These photos were taken at Masjid Tiban, a large mosque about an hour outside of the center of Malang. In addition to being a mosque, it is also a pesantren, or a Muslim boarding school for students from around the area. The story behind the mosque is that it was built in one night by a genie, but actually it was built by the students and residents from the surrounding areas.
We were given a tour of the complex and I was humbled to see countless examples of how the students who attend the pesantren and the teachers there have cared for and developed the mosque. While we were walking across each of the ten floors of the mosque, I saw students repainting different parts and selling food at a bazaar located inside the mosque. During the tour, our guide, who is also a teacher at the mosque, explained that the mosque is made from many different materials and with different designs because different teams of students built each section. I think that clearly illustrates how Masjid Tiban serves as both a holy place, a school for both Islam and life skills, and a tight-knit community.
These are photos I took at a wedding of one of the BIPA staff (Indonesian Language for Foreigners Department) about a month ago. Indonesian weddings are huge affairs. Usually, hundreds of people will be invited (as to not leave anybody out) and there’s tons of food and beautiful decorations. The group photo is of the staff and teachers at BIPA, and the other two photos are of me and my two language teachers, Mbak Hany and Mas Nanang.
One of the excursions that I got to go on with BIPA was to Batu, which is a city north of Malang. It’s a pretty famous tourist city for Indonesians because of the nature (and cooler weather) — and I can definitely see why! We visited a local manufacturer of keripik apel (Apple chips) and walked around a camp site located on one of the mountains in the area. We also walked through some farms on the way to our tour guide’s house, where we had a delicious lunch (and got to try jambu — guava — on the way there!). Although the rainy season has its challenges, one of the positives is that everything is green. Malang is the first city I’ve been to in East Java, and this is my first time being in Indonesia during the rainy season. I’ve really enjoyed exploring its nature, and with the wonderful staff and teachers from the BIPA program as well.
By: Kyra Jasper
Program: Indonesian Overseas Program, Malang, Indonesia
Term: Spring 2020