Selamat Hari Waisak 2553!

I have written before about how Indonesia has many holidays due to the fact that there are five (well, maybe six) recognized religions here, and also because Indonesians like to have holidays. Today is another one that we experienced years ago in Malaysia but never before in Indonesia: Waisak (Wesak in Malaysia, Vesak in much of the rest of Asia). This is a Buddhist holiday that commemorates what is known here as Trisuci Waisak, or the three blessings/holies of the life of Gautama Siddhartha: his birth, his enlightenment, and his death. Unfortunately for Indonesians who like to have some time off, this falls on a Saturday this year, so no one gets to take off of work. But, at the same time, people are definitely going to treat this as a holiday. Friday afternoon is always a miserable time to try to drive anywhere in Jakarta, but as people streamed out of the city yesterday afternoon, it seemed pretty bad.

PS: new food pictures here, featuring grilled fish and greens, a lunch on the go, and chicken breakfast porridge.