Nov 7, 2011

A Chronicle to my root

In weeks time,  our big family will be flying out to Siborong-Borong for my sister's wedding. A little village that can be reached by a 5 hour drive from Medan (the capital of North Sumatra). Siborong-borong is a coffee-growing region—looms adorn the porches of almost every home. Batak (North Sumatra tribe) women use them to weave beautiful garments called ulos, as they have for centuries. These fine cloths are believed to keep the soul. Like the ulos, the Batak coffee farmers’ also reflects a craftsmanship and artistry passed down through generations. I cannot recall my late Dad or Grandparents ever carry this skill but it always good to always get familiar with the roots.

I was there... last time in early 1992. My grandpa from Hutasoit side; Alfred Hutasoit was still a healthy fine looking gentlemen with this very thick Dutch mindset and discipline, a music genius (Piano and that darn Violin), literate in both Dutch and German. The Dutch influence was simply by the colonization but the German mostly because the first Christian missioner to North Sumatra was Ludwig Ingwer Nommensen (6. February 1834 – 23 May 1918). He was a German Lutheran missionary  who also translated the New Testament into the native Batak language.
Grandpa got really-really sick after that visit if I am not mistaken, we moved him to Jakarta, after he passed on, we buried him in his village. In his enormous backyard- side by side to his lovely wife who passed away few years before. So, a visit to the old house is a must for me. I will post you a picture after.

The fact of a literally 2 decades of absence does not fades the memories of the streets, the cool weather, the smell of my grandparents cornfields, the warm feeling you get in the barn where they keep the woods for fire, even the pig stalls. I know, I will probably see nothing of that later. The house is now being taking care of by a relatives and of course- they have their own style and idea about home. 
But I must tell you, I have my heart all pounding an aching. Excited and nervous at the same time.
The village was an important piece of my Dad's past life when he was young and you know how much I adore my Dad. And despite the fact that I have never really lived there, I always believe that there is nothing thicker than blood. So, getting back to know your heritage and roots... is just heartwarming.  I can guarantee a teary eyes from me. 
See you soon little village. And may God bless my sister's wedding.

Nommensen Statue- Salib Kasih, Tarutung North Sumatra

from here
My Dad; Luther Hutasoit (in burgundy jacket) with his siblings in Siborong-borong

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