MEETING PEOPLE AND LEARNING LESSONS IN PALEMBANG | GRACE FILLED TRAVEL JUNKIE

MEETING PEOPLE AND LEARNING LESSONS IN PALEMBANG

People fascinates me. The fact that there are billions of people in this world and nobody is the same is incredible. Think about it. We are similar in some ways, different in most ways, yet connected through languages and interests.

In every travel, I take some time to write about the people that I met along the way. I do it as a personal reminder of how wide the world is and how vast our will to learn must be. I remember Pak Kornelius whom I met in Flores, a farmer and a loving father for a family of six. I remember Ibu Puji, a passionate teacher at Tanah Abang who teaches kids to read and write out of care and concern. They are only two of those people whom I met in life who shaped me to be who I am today. Trust me, there is no such thing as a meaningless encounter.

At Palembang, I dedicated most of my traveling time to photograph people in their daily lives. This post, is dedicated to them.
Starting the day with a smile!
Truthfully, Palembang is a boring city. What made it interesting was not the places that I visited, but its culinary choices, its view of the total solar eclipse and its people. I realized this when I got the chance to visit Al-Quran Al-Akbar, also known as the biggest Al-Quran in the world.
Al-Quran Al-Akbar. It includes 630 pages from the Al-Quran.
Soon, I realized how devoted these people are to their religion and God. People from different age came and filled the place. Some were taking photos and some were praying with tenacity. While the kids were in awe of the place, the adults were trying to teach these kids as much meaning as possible. Keeping the tradition is important after all.

What if harmony is achievable in today's world? Wouldn't it be great for every religion to live in respect of each other? Isn't the main thing about religion is loving one another despite of their differences? If God created human, wouldn't He want us to love each other as much as He loves us? These are the questions I took home after a visit to Al-Quran Al-Akbar. I know, I probably did too much thinking in my travels.

Kids were just being kids.
Another place that I visited in Palembang was the Kemaro Island. This island tells about a tragic love story of Tan Bun An and Siti Fatimah. This is the traditional story of a lowly peasant and a princess who fell in love. Tan Bun An worked so hard to steal the king's heart so that he can marry Siti Fatimah, the king's daughter. The king's only wish is for Tan Bun An to bring 9 jars of gold for the king in exchange for his daughter.

Having given a chance to prove himself, Tan Bun An plead to his mother to send these 9 jars of gold to him all the way from China. Being a loving mother, she sent these golds of jars covered with vegetables on top to hide it from the thieves. 

Soon enough, the packages arrived. Tan Bun An, accompanied by Siti Fatimah, immediately opened the first jar and got confused after seeing vegetables inside. He threw the first jar to the river and opened the second one. Every time he saw vegetables inside the jar, he would carelessly dumped these jars into the river. After all the 8 jars were opened and thrown into the river, he opened the last one to find vegetables inside as well. This time, he was too tired to throw it to the river, so he smashed it with a rock instead. Only after that, he found out that the gold was hidden under the vegetables.

Impulsively, he jumped into the river to collect these golds. After a few minutes of not appearing, Siti Fatimah jumped in the river to help him. Her last words to her guards were, "If you see a pile of soil on the river bank, consider it as my grave." 

Both of them never resurfaced, but a pile of soil did. It enlarged by itself and became what we know today as the Kemaro Island. What a tragic love story, right?
Kids in Barongsai posing in front of a 9 floors Pagoda.
Being in the Kemaro Island taught me how race is just a matter of origin and social status is just a matter of birth. In a bigger perspective, we are all the same. How did we start becoming so picky in our relationship and friendship? I believe we weren't born picky, but somehow we grew up losing one of the best qualities a human could have, love.

The tragic love story reminded me not to lose my mind over a girl. Fall in love, but carefully think about the consequences of it. If I was Tan Bun An, I wouldn't ask my mother to send those golds. That would make me a spoiled little brat.
Bloggers on the action? Or just Instagrammers?
Pikachu spotted!
Trying out the barongsai head that I borrowed from that kid.
4 days in Palembang and I gained so many lessons even more precious than those I had learned in classrooms. As iron sharpens iron, so do people sharpen one another. There is always a lesson in life, the question is, are we open enough to listen and humble enough to learn?
Below the bridge of Ampera.
I am done with my exploration in Palembang. It was a relaxing 6 days trip that I enjoyed with Garnier Men's newest Power White. I have been carrying it around in Palembang and I wouldn't stop carrying one in all of my upcoming trips. I am loving its combination of shaving and cleansing in one package. It is convenient to carry and very easy to use!

Anyway, I will write about yesterday's hike to Mount Papandayan in the upcoming post. Till next week!
Travel companion!

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