Eid al-Adha in Indonesia: An experience we won’t soon forget
Woken up by a 5 a.m. call to prayer, Chad is led through the back streets of Indonesia’s Jogjakarta, where the three chefs become eyewitness guests to the Islamic Festival of Sacrifice.
After a long journey, we were now in Jogjakarta (Yogyakarta) after a gruelling Indonesian cab ride, and the usual negotiations for accommodation that you have while traveling in a group of three. We were all tired, and this was where we would stay. No checking for stained sheets, flushing toilets or even the usual bed bug search led by Chad. The room was actually pretty good (or as good as it gets for $7).
Chad and Lyndon fell asleep immediately, but I had a little more trouble. We had seen and experienced so much up to this point in our travels. What was next? After what seemed like an eternity, I finally dozed off, only to be woken up by the 5 a.m. Adhan (call to prayer) through the loudspeakers at the local mosque. This was my introduction to Muslim Indonesia…WOW!
With Chad and Lyndon still unconscious, I decided to head out on my own. When in a new town or city, even a simple act such as taking your laundry in, can turn into an extreme adventure, and on this day that’s exactly what happened. After aimlessly wandering the streets for an hour or so, i finally found a warung (small business) that would hand wash my two-week build up of clothes for nothing more than 25000 rupiahs (about CDN $2.80), and for $3 he would throw in a bottle of coke. This was not only a great deal, but also the chance to converse with an old local man on possible roads less traveled in Jogjakarta.
After about 30 minutes (and half a six-pack of Cola), it was time to go. Equipped with one handwritten map and a basic explanation of the celebration in the courtyard, I raced back to the hotel to wake up the boys. I couldn’t wait to get back to the room and let them in on the experience that lay ahead. (The fact that I had a bladder full of soft drink didn’t slow me down either.)
By the time I finished my overly excited, pompous attempt at explaining the festival, Chad and Lyndon were dressed. We were out the door and I was navigating through the back streets of Jogjakarta with my map in my shaky hands. Minutes later, we were at a courtyard surrounded by locals at the Eid al-Adha festival, a celebration by muslims worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God. The ritual is captured in our second episode of Chefs Run Wild – you can watch the segment below. WARNING: SOME SCENES MAY BE OFFENSIVE TO SOME.
Lyndon compares this festival to our Thanksgiving. Yes, it’s on a totally different scale, but the meaning behind it is the same. The only difference is that our food is purchased from a supermarket and we close our eyes to the fact that it, too, was once a living being. What do you think?
TONIGHT: CHEFS RUN WILD heads to the Phillippines! Watch what happens as the intrepid explorers discover just how exotic the cuisine is! On tonight at 8 p.m. ET!