The magic of Borobudur

I thought I was clever going to Borobudur on Christmas day, after all, this was a Muslim country. I guess I hadn’t learned my lesson from the train from Bandung. Instead of no one being at the site, the Buddhist structure was overcrowded. I soon realized it was a holiday in Indonesia. I’m not sure if it was a hangover from colonial times or that Islam revered Jesus (Isa) as a prophet and thus the holiday.

Near the summit of Borobudur Buddhist Temple

We climbed to each monumental section of this ancient temple dating from the eighth and ninth century where friezes clung to walls, a multitude of stupas crowned the summit with statues of Buddha inside, and a vista of green surrounded us. It was a wonder like nothing I’d ever experienced before.

Not far within the stone labyrinth, I discovered my daughter thought otherwise—to her this was the dullest place. She wanted to race to the shops outside the temple selling wristbands and other trinkets. Being an expert bargainer, she haggled the price down to half and once it was agreed, she renegotiated the price still lower if she bought more than one. I have no idea where this skill came from because I detested bargaining, but I don’t think the traders could resist her childish charm.

3 thoughts on “The magic of Borobudur”

  1. Actually there’s at least a national holiday for each of the official religions in Indonesia. I remember you said in one of your comments in my blog that your daughter was more interested in the souvenir stalls in Borobudur. I wonder if she returns, will she see the temple differently?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s interesting. I think we too should have the same holidays here since our population is so diverse.
      Although my daughter has since travelled a lot I still don’t believe she’d be that interested in revisiting Borobudur. She has different interests from me. For example, we went to Ecuador together. I was there to see the sites. She was there to improve her Spanish and did a meditation retreat for a week. It’s my middle daughter who’d be in awe of Borobudur. She’s the one I visit art galleries with, but she went with her Dad to Canada at the time I was touring Java.

      Liked by 1 person

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