Tuesday, July 13, 2004

A Bit of Rica-Rica

A Bit of Rica-Rica

After two weeks in Jakarta, I still haven't gone to Kota yet--my usual meeting place with Gunawan. But I did meet up with my old friend the other day at the hotel lounge where we had a couple of beers.

I spent some time catching up on his latest love affairs. He told me he has been going out with a Manado girl lately. Gunawan's taste in women does not surprise me. Manado girls are supposed to be blessed with fair-skin and a good complexion; and they are also reputed to have a talent for dancing. If you go to any karaoke in Kota, it is very likely that you will find their striptease dancers to be from Manado.

Another friend of mind who married a Manado girl (a ballet dancer!) tells me that Manado people are very clannish. Kind of reminds me of the Filipinos. Families and extended families like to get together in huge gatherings. The graceful communal poco-poco dance, which was quite a craze in Indonesia a couple of years back, also originated from Manado. If you go to any of their weddings, you can see the young and old sportingly participating in the poco-poco.

It is not surprising that the Manado people are more like the Filipinos than the Javanese--being located on the northern end of Sulawesi, they are also probably geographically closer to the Philippines islands. And unlike the reclusive and mystically-inclined Javanese, the Manadonese know how to have a good party.

Lately all work and no play is making me a very dull boy indeed. Maybe like my friend Gunawan, I should also start looking for a Manado girlfriend to put back some rica-rica in my life :-)

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