Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas in Bandung

"What's it like over there at Christmas?" we've asked our friends who live in Indonesia.

"Christians go to a church service!" they all agree.

Though the country is mostly Muslim, many Indonesians have embraced the practice of resting, vacationing, and spending time with family during this season at the end of the year.

The lobby at the Hilton Bandung
Malls and hotels capitalize on tourist and local trade with decorations, special sales, and guest events. There aren't a lot of nativity scenes, but you can count on secular decorations: Santas, baubles, presents, and window displays. So ... Christmas in parts of Bandung looks similar to celebrations in the big cities of North America.

Of course, Bandung boasts palm trees and tropical downpours rather than fir trees and snow blizzards. There probably is more nasi goreng (fried rice) than turkey for Christmas dinner. And short sleeves and sandals are more common than winter parkas, snows skis, and warm boots.

We'll have a lot of adjusting to culture and environment, but how we look forward to our next Christmas - in Bandung!