Interesting Things I’ve Learned So Far…

About Muslims/Islam:

  1. Muslims can’t own dogs, it is harem (forbidden) because they are considered dirty.
  2. During a special occasion, the entire Koran is read to the entire community through the same loud speaker used for the call to prayer. This is the equivalent of having a mass said in your honor because you’re getting married or someone in your family is sick.
  3. You are required to bathe or mandi twice a day. If you don’t you are considered lazy.
  4. It is required to remove your shoes when entering a house because Muslims use the floor for praying, and logically, don’t want it to be dirty.

About Indonesia:

  1. Life here starts much earlier. Most people sleep on or before 10 pm and wake up on or before 4am, because that’s the time Muslims are required to pray. I’ve adjusted pretty well since I’m writing this at 5:30.
  2. Most people in Indonesia are bilingual. In addition to Indonesian, they also know the language of their island. In my case, my entire community mostly speaks in bahasa (which means language) Jawa or Javanese. They speak Jawa most of the time, so remembering to speak to me in bahasa Indonesian requires some effort on their part.
  3. Religion is so important in Indonesia that you are even required to list which religion you are in important forms, such as bank account application. The recognized religions are: Islam, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Hindu and Confucianism. There is only one Jewish temple in all of Indonesia.
  4. One gallon of gasoline costs 4500 rupiah, which is about 50 cents.
  5. All of the Muslims in the Arab world combined are still less than the number of Muslims in Indonesia.
  6. 10% of Indonesia’s land holds 60% of the population.
  7. More than 8,000 islands in Indonesia are not inhabited, which is about 50% of the country.
  8. To indicate more than 1 object in bahasa Indonesian you have to say the word twice. My favorite word so far is cucu (pronounced choo-choo), which means grandchild. Cucu-cucu would be grandchildren. Some words are already said twice, such as butterfly, which is kupu-kupu. I asked my teacher if more than one butterfly is kupu-kupu kupu-kupu, but to my dismay it is not. It is “banyak kupu kupu” or many butterflies.

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