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    Minangkabau Peoples

    The people of Minangkabau is the Malay who reside current West Sumatra Province with the capital city

    of Padang. Historical researches revealed that the first kingdom on the country was located around 60

    kms away from Bukit Tinggi city, a place called Pagaruyung. Here was found stone inscription in old

    Malay language and old Javanese writing. The inscription mentioned that king Adityawarman was ruling

    the country who was assigned by the kingdom of Pajajaran from West Java in 14th century. During the

    time West Java was under the control of the Great Kingdom of Majapahit. The Minangs are the world's

    largest matrilineal society, in which properties such as land and houses are inherited through female

    lineage. Some scholars argue that this might have caused the diaspora (Minangkabau, "merantau") of

    Minangkabau males throughout the Malay archipelago to become scholars or to seek fortune as

    merchants. As early as the age of 7, boys traditionally leave their homes and live in a surau (a community

    centre) to learn religious and cultural (adat) teachings. When they are teenagers, they are encouraged to

    leave their hometown to learn from schools or from experiences out of their hometown so that when they

    are adults they can return home wise and 'useful' for the society and can contribute their thinking and

    experience to run the family or nagari (hometown). This tradition has created Minang communities in

    many Indonesian cities and towns, which nevertheless are still tied closely to their homeland; a state inMalaysia named Negeri Sembilan is heavily influenced by Minang culture. In addition to being renowned

    as merchants, the Minangs have also produced some of Indonesia's most influential poets, writers,

    statesmen, scholars, and religious scholars. Being fervent Muslims, many of them embraced the idea of

    incorporating Islamic ideals into modern society. Furthermore, the presence of these intellectuals made

    the Minangkabau homeland (the province of West Sumatra) one of the powerhouses in the Indonesian

    struggle for independence. The Minang people belong to the Malay stock. Despite widespread use of

    Bahasa Indonesia, they have their own mother tongue. The Minangkabau language shares many similar

    words with Malay, yet it has a distinctive pronunciation and some grammatical differences render it

    unintelligible to Malay speakers. Today both natural (farming) ,trade and cultural tourism have become

    considerable economic activities in West Sumatra. Most notable of Minang culture is its culinary tradition,with unique spicy foods such as Rendang, Soto Padang (a soup), Sate Padang and Dendeng Balado

    (beef with chilli sauce). Minangkabau restaurants, which are often called "Padang" restaurants in

    reference to the capital of West Sumatra, are present throughout Indonesia and some neighboring

    countries. Massive earth quake on 30th November 2009 hit the country of Minangkabau killing more then

    1000 persons and thousands of houses building, supermarkets and shops were in a total damage as by

    information collected by National Disaster Agency.

    Minangkabau Ceremonies and festivals

    Minangkabau ceremonies and festivals include:

    Turun mandi baby blessing ceremony

    Sunat rasul

    circumcision ceremony

    Pesta parkawinan wedding ceremony

    Batagak pangulu clan leader inauguration ceremony

    Turun ka sawah community work ceremony

    Manyabik harvesting ceremony

    Hari Rayo Islamic festivals

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    Adoption ceremony

    Adat ceremony

    Funeral ceremony

    Wild boar hunt ceremony

    Maanta pabukoan

    sending food to mother-in-law for Ramadhan

    Tanah Ta Sirah, inaugurate a new clan leader (Datuk) when the old one died in the few hours (no need

    to proceed batagak pangulu, but the clan must invite all clan leader in the region).

    Tabuik Muslim celebration in the coastal village of Pariaman

    Minangkabau Arts

    Traditional Minangkabau arts include:

    Randai, folk theater which includes music, dance and drama

    Saluang Jo Dendang ("bamboo flute and singing")

    Talempong (gong-chime) music

    Tari Piring ("Plate dance")

    Tari Payung ("Umbrella dance")

    Tari Indang, traditional dance

    Pidato Adat, ceremonial orations

    Pencak Silat, performance based upon the Silat martial art

    Minangkabau Crafts

    Traditional Minangkabau crafts include:

    Hand weaving of Songket cloth

    Embroidery

    Wood carving

    Goldsmithing and silversmithing of jewelry by filigree and granulation techniques

    Cuisine

    The staple ingredients of the Minangkabau diet are rice, fish, coconut, green leafy vegetables and chili.

    Food has a central role in the Minangkabau ceremonies which honor religious and life cycle rites.

    Minangkabau food is popular among Indonesians and restaurants are present throughout Indonesia. Nasi

    Padang restaurants, named after the capital of West Sumatra, are known for placing a variety of

    Minangkabau dishes on a customer's table along with rice and billing only for what is taken. Nasi Kapau is

    another restaurant variant which specializes in dishes using offal and the use of tamarind to add a

    sourness to the spicy flavor.

    Minangkabau Dishes

    Rendang, chunks of beef stewed in coconut milk and chili gravy usually cooked 4-5 times a year

    Sate Padang, skewered barbecued meat with peanut sauce

    Sambal Balado

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    Kalio

    Palai

    Dendeng (beef with chili sauce)

    Minangkabau Snacks and Drinks

    Lemang

    Tapai

    The Talua, mixed egg and tea

    Dadiah

    Architecture

    Rumah Gadang (Minangkabu: 'big house') are the traditional homes (Indonesian: rumah adat) of the

    Minangkabau. The architecture, construction, internal and external decoration, and the functions of the

    house reflect the culture and values of the Minangkabau. A rumah gadang serves as a residence, a hall

    for family meetings, and for ceremonial activities. With the Minangkabau society being matrilineal, the

    rumah gadang is owned by the women of the family who live there

    ownership is passed from mother to

    daughter. The houses have dramatic curved roof structure with multi-tiered, upswept gables. Shuttered

    windows are built into walls incised with profuse painted floral carvings. The term rumah gadang usually

    refers to the larger communal homes, however, smaller single residences share many of its architectural

    elements.

    Oral traditions and literature

    Minangkabau culture has a long history of oral traditions. One oral tradition is the pidato adat (ceremonial

    orations) which are performed by panghulu (clan chiefs) at formal occasions such as weddings, funerals,

    adoption ceremonies, and panghulu inaugurations. These ceremonial orations consist of many forms

    including pantun, aphorisms (papatah-patitih), proverbs (pameo), religious advice (petuah), parables

    (tamsia), two-line aphorisms (gurindam), and similes (ibarat). Minangkabau traditional folktales (kaba)consist of narratives which present the social and personal consequences of either ignoring or observing

    the ethical teachings and the norms embedded in the adat. The storyteller (tukang kaba) recites the story

    in poetic or lyrical prose while accompanying himself on a rebab. A theme in Minangkabau folktales is the

    central role mothers and motherhood has in Minangkabau society, with the folktales Rancak diLabueh

    and Malin Kundang being two examples. Rancak diLabueh is about a mother who acts as teacher and

    adviser to her two growing children. Initially her son is vain and headstrong and only after her

    perseverance does he become a good son who listens to his mother. Malin Kundang is about the

    dangers of treating your mother badly. A sailor from a poor family voyages to seek his fortune, becoming

    rich and marrying. After refusing to recognize his elderly mother on his return home, being ashamed of

    his humble origins, he is cursed and dies when his ship is flung against rocks by a storm. Other popularfolktales also relate to the important role of the woman in Minangkabau society. In the Cindua Mato epic

    the woman is the source of wisdom, while in whereas in the Sabai nan Aluih she is more a doer than a

    thinker. Cindua Mato (Staring Eye) is about the traditions of Minangkabau royalty. The story involves a

    mythical Minangkabau queen, Bundo Kanduang, who embodies the behaviors prescribed by adat.

    Cindua Mato, a servant of the queen, uses magic to defeat hostile outside forces and save the kingdom.

    Sabai nan Aluih (The genteel Sabai) is about a young girl named Sabai, the hero of the story, who

    avenges the murder of her father by a powerful and evil ruler from a neighboring village. After her father's

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    murder her cowardly elder brother refuses to confront the murderer and so Sabai decides to take matters

    into her own hands. She seeks out the murderer and shoots him in revenge.West Sumatra is the domain of the Minangkabau. In the beautiful landscape aroundBukittinggi, the typical Minangkabau houses are owned by the women in a matrilinearsystem. They manage to combine that system with the strict Muslim faith, in which the menare dominant.

    From Singapore we cross over to the island of Sumatra inIndonesia. The ferry brings us to Pulau Batam within an hour.This is a small island

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