Friday, January 11, 2008

The gateway from the airport and the Padang Museum. See the quaint roof resemble two horns of a buffalo, yes like the Hindoos the Malays at one time revered the cow.

why so long I never update. I went for a holiday? Nope, it just that the beginning of the new year is kind of upsetting for me. The new Year begins with me visiting the Income tax Department and to be told that i cant travel overseas since my passport for not paying my taxes! Urgh! the taxes mention was when I start work in penang 12 years back but was never inform by my Employers of the EA form they suppose to give me for me to fill up to pay my taxes. After 14 years it has elapse they manage to track me down by using my address which I never change and sending a summon to my parents house. So when they want to drag me to court then they know where I live,funny!

Then I got a bout of Diarrhoea which landed me on my back and today I receive a call I might have to be in Padang Indonesia and be station there semi permanent. Hmmm the monies is not that good but the opportunities to be there is something I hate missing. It is in a Malay heartland, lots of mystical charm, magics and I could be in touch with my roots.

Padang is very Malay, you can only found Chinese or non Muslim in Padang town but hardly anyone outside it. They still believe in old magic and charms and amulets are next to nothing. I love the fact that in this Malay Kingdom still exist all that is Malay. So that's why I am looking forward to it. maybe i meet a few leprechauns and get my pot of gold.

Padang is the Capital of west Sumatra and I am staying in a very unstable region on earth, no not any fighting but I am going to stay at the earth's fault line. So I have to be prepared for earthquakes which currently in my life I needed. So here is a bit info about Padang history.

Padang on Sumatra's west coast is the island's third largest city with a population of about 700.000. It is the provincial capital of West Sumatra and most of the products from this region is exported through Padang. The major export articles are coal, rubber, coffee, spice, tobacco, rattan and tea. Padang is situated at the foot of the Minangkabau highland, which is named after the original inhabitants of west Sumatra.
The Minang people converted to Islam many centuries ago, and a majority of the population today are Muslim. The traditional adat-laws however often have priority before Islamic laws (see Bukittinggi). A legend says that the Minang descends from no other than Alexander the Great, their forefathers arrived Sumatra under king Maharjo Dirajo, the youngest son of Alexander, better known in Indonesia as Iskandar Zulkarnair.
Anthropologists however suggests that the Minang people probably arrived West Sumatra from the Malaysian peninsula some time between year 1000 and 2000 BC, but not much is known about the history of this region before the arrival of Islam in the 14th century AD. West Sumatra was probably under control of the Malay kingdom from Jambi on Sumatra's east coast between the 11th and the 14th century.
The region was later divided in small Islamic sultanates, and the Dutch did therefore not meet any united resistance when they arrived early in the 17th century. A trading station were built in Padang about 1680. In the 19th century the Islamic "Padri" movement went to war against the traditional Minangkabau adat (law) followers. The Dutch entered the war and joined the traditional leaders in 1821 when the Padri's controlled much of the highlands. The Benteng de Kock fort in Bukittinggi became the new main base for the Dutch and in 1837 they finally conquered Bonjol, the headquarters of the Padri leader Imam Bonjol. Padang was under British control during the Napoleon war from 1781 to 1819 when the Dutch again seized control. During WW2 it was occupied by the Japanese before Sumatra became a part of the new Indonesian Republic.

So that is the gist of Padang History.In a nut shell Padang Sumatra and Malaya are closely knit culturally than most other Islands in the Indonesian Archipelago. Will I accept the job it all depends on this few weeks. If everything works out as plan than Here I come! Till then I keep you posted, the only drag is perhaps Internet assess is kind of slow there and I hope they will get me Internet ready in Padang. They still using dial up so we see.


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