Thursday, April 23, 2009

Minahasa the regency of thousands of churches

by Charles Roring in Manokwari of West Papua - Indonesia


Minahasa, a beautiful mountainous region in North Sulawesi, is famous for its world class diving site - Bunaken National Marine Park. Now it is under the jurisdiction of Manado municipality. Minahasa besides being famous as one of the most favorite tourist destinations in Indonesia is also famous for its devout Christianity. The Dutch and Spanish brought Christianity some two to three hundred years ago to this land through spice trade.



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Along the roads of Minahasan villages, we can see churches from various denominations that are built according to local, western and contemporary architectural designs. I took some pictures of them here.


While I was working at a Diving resort, I had a chance to talk with a foreigner the UK. While we were talking about churches and the people he gave his controversial comment saying that the locals did not pay attention to the empowerment of their economy. They were only focusing on building beautiful churches. I was not angry to his statement. I fully supported that. His opinion is a good criticism to Minahasan people.



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Yes, beautiful churches the Minahasan people have do not automatically reflect that the people live in prosperous life. I see that unemployment is still a serious matter. Every year thousands of job seekers go out of the region to find jobs in other islands such as West Papua, Kalimantan and Java. Some even go abroad to realize their dream.



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Minahasa is beautiful regency, once I again, I said. I hope that the local government can see this potential to invest more in tourism industry. Tourism can boost the local economy and create jobs. During this economic down turn, tourism will still be a lucrative business for Minahasa. I wish the local government could realize it. Related post: Earthquake resistant wooden house of Minahasa; Datsun Trucks of Minahasa Indonesia

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