Laughter: The universal language

A great post about Indonesian culture and schooling that I really recommend everyone reads! PS. I also misinterpreted the instruction to come to school dressed for ‘olah raga’ by wearing 3/4 pants instead of tracksuit pants and had funny looks from staff and students all day!

Indonesian people most certainly know how to have a good time. The line that separates serious business and ridiculous tomfoolery is thin. I’ve come to realize that spontaneous singing, dancing, and laughing are commonplace in any Indonesian social setting. So, when I heard that my high school was taking two days off to celebrate SMA Negeri 5 Palembang’s 36th anniversary, I was prepared for some serious fun.

I was told to come to school on Friday morning to go “jogging” with the students. I interpreted this — falsely, I would later find — to mean that the school was going to do some morning exercise on the school grounds. So, I wore my lime-green shorts and t-shirt, the customary attire for morning exercise in the states. I quickly learned upon my arrival that this was not appropriate attire for the day’s activities. I was greeted with the usual undeserved attention from my…

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