Kites, Bubbles, and Buffalo Races (Work and Play in Sumatra)

With the latest Nikon announcement, I realized have not published any guest posts in a month. This one about Sumatra is by Michael Fuller (website | Facebook | Twitter):

These adorable kids playing in Bukittinggi's "Jam Gadang" (clock tower) square.

These adorable kids playing in Bukittinggi's "Jam Gadang" (clock tower) square.

Dear NikonRumorers.

Two activities that unite all humans across this world are work and play. They also divide humans, typically by age – but not always. Sadly, many children in this world are required to work. And happily, many adults are still choosing to play.

With my Nikon D7000 I spent a month surfing, scootering and scuba diving across Sumatra. But mostly I was documenting the lives of ordinary people I met along the way, at work and at play.

Many of these stories have become photo-essays and cultural adventures on my website. But today I’ve compiled a short post exclusively for the readers of NikonRumors! I’ve chosen one ‘roll’ of photos to share. That’s 24 shots, for you young’s.

And since we all like to geek out on gear, I’ll pre-empt any questions: My three lenses are an 11-16mm f/2.8; an 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6; and a 35mm f/1.8. Now, the photos!

Kites, Bubbles, and Buffalo Races in Sumatra1

"Do you have punks in Canada?" they asked me. "Yes," I replied, "But they don't play the ukulele."

"Do you have punks in Canada?" they asked me.
"Yes," I replied,
"But they don't play the ukulele."

 

I have a fascination with how people work differently, in different countries.

I have a fascination with how people work differently, in different countries.

Protecting the President (Jokowi) during his visit to give a speech at Kilometer 0, the northernmost point in Indonesia.

Protecting the President (Jokowi) during his visit to give a speech at Kilometer 0, the northernmost point in Indonesia.

Kites, Bubbles, and Buffalo Races in Sumatra5

Mr Mohammed, the gardener and very old friend of my new friend.

Mr Mohammed, the gardener and very old friend of my new friend.

Between torrential downpours, this man and his family would run out from their paddy huts to scare away the birds.

Between torrential downpours, this man and his family would run out from their paddy huts to scare away the birds.

Women negotiating a sale of dried fish (ikan kering) and octupus on the west coast of Aceh.

Women negotiating a sale of dried fish (ikan kering) and octupus on the west coast of Aceh.

Struggling to get the buffalo into the truck, in a remote corner of Samosir Island, Lake Toba, Sumatra.

Struggling to get the buffalo into the truck, in a remote corner of Samosir Island, Lake Toba, Sumatra.

To a child, everything's a toy.

To a child, everything's a toy.

Cabbage is the business: Around North Sumatra, they love growing cabbage. There are entire sheds stacked double overhead with cabbage stockpiles. These men empty their rejects into the paddock for the cows.

Cabbage is the business: Around North Sumatra, they love growing cabbage. There are entire sheds stacked double overhead with cabbage stockpiles. These men empty their rejects into the paddock for the cows.

Drinking Music, Drunken Staggering: Batak men at Lake Toba sing a drinking song, complete with drunken staggering. They were great.

Drinking Music, Drunken Staggering: Batak men at Lake Toba sing a drinking song, complete with drunken staggering. They were great.

Kites, Bubbles, and Buffalo Races in Sumatra13

This child told me for every kilogram of plastic he collects he earns $1. I'm not sure if you've ever weighed your recycling, but that's a lot of plastic.

The bubble vendor in Bukittinggi's "Jam Gadang" (clock tower) square.

The bubble vendor in Bukittinggi's "Jam Gadang" (clock tower) square.

Two adorable kids playing in Bukittinggi's "Jam Gadang" (clock tower) square.

Two adorable kids playing in Bukittinggi's "Jam Gadang" (clock tower) square.

Boiling cane sugar, burning mostly garbage, in a backyard factory in central Sumatra. With delicious results

Boiling cane sugar, burning mostly garbage, in a backyard factory in central Sumatra. With delicious results

I love his facial expression. Delicious. Shot at a backyard cane sugar factory in central Sumatra.

I love his facial expression. Delicious.
Shot at a backyard cane sugar factory in central Sumatra.

Most women in Sumatra wear pyjamas for clothes. It's quite bizarre. This is someone's front yard mini-petrol station. Quite professional when compared with the racks of glass bottles in most of Indonesia.

Most women in Sumatra wear pyjamas for clothes. It's quite bizarre.
This is someone's front yard mini-petrol station. Quite professional when compared with the racks of glass bottles in most of Indonesia.

Kites, Bubbles, and Buffalo Races in Sumatra20

A kite competition in rural Sumatra.

Kites, Bubbles, and Buffalo Races in Sumatra21

The rules are simple: Everyone unrolls 50m of line and stands together, their launcher ready. On “Go” (this decisive moment) the kites are released, and the first kite to get directly overhead of the flier is the winner.

Kites, Bubbles, and Buffalo Races in Sumatra22

The Indonesian word for kites is “layang layang”

A kite ('layang layang') competition in rural Sumatra.

A kite ('layang layang') competition in rural Sumatra.

Bull Racing in Rice Paddy. From a remote rural rice harvesting festival in Central Sumatra.

Bull Racing in Rice Paddy. From a remote rural rice harvesting festival in Central Sumatra.

Like this theme? I’ve just published The World at Work: a photography book!

Travel is not really about me anymore. It’s about the lives of people I touch along the way, whether connecting with locals, or educating and entertaining people online. I’ve just finished a book to celebrate the people whose livelihoods most of us would consider difficult, strange, rare, traditional... or just different.  To showcase the world, at work.

Everyone in the world works, so I think everyone in the world will find something surprising, thought-provoking, or beautiful in this book. To learn more or get your copy, please visit my IndieGoGo page

Keep working hard, but playing harder!

-Mike

If you have an interesting idea for a guest post, you can contact me here.

This entry was posted in Nikon D7000 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Back to top