Alright, I think I need to start posting about my experiences in Palopo, South Sulawesi.
My first weekend in Palopo, I went to Rantepao, North Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi. Rantepao is the capital city of North Tana Toraja regency, South Sulawesi. It is only 2 hours away driving or around 62 kilometers away from where I live now.
Palopo and Tana Toraja have very different kind of geographical topography. Palopo is a plain land near to the sea, which gives it the high temperature and humidity both day and night. While Tana Toraja is more like a highland, which gives it cool air even if it is a clear day. At nights, the air is really nice, which temperature ranges from 19-21 degrees Celcius.
This is the view from the place where I stayed in.
Tana Toraja itself means the land of great people. Tana means land and Toraja comes from two words to that means people and raya that means great. So Tana Toraja is the land of great people. Sounds really cool! 🙂
Each year the Torayans (that’s what the Toraja people usually call themselves) celebrate the anniversary of the first time Gospel getting in to Tana Toraja and this year is the 100th anniversary of the Gospel getting in to their land. The Torayans from all around regencies would come and gather in the central park in Rantepao. Each regency would come with decorated offering that symbolizes their gratitude to God that the people can get exposed to the Gospel. They would come in a parade complete with their traditional clothes and music. Young and old, men and women, all come together to celebrate this happy occasion. This annual event has also been an attraction for international tourists from many other countries in the world.
Some bule in the crowd.
I was there for the opening of the event. The crowd was really massive. The offerings were decorated beautifully, and all the things were just interesting to watch and enjoy, especially for me that is not from this place.
The welcome banner. 100th anniversary of Gospel getting in to Tana Toraja.
The pictures of the offerings that the people brought from each regency. They usually bring something that is unique from their region and at the end of the event, all these offerings would be sold in an auction. Hmm, very interesting.
These girls are from Palopo region, with their traditional clothing. Really beautiful!
And this! Look at this cute little girl! She is from Masamba region. She is only 10, I believe. But look at her! Beautifully dressed up with her traditional clothing.
And here are some of the traditional houses that are found in front of the church. The houses are called Tongkonan. According to some information that I got, the Tongkonans are used for rice storage (lumbung padi). Most Torayans have tongkonans in front of their main house to store their rice. Hmm, very interesting!
I really enjoyed my trip to Toraja, despite the twisted roads to get there. But I think I will come back and experience more about this place. And I have more post about Toraja! Stay around 😀