Children playing outside in a remote village in Banyuwangi, East Java, 2022.
Like Bali, Java also has many amazing destinations and activities, such as hiking near the Mount Ijen volcano and snorkeling near Bangsring village. You can also learn about Javanese culture as you learn traditional dance or try your hand at making the dyed cloth called batik.
In Java, you will experience a different culture from Bali. People in Java are mostly Muslim, so at certain hours you will hear the call to prayer from each mosque. You will experience different customs, different cuisine, and even different personal values among the people. Religion is deeply intertwined with and inseparable from their day-to-day life and most of the day's activities are structured around the five prayer times.
Although they are all Indonesian citizens, each person deeply identifies with their specific island and people group. There are at least six major ethnic groups in East Java, namely Osing, Javanese, Madurese, Balinese, Chinese, and Arab. But no matter who you’re with or which island you find yourself on, you will always be surrounded by a beautiful simplicity and the warmest hospitality.
The father of one of the children we sponsor greeting us with a welcoming smile, 2022.