Feeling rejuvenated after my first night sleep in an actual permanent shelter and on a high from the warm welcomes from the people of Piliam, I was excited to move on through the forested hills towards Angguruk.
*ANIMAL LOVERS BEWARE. THIS POST CONTAINS GORY IMAGES.
“Of course death is better than life” my guide Budi stated after we just watched the sacrifice of two large buffalo for a funeral ceremony. In my time in Toraja, I could not think of a better summary of their unique cultural beliefs.
It was in the slow hours of the morning in my first few months in Fort Albany I caught a short clip showcasing the elaborate funerals and death rituals of the Torajan’s in Sulawesi. I was captivated, having seen nor heard nothing of it before, I couldn’t believe traditions like these were still being played out in our modern world. It was Tana Toraja which kicked off my desire to visit Indonesia and it was Indonesia which started the idea for the whole 9 month trip that is now coming to a close.
With laws prohibiting smoking, billboards, plastic bags, traffic lights, the support of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product, Bhutan is unlike any other nation. It’s uniqueness coupled with superb Himalayan trekking, authentic Buddhist culture, and astonishing bio-diversity, it is surprising that Bhutan sees less than 20,000 tourists a year. This is because like all other aspects of the nation, Bhutan has a different way of doing things.