© 2012 Elys. All rights reserved. Devout Muslim kids

Day 307: Assalamu Alaikum

Banda Aceh, Indonesia

Aceh suffered the most lost during the tsunami incident in 2004. Losing more than 120,000 souls to the disaster, I found both the town and the people of Banda Aceh recovered from the loss surprisingly well. Banda Aceh is by far the most clean and well kept town I had ever been to in Indonesia and its people one of the nicest. Never were we once hassled by anybody and if anything, the locals went all the way out to show us their cultures. Peddlers were eager to explain to us the food and goods they’re selling even when we’re not buying and were always proud to have their photos taken.

Today, we visited a site so far inland in town where a boat had landed on a house during the tsunami. While perched up on top of the building, the boat had saved 59 lives who sought safety on it. The government had left the boat there as a memorial to that day.

The second place we went to was Baiturrahman mosque. Built by Sultan Iskandar Muda, it was one of the main place of worships for Muslims in Asia during the 17th century. Iskandar Muda was the most prominent figure in Aceh’s history. His empire stretched the entire Sumatra and parts of Malaysia, and he had good international relations to other empires as far away as the Ottoman in Turkey. Saldy, however, despite the fact that we share the same “last name”, I can’t use him as my claim to fame as we are as distantly related as monkey to grasshopper. First of, Muda is not his last name, and mine was made up probably three generations ago when my grandfather had to adopt a more Indonesian name as opposed to his Chinese one. This is one curious thing about names in Indonesia… many Indonesians simply do not have last names. What appear to be the last names often time is only the second part of the first names and is not all of patriarchal.


  1. Jerry p
    Posted 15 Jun at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Hi elys , who’s the guy standing next to you .? Gayanya sok cool religous asoy geboy gitu hahahah…., have fun in japan ya….so jealous ….

  2. Stephen
    Posted 18 Jun at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Nice PICS ! :)

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