Saturday, April 4, 2009

Enjoying the natural beauty of Minahasa Mountainous Region Part 2

by Charles Roring
After visiting Tincep village, I continued my travel to another village named Leilem. It is where the locals make furniture. They have extraordinary craftsmanship in furniture production. Although they don't study product design, their furniture design is very good. Many travelers like to buy tables, chairs, bookshelves there. Unfortunately, the local government does not provide assistance for the shipment of the furniture abroad. This, of course, discourages the furniture maker to expand their business. In addition, wood as the primary raw material is getting scarce.
Sonder town in North Sulawesi of Indonesia
I think, it is important to have a sustainable furniture industry in the area by replanting the forest with woods that have high economic value. Farmers in North Sulawesi have planted Teakwood Trees since approximately 20 years ago. Leilem is located between Sonder and Tomohon. I went back to Sonder and at night was invited to have dinner with some of my relatives there. Sonder is famous for its mujair and mas fish. I enjoyed eating the fried mujair fish which was served with chili sauce. Its taste was very delicious.
The public transport in Sonder and other Minahasan villages, besides motorized vehicles, is bendi. It is a horse pulled cart. Bendi is a taxi for shorter distance. It does not consume gas but fresh green grass, a renewable energy which is good for the environment. It is sad to see that the number of bendi is getting lower.
Bendi, farmlands in Sonder, and the furniture of Leilem are some of many attractions which travelers should see when visiting North Sulawesi. I hope that I can visit the region someday in the future.

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