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".
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).
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.
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".
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.
This is a very colourful way how they adverstise the going -on at the hotels, etc.
like food fair, food festivals, some performances etc
In Malaysia they have it in a fabric banner, or a solid large board with neon lights. Here it is really long and huge, and ultra colourful!!!
We were sitting around waiting for our bowls of bamie at the Hock Sing shop, and then all of a sudden a man came around our table, carrying lots of imported magazines and he started displaying it in front of us. we just stared blank at the magazines, dared not touch them, and look at the poor bloke still carrying loads of other magazines. For me, there was fashion magazines - becos I am a gal, and for our client, who has smart with Rolexes etc, he had the Fortune Magazine laid out!!!
The man then just left us with all the magazines, and went on to the next table with the same act!!! After that he came back to our table and collected all our magazines except those that were selected by our client...sure enough the Fortune magazine was sold - he seemed to know what you want to read - hehehe!!!