BATAK'S WEEKEND IN GERMANY
Last weekend, 28-30 September, was a Batak weekend for me.
I travelled to Germany with Sandra Niessen, a mix of Canadian-Dutch who wrote "Legacy in Cloth: Batak Textile of Indonesia."
We visited IFICAH, International Foundation of Indonesian Culture and Asian Heritage in Hollenstedt. They organize an exhibition titled "Ahnenkult und Klingenkunst der Batak auf Nord-Sumatra" (Ancestor Cult and Batak Art of the Batak in North Sumatra).The hosts, Gunther and Daniela Heckmann received both of us with exceptional hospitality in their home-office-museum base. We stayed two evenings in their place and spent hours talking about Bataks.
On Saturday, Sandra and I went to Hamburg to meet Roberta (forgot to write down her family name), an Italian researcher about Batak manuscripts. You could imagine how much Sandra and Roberta went into discussions about Batak in all facet. It was fascinating to see the two spoken Bahasa Indonesia and exchanging experiences about Batak. And apparently they atrracted attentions not only from me. We were having lunch in an Indonesian restaurant, all of sudden came the Indonesian Consul General of Hamburg to our table to say hi. He was at the same time in the restaurant and couldn't resist to ask who these two beautiful foreign ladies speak Bahasa Indonesia so fluently.
Well, I had to drive about 6 hours each way (a lot of traffic jams!) back and forward from Amsterdam to Hamburg to have this Batak's weekend but it was worth it.