Surveying the local English-language media, the author was amused by a number of local celebrities (arguably past their 15 minutes of fame) appearing and mentioning their planned activities this New Year's. Curiously, no one mentioned the popular pastime of drunken debauchery.
Here is a select sample:
Name: Manohara Odelia Pinot
Claim To Fame: Former wife of allegedly abusive Malaysian prince, life story later made into an Indonesian TV soap opera, honoured by the kraton of Solo.
Last Seen: Enthusiastically supporting Indonesia during the final (against Malaysia) of the 2010 Suzuki Cup, a biennial football tournament for ASEAN nations.
NY Activities: Prayer night at her house - not at the mosque she financed - and no partying.
Name: Ayu Azhari
Claim To Fame: Award-winning Indonesian actress and singer, married for the third time to Mike Tramp of Danish/American rock band White Lion, sister to convicted ashtray thower Sarah and drug offender Ibra.
Last Seen: As a candidate for deputy regent of Sukabumi in West Java, blazing the trail for other pretty candidates like Julia Perez.
NY Activities: Releasing a cookbook, titled "Kuliner Bangka" (Bangka Culinary).
Meanwhile, authorities in Indonesia's sharia-regulated province of Aceh, have banned "lavish" New Year celebrations in the province.
The specific activities banned are: trumpet blowing, fireworks and open-air music concerts. (Ed's note: The author finds these activities mildly annoying when performed in the vicinity of his house, but considers a blanket ban a little excessive.) The religious police and Satpol PP (public order officers) will be out enforcing the ban.
The recommended alternative activities for pious and law-abiding Acehnese are:
It is not known whether the local government or police force were spooked by recent reports of a large shipment of drugs transiting the province on its way to Jakarta for distribution on New Year's Eve, possibly in addition to Aceh's reputation as the marijuana capital of Indonesia.
Regardless of their efforts, it appears predicted wet weather will put a dampener on celebrations in many parts of the country.
Happy New Year! / Selamat Tahun Baru!
Sad little guys really! One suspects these are the guys who when they were kids mom had to tie a piece of meat around their necks just to get the dog to play with them.
“What do you want to be when you grow up Achmed”
“Well seeing how I am a maladjusted, mommies boy and all round a’hole I guess it’s tax collector, dog catcher or religious policeman…oh wait the first two serve a useful but unpopular function..I wanna be a religious policeman”
What a shame, Aceh is actually a very pretty province but who the h*ll would want to go there with all these very unattractive people strutting around.
On the bright side; this sort of joyless oppression often serves to turn people away from religion. It was probably a little more fun than celebrating New Years in North Korea, to be fair and balanced about it.
I think it has little to with religion and more to do with sad insecure little men. No matter what happens, it will be long time before ACEH turns away from religion. However, one can hope they give the creatures claiming to speak for Allah the bum rush sooner rather than later.
Unfortunately Oigal, there are plenty of women who assist these sad little men in their social controls.
I can’t believe manohara didn’t party…