalimantan villages and stardom behind us. We have only one dream: to be invisible and to be in silence.