We attended already quite a few Hindustani
weddings, but now we were invited to be present at a Javanese wedding.
Two weddings in fact, as Carla and Walimin gave both their
daughters away on the same evening.
The Resodimedjo family lives in Laarwijk and this gave the party a
special touch. Laarwijk is a rather isolated plantation on
Commewijne, only to be reached by boat. The community is mainly Javanese and probably as a result of the fact that life is quite
old-fashioned in Laarwijk – no electricity, no water supply –
traditional ceremonies are still observed. The celebration lasted two
days and family and neighbours were busy the whole week: the women
prepared everything in the kitchen and the men built a roof and
plaited the typical Javanese decorations: four huge “flower pieces” made
out of coconut palm leaves, one for each person,
constructed from elements
(a.o. corn cobs, flowers, birds) that are symbols for the life that lies
ahead of them: fertility, happiness, etc.
In the weeks before, Walimin visited us several times at home to invite
us in person, so we really had the feeling that we were not prying. We
appeared to be guests of honour!
We were seated at a table on the best spot to be able to catch every
detail of the ceremony. They treated us with special Javanese snacks and
many people came to say hello and explain about the ceremonies. Javanese
are proud of their tradition, although they are not very strict. Walimin
wore a beautiful batik hat, but no sarong, and the “reverant's” (kaoem)
consecration was not typical islamic. Walimin was even allowed to smoke
a cigarette! Very relaxed, so after all typical Javanese.
After the two couples were married, a meal was served (yellow coconut
rice and the inevitable chicken) for the the brides and grooms plus
We were also included (indeed: guests of
honour) and soon the other guests as well, otherwise we would have felt
a bit embarrassed. Unfortunately we have no photo's because we had a
problem with our camera.
The second day was a dinner and dance party but there was no dancing
due to heavy rain. Walimins ground was completely flooded and Laarwijk's
soil is heavy clay...
The work on our house progresses extremely well, which is a must as JW’s parents come
to stay in December. We left the hammock stage behind us and now sleep
in a real bed, home made and much nicer than the things they sell here
in the shops.
We still meet our crew
Wensly and Marius (who really have become friends) every day. Also because there was a little problem
with a leak under the floor in the guest's bathroom. After the problem
was solved Wensly came on a Sunday morning to build a new concrete floor,
place new tiles and drink a few beers. And in the evening he and Marius
came to have dinner with us: typical Dutch around a set table with wine
and candlelight, and we served red cabbage with stewed beef, applesauce
and potatoe mash au gratin. It was the first time for our oven and also
for our friends to have dinner with Dutch people and what's more a
typical Dutch meal (on their request).
So at last we can cook in our own kitchen and we now know that you have
to was the dishes immediately, otherwise giant ants are crawling over
your sink within half an hour. Left-overs have to be covered and put in
the fridge even if they are still hot, as we found out when P found a
giant beetle in her
spaghetti. Thought at first that JW added some black olives, a bit weird
because so big... and also with protrusions (as P felt in her mouth; yuk!).
In our garden we have unusual animals, such as
our friend the
sapacara (similar to a small crocodile). He lives in the ditch in front
of our house and when he thinks that we don't see him, he likes to sunbathe
in our back yard.
We lost a lot of trees as a result of the raising of our ground. Luckily
we also have lots of plants that grow very well and every day we are spoilt
with lovely flowers. Especially by our
but we also have magnificent lilies.
We took a day off to take Frouke (JW's sister who was on holiday in Suriname)
and Winnie along to Coronie. In this extremely friendly district the people
still live in cute wooden homes
and the public buildings are all immaculately maintained.
The landscape is attractive because of the many coconut palm trees
and you can also go to the beach and look at the sea. It was here that we
saw the red ibis - at last; on the photo just to be seen.
And now about our plans. The idea is to go sailing again in January. We'll
go to Trinidad first, to have the boat hauled out. And after Trinidad we'll
see where we end up. We have to be back in Surinam in April, right before
the long rainy season starts (and the heavier countercurrent). And in the
first week of May we'll fly from Surinam to the Netherlands where we will
stay for a couple of weeks.