This time the holiday is Nyepi, the Hindu New Year and Day of Silence–Tuesday; March 12th is a school holiday. While speaking with an Indonesian friend at church, she explained that this new year is mostly observed in Bali, where there are more Hindus than on Java. “The streets and shops will be silent,” she explained.
An Australian asked, “Will there be less traffic in Jakarta?”
“Why? Of course not!” our Indonesian friend wondered how we could ever hope for that.
As I spoke with family and friends today on the eve of the return of Daylight Saving Time in America, not truly participating in either seasonal observance, but being affected by both tangentially is weird. But in both cases, the collision of these 2 markers is a reminder of being apart, separate–but also in contrast, having a foot in two places at once.
I have plans for Tuesday. But mostly, I’m hoping to capitalize on the wiggle room afforded by the Nyepi holiday. In accommodating the 11 and 12 hour time difference between Indonesia and the Midwestern United States, I hope to Skype with family and friends. There’s a “sweet spot” in the opportunities to speak at a reasonable hour for everyone. This time school won’t be a factor.
So, I guess I won’t be a local by being silent. However, I will respect other people’s silence by remaining indoors, on my computer or at a restaurant or in my kitchen visiting with neighbors near and far.
. . . But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
And give us a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.