A few days ago we got to learn and participate in some new holiday festivities! This particular holiday celebrates the heroine of this country’s women’s emancipation movement, marked by kids dressing up in traditional costumes and adults competing in traditional food platter decorating contests.
Jim and I had certainly never done anything like this, but we had a local friend show us what to do, and we gave it some good effort. Tumpeng is the name of this platter, and it consists of rice in the shape of a volcano plated with some traditional side dishes and as much creativity as you can muster. Everyone else’s included much more elaborate elements, while we made the most of our limited exposure to the craft. Below, the whale with the blowhole was Jim’s personal touch on our entry (You’ll later learn how it saved me when I was in a tight spot!)
This was our finished product. Made from tomatoes, green peppers, carrots, cucumbers, and green onions. The only reason the rice looks as good as it does is because a sympathetic competitor saw I was struggling to make a decent cone mold from the banana leaves (like most people do), so she graciously loaned me her metal mold.
Since everyone else knew the side-dishes that typically accompany the tumpeng, much more time went in to making theirs. Hudson’s preschool was the host of this event, so a few of the tumpengs had kid-themes, and each of the ladies was quite creative.
Finally, we all lined up with our tumpeng creations, and one of the judges came down the line and asked each of us about the theme of our dish. Pictured below is me saying, “The theme?……………uhhhhhh…………………………………..whale?” Jim said the lady standing next to him leaned over and asked, “Are there whales near volcanoes?” He said, “Sure… after a flood.” =)
And the kids were as cute as could be! They dressed up in traditional attire from the various regions/islands in our country.