The Face of Indonesia : Water in a Pottery

Madiun is neither a city of malls nor entertainment. I do not have to live there for long to prove I am wrong. In fact, I am not! Madiun is a city in the western part of the province of East Java, Indonesia. A city which is located 169 Km south west of Surabaya. Madiun lies on the Madiun river, tributary of the Bengawan Solo river.

It is around 4 A.M when morning prayer calls – subuh-echo. The sun has not even risen yet. I believe, it is still lazy, but not as lazy as some residents who are still snuggling under their warm blankets, or patchworks which are transformed into homey blankets. It is not too early for cocks to crow. It’s not too early for sellers who are used to be called as early birds. Of course, they bring home the bacon, going to traditional markets even when the crows are still idling in their coops. They work to serve their cust0mers who need all kinds of vegetables, fruit, and all that jazz.

Lights on the porches of people’s houses are still on. Only few people are already outside, doing a little exercise. There are only few cyclists passing by the quiet streets.

Sleeping in his becak

Becak drivers are seen still sleeping snoring in their “becaks”

the daylight is still long.

they say….

(yawning, and refusing to talk more)

I’d go back to sleep.

The air is still fresh when morning says Hello to a quiet city, Madiun. Trying to wake up its residents with its cool air as if it were saying:

“Wake up and smell the coffee, will you”

When morning comes, try to go outside, let your windows wide open, you will feel the friendly morning air of Madiun.

Then splash your face with water. This is not just water coming from a tap, yet water you have kept for a night in a kind of pottery named “Kendil” (water container). I fail to describe the freshness the Kendil water offer me. I do not remember when I first contacted to this kind of culture of my own, but I remember splashing my face with Kendil water, and It was just so fresh that I felt fully awake, and ready to start my day.

Kendil= Pottery used mainly for water container

Kendil water is usually placed in front of your house or at the back of your house. Some people let this Kendil be outside for a night, then the next morning you can take the offer the water offers you ;

the freshness!

Madiun may not have many malls or entertainment, yet it offers you something more cultural, natural, and fresher. Something that you will miss, and when you remember about it, it makes you smile. Then the urge to share the story will be strong. Yes, it is the water inside the kendil that never asks for coins, paper money ( well only when you want to buy it-buy one or two and last for years), and credit cards.

The personal “problem” I am dealing with now is whether or not I manage to bring this culture wherever I am going. This is apart of my culture, and what’s the nicest fact is that I was involved in it some years back, and I felt incredibly overwhelmed.

One thing that I wish to stay: Kendil water culture will never be gone. Please allow me to say that Kendil water is a great way to greet you “Hello, welcome to the hospitable island.”

Photos credits : Google- keywords- Sleep in Becak, Kendil


One response to “The Face of Indonesia : Water in a Pottery

  1. Pingback: The Taste of Morning Indonesia : Pecel Pincuk, Rice on Banana Leaves | Lingua Franca·

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