Javanese Wedding Customs
It's interesting to note there are more than 300 cultures and languages over here in Indonesia and needless to say, this has an enormous impact on marriage ceremonies. There are different types of wedding ceremonies in Indonesia and you can learn a great deal about the details in a Javanese wedding in Kasunanan Kraton since each custom is showcased on brass relief. There's this bit where both the bride and the bridegroom are sitting on the bride's father's lap, meaning that he loves them both equally. Well, this might be a mite of a problem if the old man has arthiritis, no?
The Jamu Lady
Everywhere in the streets of Solo, you'll see ladies peddling Jamu, traditional herbal drinks that practically cures everything. She's recognised by her bottles of brightly colored liquids in a a huge basket. Normally the medicinal drinks are prepared at the sellers home, and are sold house to house, so this means that her customers don't know the composition of the drinks!
Where: On the streets of Solo, near Pasar Gede
Here's a recipe for a really refreshing soda I tried in Solo. The lemongrass soda combines homemade lemongrass syrup with Fanta Ice-cream soda and a slice of fresh lime for a light but tart drink.
Recipe for Lemongrass Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 lemongrass stalks (core only), sliced
2 lemongrass stalks
1.Combine sugar, water, and sliced lemongrass core in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring to dissolve sugar.
2. Remove from heat and cool. Fill a jar with a few lemongrass stalks. Strain syrup into jar. Cover and keep in the refrigerator.
Taking a Ride on a Becak
Abang beca, abang beca di tengah jalan,
Cari muatan untuk mencari makan,
Putar putar, putar putar kaki mengayuh,
Pergi jauh teringat pun lalu jatuh,
Dari pagi hingga matahari terbenam,
Barat timur selatan serta utara,
Hujan panas tiada melintangi nya,
Abang beca, abang beca, abang beca,
(Indonesian song about Becak Drivers)
Instead of taking an ojek(motorcycle taxi) and spinning in mad circles in Solo, take a leaf from the Becak drive and take life in the slow lane. This 3 wheeled human-powered cab is the most common mode of transport here and trips cost around Rp 15,000(less than 1USD).
Shopping in Pasar Gede
No foodie's trip is complete without a trip to the local food market. Pasar Gede is such a place. You'll see all types of local produce there from thorny green durians to banana leaf packets of fried catfish served with rice and vegetables (pecel lele). While I was here, I bought hard to get items in Singapore such as "Kluwek" or the Indonesia Black Nut, Roasted Arabica Beans, Black Pepper and Spices. My excitement got the better of me and I neglected to ask if they had any Kopi Luwak ( That my dear reader, is the coffee that has been crapped out by the Asian Civet Cat ).
Click my travelogue to see more pictures.