Daily Life / Indonesia / Music / Peace Corps / People / Travel

What Indonesia Sounds Like

Silence is a sound in Indonesia. It’s so rare
that you hear it.
The first thing that whispers is the wind. It
whistles through the trees, strumming
blades of grass and scraping dry leaves
across dirt roads and crisp ceramic floors.
Birds hoot, chime, sing at different
volumes and frequencies from varying
distances and directions. A rooster croaks
in the background. The geckos squeak
rustling up walls, casting shadows on doors.
Water rushes. Splashes. Gurgles. Drips.
The melodious sound of water flowing,
dancing through canals and streams, as
constant as the wind.
Children laugh. Chickens cackle. The
harmonious blare of Javanese and
Madurese weaves through acoustic
hallways and rooms, echoing down
streets. Rocks crush and shift beneath
the weight of vehicles and bare feet.
Bakso and other food sellers beat
wooden sticks against plastic cowbells.
Their voices ring.
Like a drumbeat, the call to prayer isn’t
always beautiful. Harsh, persistent,
steady—keeping the rhythm of daily life.
A motorcycle whirls by, an anachronistic
sound effect, adding a hint of modernity to
an otherwise pastoral vibe.
Silence does not exist in any place. It is
just another note, an audible stillness, a
brief breath building up to the following sound—
so rare that you hear it.

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5 thoughts on “What Indonesia Sounds Like

  1. Pingback: A Soundtrack for Indonesia « in the land of dragons

  2. Pingback: Sound Pollution | in the land of dragons

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