Medan Local Customs

  • The hall
    The hall
    by kenari
  • Local Customs
    by globetrott
  • Local Customs
    by globetrott

Most Recent Local Customs in Medan

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    not special without red hot chili (..ssss!)

    by missmarianne Updated Apr 24, 2010

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    when ordering food, do not chose the "special paket" unless you can stand a thick layer of red chilis on top of your dish. Better clarify if it is "pedas" (spicy) or not. you may try to say "aku ungga mau pedas" (I don't like spicy ..) plus some pointing skills to the menu heheheh

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    never ever hand money with your left hand..

    by missmarianne Written Apr 24, 2010

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    itu salah..

    means it is wrong.
    for some reason, they would know that you are not an indonesian (other than the looks) if you are making some payment and you used your left hand for handing over the money.. tsk, tsk, tsk.. expect a strange look from whoever sees you doing it that way.

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    "jangan" means not allowed..

    by missmarianne Updated Apr 24, 2010

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    This part of Indonesia is inlove with its native tongue.
    It is not a good idea to walk around the small city alone.
    Require yourself a guide or take a risk for the pleasure
    of adventure ahihih

    just to let you guys know.. when you hear the locals
    repeatedly utter the word "jangan" , figure out what it is
    that you are wanting to do that may not be allowed to their
    customs. Body language helps and maybe a few skills in charade heheheh ^_^

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    How to transport eggs & other goods

    by globetrott Updated May 18, 2009

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    Mofas are the main means of transportation of the local merchants and smaller shops in Medan and other towns of Indonesia and this is why you will see many interesting vehicles like the motorbike that is delivering fresh eggs in quite an unusual and funny way at least in the eyes of the tourists.

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    dress like a sultan in the Maimoon-palace

    by globetrott Written May 18, 2009

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    The Maimoon palace (Sultans Palace) is a great chance to dress like the sultan and/or his wife in authentic costumes. In the back of the palace there is a room with a large selection of costumes and there is a photographer, who will take photos of you dressed in these costumes at whatever place in the palace : in front of the throne or at the terrace etc.
    Charges are certainly quite low, but I did not ask for the price.

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    street-lamps

    by globetrott Updated May 18, 2009

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    Watch out for these great street-lamps, you will find them in many parts of the old part of Medan, I saw it for instance in the street, where the Tjong A. Fie Mansion is situated in the old chinese quarters of Medan, they obviously are dating back to the beginning of the 20th century.
    Another quite interesting lamp I saw inside of the big mosque, it has the shape of a lotus-flower - see it in my 3rd photo !

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    All inscriptions are in latin letters

    by globetrott Written May 18, 2009

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    It is really very helpful for the ordinary tourist, that all inscriptions in Indonesia are in latin letters, so you will be able to read street-names and directions etc. easily. In my photos : these seem to be advertisments that we saw, when passing by in the minibus. At first I had the feeling, these are made by colorful flowers, but now I rather think that this is some kind of plastic added that makes a 3-dimensional signpost.

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    SAMOSIR: SIGALE GALE DANCE

    by ancient_traveler Written May 8, 2009

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    Sigale Gale puppet

    Sigale Gale are Batak Puppet Boy make from wooden and to make it move like dancing Tor Tor follow the music Gondang using string and move depend to puppeter. Tortor Sigale Gale do in Batak ceremony when parent or somebody was dead and not have child (generation).

    Old time ago the ceremony called as Papurpur Sapata. And now Tor Tor Sigale Gale are dance and music ceremony for say welcome to tourist

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    when you pay a visit to indonesian house

    by kenari Written May 22, 2008
    The hall

    Well, please puntual ,i had opportunity to pay a visit to an ex -TNI General (army) house,well they expect us to arrive sharp at 7pm but we ittle bit late due to we lost .Don't interup when they talk ,dress nicely or you will look like their maid or gardener.the house is damn big ,

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    Use simple English

    by SLLiew Written Nov 23, 2007

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    If you have to use English, speak slowly and use textbook English phrases like...

    "I want to go to Lake Toba for 2 nights" and not

    "We are hoping to get out of town for a few nights, perhaps you can recommend us an itinerary which includes Lake Toba"

    The name of this shop caught my attention. I have heard of bakery and eatery but "cakery" for the first time in Medan.

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    Bahasa Indonesia

    by SLLiew Written Nov 23, 2007

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    If you know Malay, you will not have problem communicating with the locals.

    Bahasa Indonesia uses latin alphabets. There are differences in pronounciation, choice of words and spellings between Bahasa Indonesia and Bahasa Malaysia. It is just like UK English and American English.

    In Indonesia, you address someone older as "Pak" (short for father) or "Ibu". In Malaysia, it is "Tuan" or "Puan". In Malaysia, a car park is called "Tempat Letak Kereta" (a place to put your car literally". In Indonesia, it is "parkir".

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    Batak Ulos

    by SLLiew Written Nov 23, 2007

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    Batak Ulos is a traditional ceremonial shawl worn by both men and women.

    This beautiful shawl woven in different design is colorful and of importance significance.

    It is long and folded by width twice and placed equally on both sides over your shoulder.

    Wearing a lighter color clothes will bring out the brilliant colors of your ulos.

    As the saying goes, when in Medan, wear a ulos....

    At the Convention, the ulos was sold at 50,000 rupiahs or 20 ringgit (less than 6USD).

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    Tor Tor Dance

    by SLLiew Written Nov 23, 2007

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    This is a popular Batak dance to welcome visitors.

    The steps are simpler and holding the palms together and moving is up and down. Then later palms apart and blessing over the dancer's head.

    It is a common practise to give a RM1000 rupiah into the hands of the welcoming host and hostess as a symbol of returning your goodwill and belessings.

    We had a lot of fun doing the tor tor dance during the welcoming dinner night of our convention.

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    Multi-cultural Medan

    by SLLiew Written Nov 23, 2007

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    Local Chinese, look like Penangites

    In Medan, you can see mosques, churches, Chinese temples and Indian temples.

    This is a reflection of the diversity of cultures and ethnic groups in Medan city.

    Medan (meaning "battlefield "in Malay) was said to be fought between the Aceh sultanate and Deli sultanate. Later the Dutch arrived and set up tobacco plantation and got migrant laborers.

    The local Bataks were said to be "head hunters" before. Today, they are mainly Christians and there are many beautiful Batak songs and wonderful Batak dances.

    The earlier Chinese migrants were Hakka (Kejiaren) and later supplanted by the Hokkien (Fujianese) from Penang island.

    You can hear the local Chinese speaking Hokkien dialect which is identical to that of Penang version with similar food like "Char Koay Teow".

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    President of Indonesia

    by SLLiew Written Nov 23, 2007

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    Indonesia is the 4th populous country in the world with the largest Muslim population. It has a secular constitution, a republic with an elected parliament and a President. Indonesia declared independence and waged a war against Dutch in 1945 - her former colonial master.

    So my camera caught the photo displayed in one of the hotel rooms of the current Indonesian President Susilo Bamban Yudhoyono.

    Previous Presidents were Sukarno, Suharto and followed by elected Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, Abdurrahman Wahid, the daughter or Sukarno - Megawati Sukarnoputri.

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