Valentine Day and Ash Wednesday

Hello World,

Today, February 14, 2018 is the Valentine Day. The day when people, especially the teenagers, celebrate the romance with their lovers. It is a consumerism-loaded celebration, with chocolates and pink hues everywhere. And it is still the most celebrated day of the teenagers, at least here in Poland.

But, this day also is Ash Wednesday. It is the beginning of Lent season for the Christian, especially the catholics. It is the day of fasting and no meat eating. So, it seems that there are two contradictory celebrations.  How can we “solve” this paradox?

Those two celebrations are the Christian origin celebration. So, while every people out there, the catholic teenagers, try to mess up things with the ash and the heart, there is no contradictory at all. You still have to fast and repent on this day. And well, just forget those chocolate candies, alright?

As when two celebrations occurs in the liturgical calendar, the highest class is dominant. So between Valentine and Ash Wednesday, the most important is the later. Another case for this is on the Palm sunday, where it is also the Feast of Annunciation. But the Palm Sunday has the highest priority.

By the way this is just for you devote catholics. If you are not Catholic, please do as you wish. God bless!


Timorese Corn Soup

Hello World,

Today I want to write about one of my favorite meal. The meal is well known among Timorese people. But unfortunately it is associated with poverty. What the heck is this meal? Timorese people called it Penpasu. Some other called it Jagung Katemak. I do not know where the words “katemak” come from. In Uab Meto and Koalia Tetun, this word Katemak does not present.

So what is penpasu?

Actually it is a soup with corn as the main ingredient. Dried corn is cooked with beans (any beans from the garden, dried or fresh) also with some veggies and leafy greens. There is no certain recipe to follow. Just follow your passion to make a delicious corn soup. But I think the most popular ingredients are young papayas and papaya leaves. It makes the soup taste a little bitter. But that is it. You will get some benefit of the bitter taste for your health. This corn soup always served with chili sauce, called lu’at. Smacznego!

Then, why this delicious meal is associated with poverty?

Let’s go back to Soeharto regime. At this time the government tried to make rice as the main meal of Indonesian people, even for the region where there is no rice field. All the government employees were supplied with rice in addition to their salary. So you can eat rice even there is no rice-farming in your region. The only place to get rice is from the shops, so it means when you want to eat rice you have to come into the market law. You have to  buy your food (rice). When you can afford even just one cup of rice from the market, you may have sold your pig, or your sheep, or even your cow. Otherwise, you have to eat corn which always grow exuberantly in your garden.

Nowadays, many Timorese people do not serve penpasu as the main meal. It just served now and then as a “recreational” dish. Everybody eat rice. Every meal is rice-based. There is no eating until you eat rice. Rice, rice and rice until someday  the doctor found out that you have some diabetic symptom, and that is the time when you consider to eat corn again. But maybe it is too late. Welcome to the ICU!