Sunday, August 17, 2014

How Women Swim in Mataram, Lombok (Indonesia)


Before there was a Kura Kura Water Park in Mataram (Lombok), they had Mayura Water Park. Do not confuse this with the Mataram Water Park, which isn't meant for swimming, okay? This sprawling hydropark has a number of pools, unlike Mataram which has a single man-made lake coupled with shady, albeit opportunistic personalities roaming around. Locals flock to the Cakranegara District in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara Province to swim, fish, pray, relax or just kill time with their family and friends. The park was built in 1744 by King A.A. Made Karangasem during his reign in Bali.

The compound is built like a terrace of pools with water emanating from a nearby spring. In some pools, guys stand at a spot, carrying 3 to 4 fishing rods. Yes, there are fish in the pool. In another site, women and children bathe in full body cloak. Don't you ever wonder how heavy these garments could get when underwater? They could smother.

The heat was almost unbearable on the day of my visit. Despite my AC car, I stepped into the water park with sweat dripping down my shirt. I found a shaded area with benches and sat there, thinking how easier life could be without the constraints set by religion, conservative tradition or both. Regardless, I only had deep admiration for the women who follow what they believe. Faith is an admirable trait. It sometimes doesn't require proof.

This is the Eye in the Sky.

2 comments:

Ramakrishnan Ramanathan said...

In India too ladies bathe in pools or lakes wearing sarees or shalwar kameez. India is still largely bikini shy country - largely due to religious constraints.

eye in the sky said...

Religious or cultural concerns dictate such methods. I was probably thinking too hard that sometimes when one is underwater, and she's wearing garments that billow and flail, she'd be swimming against the weight of the clothe/layers of them.