Monday, February 8, 2010

Sulawasi Surprise! : Makasar, where?

One morning, when I was still deep in my slumber, my handphone rang. Shah was on the other end of the line and he had asked me if I would like to join him to Makassar. Okay, okay, I just replied and went back to sleep. Days later when I was more alert, I started to wonder where Makassar is. Where is Makasar? I asked Shah. It is in Sulawesi, that K-shaped island in the Indonesia archipelego formerly known as the Celebes. Are there any cannibals there? I then asked, half in jest, thinking more of Papua New Guinea, the island that got separated from Australia by the Torres Strait after the last glacial period. At one time, I remember there was a movie, a documentary maybe that went round the local theatres, Darkest New Guinea, that depicted the second largest island of the world as a haven for cannibals. Cannibals in this modern age? I'd be damned! The ticket to Makassar had already been bought and cannibals or not, I would be flying to Makassar. If there is anything to be worried about, it should be the Muslim-Christian violence that had plagued the island. Between 1998 and 2001, over 1,000 people were killed in violence, riots, and ethnic cleansing especially in Central Sulawesi. Christian villagers were killed in the Poso District by unknown masked gunmen in 2003 and in 2005 three Christian schoolgirls were beheaded in Poso by Islamic militants. One of the girls' heads was dumped outside a church. A note left with the severed heads in plastic bags in the girls' village, stated: Wanted: 100 more heads, teenaged or adult, male or female; blood shall be answered with blood, soul with soul, head with head...

Now, where is Makassar?


Tip: You wouldn't know, would you? - Not unless you know that Makassar is also known as Ujung Pandang...

5 comments:

Travel world's longest beach said...

It is a nice blog
Thank you.

footiam said...

Welcome. Thanks!

Liudmila said...

I just thought the same about the events in Caucasus. And the same is possible to say about other countries. You imagine, the memories about the Second World War are alive in the souls else. When one nation (Italians for example) was devided in fascists and communists, and they killed innocent people -and the persons are devided till today when remembering about it. 65 years!!!

footiam said...

Don't know much about Caucasus. What happen there?

Liudmila said...

It's too long to explain in a comment. There is a civic war many years there.

Have another serving of Travel Pangs!