Manado Sulawesi information, local attractions, places of interest in North Sulawesi, Minahasa dance performances, art, culture, and panorama. The capital of North Sulawesi is Manado. The indigenous people of this province are the Manado and Minahasa people.

The province has a vast amount of coconut plantations fringed along the coastline. For that reason, North Sulawesi is called “Bumi Nyiur Melambai” or “The Land of Waving Coconut Palms. There are many places that can be explored and enjoyed in North Sulawesi, such as diving and snorkeling in Bunaken Sea Garden, climbing to the top of mount Klabat in Airmadidi, and seeing the “Waruga,” ancient stone graves in Sawangan Village. The Islands of Talaud and Sangihe are part of this province. People of North Sulawesi love music and they are famed throughout the country for their vocal skills, displayed to best advantage during their rituals, celebrations, and gatherings. The Kolintang music instrument originated from Minahasa. It is similar to a wooden xylophone and is popular nationwide. One version of local folklore states that the name.


Kolintang came from its sounds: TING (high pitch note), TANG (moderate pitch note), and TONG (low pitch note). In the local language, the invitation “Let us do some TING TANG TONG” is:”mangemo kumolintang”, hence the name of the instrument, Kolintang.In its early days, Kolintang originally consisted of only a series of wooden bars placed side by side in a row on the legs of the players who would sit on the floor with both of their legs stretched out in front of them. Later on, the function of the legs was replaced either by two poles of a banana trunk or by a rope that hung them up to a wooden plank. The story says that the resonance box was beginning to be attached to this instrument after Diponegoro, a prince from Java who was exiled to Minahasa, brought along the Javanese instrument Gamelan with its resonance box, Gambang. Kolintang had a close relationship with the traditional belief of Minahasan natives. It was usually played in ancestor worshipping rituals. That might explain the reason why Kolintang was nearly totally left behind when Christianity came to North Sulawesi. It was so rarely played that it was nearly extinct for about 100 years since then.

It only reappeared after World War II, pioneered by the blind musician Nelwan Katuuk, who reconstructed it according to universal musical scales. Initially, there was only one kind of Kolintang instrument which was a 2 octave diatonically melody instrument. It was usually played with other string instruments such as guitar, ukulele or string bass as accompaniment. Bamboo Music: Bamboo trumpets were made and played for hundreds of years in North Sulawesi, particularly in Sangihe Talaud. High-quality, very old bamboo is shaped into elegant trumpets which produce a melodious sound. To ensure the trumpet will be durable and of good quality, the bamboo poles are steeped in flowing water, usually a river, for about three months. They are then dried by being placed on a board above a small flame for about four months. It is only then that the bamboo is ready to be made into trumpets. There are various models of bamboo instruments. A bamboo saxophone, for example, is called sesuho, while a bamboo trumpet is known as pepato. If all of the instruments in an orchestra are made entirely from bamboo, the group is called a bambu melulu music group. If some additional elements are brought to the instruments like brass or tin then it is called a bambu clarinet or bambu seng music group, respectively.

Maengket is a dance drama from Minahasa. The dance is often performed on important occasions welcoming prominent visitors, as a prelude to competitions, or during local festivals. Maengket is accompanied by spirited harmonic songs in the form of Minahasan communal work. It is actually a variety of modernized and secularized dances consisting of three parts, Makamberu depicting the harvest time and in some parts of its choreography tell about romantic love poems; Marambak celebrating the building of a new house and passing on traditional values; Mah’laya is usually humorous and is generally full of merriment.Kabasaran or Cakalele Minahasa: A war dance, effecting patriotism, heroic and courage. Usually performed by men wearing red war costumes with swords and shields, uttering cries to frighten the enemies. Cakalele is also popular in the Moluccas where it probably has its roots. However, there are also similarities with war dances in Portugal.

Tari Lengso is a dance derived from Maengket where the dancers use handkerchiefs in the dance routine. It slightly resembles dances from the Vietnamese and Kampuchean cultures, where Toar and Lumimuut, the descendants of the Minahasans came from.

Kabala is a traditional welcome dance performance in Bolaang Mongondow.

Tempurung is the local name for coconut shell. Many decorations are made from tempurung and it is very useful in more remote places where the farmers use it as bowls, plates, cups, and even musical instruments, as shown in this dance. The dance reflects the appreciation of the farmer’s family for the harvest of kopra (copra). It is usually performed by pairs of men and women.

Katrili is an imported dance introduced by the Spaniards in the time of colonialism. The dance is performed by pairs of men and women and a leader. The commands are given in Spanish. The costumes are similar to those of the flamenco dance.

Polineis is a modification of the Polonaise. Like Katrili, Polineis is an imported dance originally introduced by the Dutch people in the colonial era. It is very popular among the older generation and is still seen in Minahasa, especially in the recreation part of a wedding party where it is usually followed by a waltz.

Pisok is the local name for the sparrow, also known as Burung Gereja (church bird). This bird is considered holy in Minahasa. The Minahasan people believe that the Pisok bird always brings good luck. The Pisok dance is performed by an odd number of girls.

The indigenous dance repertoire of Sangihe Talaud includes the Gunde (worship dance), Salo (war dances), Bengko (war dance using spears), and Update (to accompany the Saalo dance, perfumed by the king’s guards). Others are Alabadiri (illustrating the cooperative spirit in work between the government and the people), and Ransa Sahabe (similar to the Alabadiri dance). Relatively new dances are Kakalumpan(illustrating cooperation among the people during the coconut harvest), the fisherman’s dance Madunde (dance of the nine goddesses), Empat Wayer (youth dance), Toumatiti and Petik Pala (nutmeg picking dance).

This provincial capital is situated on the bay of Manado, Physically the land structure shows the morphology of wavy slopes and hills in the northern and central part of the city. The southern part may be said to be made up of mountain foot of volcanoes in central Minahasa and other plateaus. Generally, the slant of land varies between 0-40%.In accordance with the location, Manado may be said a tropical area with an average temperature of 25,7°C. and humidity of an average of 80%. Manado is estimated to have been resided since the XVI century and was called “Wenang”. Later, in 1623 the name was changed into “Manado”. Influenced by foreign occupation, the culture of the people has been a mixed one. Urbanization of people from Sangihe Talaud. Gorontalo, Bolaang Mongondow, and Minahasa have resulted in a mixed population and culture. Manado at the present time covers an area of 157,58 Ha. or an average of 0,57% of the entire North Sulawesi province. The total population is 325.122 people (1992). There are several places of tourist interest around this city.

Manado Sulawesi Information and Places of Interest

Manado Tua Island Information.
This island is the main island of its sister island group: Bunaken, Siladen, Mantehage, and Nain, situated just off Manado bay. The path to the top takes several hours to climb but it offers a nice view of all islands of Manado bay superb for diving and snorkeling. About one hour from Manado by motor boot.

Siladen Island Informations
This island is surrounded by beautiful white sandy beaches and many shells. Good diving for experienced divers but good snorkeling for all comers. To those who feel the need to escape from civilization, this tranquil place offers a nice opportunity for diving, snorkeling, fishing, and sunbath. About one-half hour from Manado by motorboat.

Wolter Monginsidi and Piere tendean Monument
A monument to reminisce the meritorious young me from North Sulawesi, Wolter Monginsidi, and Piere Tendean. Wolter Monginsidi died during the struggle if Indonesia’s impendence and Piere Tendean died in the communist rebellion on September 30, 1965. Situated on the waterfront, facing the bay of Manado this place is usually crowded by people who want to relax while enjoying the beautiful panorama of the bay. The monument is located in Bahu on the intersection of Jl. Wolter Monginsidi and Piere Tendean.

Ranomuut Horse Racing Area
This track is primarily used on holidays, national days, and special events where the public can witness horse racing as well as the traditional cart racing. Check with your hotel front desk for information.

Ban Hin Kong Temple
This 19th-century temple, the oldest in east Indonesia, is the worship place of Chinese Buddhist believers. During Toa Peh Kong each February, a traditional Chinese parade dating from the 14th century is held. During this period the following traditions may be observed :
*Barongsai display in the form of 10m artificial dragon.
*Ince Pia: a man who hits his back with a sharp sword without being injured.
*Pikulan : a unique and motley procession of little girls sitting on carrying poles decorated with flowers.
*Kuda Locia : a procession of young men on horseback dressed in colored customs.
The temple is located on Jl. Panjaitan in the center of the city.

Moseum North Sulawesi
For the historian and those who want to observe art, cultural and historical remains, this museum offers visual information and the presentation of art, cultural and historical remains of the four ethnic groups inhabited North Sulawesi, including from Batak tribe (West Sumatra), Lombok (West Nusatenggara), Bali, central Sulawesi, and Irian Jaya. Historical remains from Dutch, Portuguese, Japan, Chinese, and Sweden may be seen in this museum. Located at Jl. W.R. Supratman, Manado.

Wenang Golf Club
The sanctuary is covered by lush tropical rainforest and is a beautiful, unspoiled environment. It is an ideal place for camping as well as birds watching. Take an oplet from Girian to this place.

The city of Bitung is located on the northern coast of Sulawesi, approximately 47 km from Manado. Its landmass covers a total area of 30,400 Ha with a population of 118,633 people (1996). Bitung is a significant commercial port in Eastern Indonesia and as well a tourist gateway. The port is well equipped with a pier capable of accommodating modern cruise ships. A major asset for Bitung is the Lembeh Strait and Lembeh Island which acts as a natural shield protecting Bitung from wind and rough seas. It is believed that the name “Bitung”, was taken from the name of a shady tree that grows in the coastal areas, offering people shelter from sun, rain, and wind.

Tangkoko Batu Angus Natural Reserve
Located at the foot of Dua Saudara Mountain, the area is comprised of rolling hills and valleys with a variety of hardwood trees and unusual plant life. Tarsius Spectrum The animal life is also quite varied and one can often view Tarsius Spectrum (world’s smallest primate), black tailless monkeys, Maleo Birds, wild pigs, and kuskus (marsupial family). Tangkoko Batuangus Reserve offers a suitable protective environment to help prevent these animals from becoming extinct. Tangkoko is located in the northern sector of Bitung and comprises an area of 3,196 Ha and takes about 1.5 -2.5 hours to reach from Bitung or Manado, respectively. Please note that the road to Tangkoko is somewhat difficult and visitors are recommended to visit with a local tour operator to ensure a safe journey and to take advantage of an experienced guide who can assist in spotting the wildlife. Losmen (simple guesthouses) are available for overnight stays.

Lembeh Strait
Lembeh Strait is a 12 km. long stretch of water separating Lembeh Island and the mainland. Bitung is actually the halfway point along the shores of Lembeh Strait. This pristine section of water in North Sulawesi is home to many unique sea animals which include the pygmy seahorse, mimic octopus, ghost pipefish, as well as other larger species. It is a fantastic dive area for underwater photographers and the diversity of smaller creatures ensures many memorable photo opportunities. There are several undeveloped beaches on the shoreline of Lembeh Strait which are excellent for swimming and snorkeling. Presently, Lembeh Island is undeveloped and has no tourist facilities.

Japanese Monument
As Bitung played an important role in WW II as a home base for the Japanese Forces, it became the last resting place of their soldiers who died during the War. To commemorate this time in history and the men who died, the Japanese and North Sulawesi Government constructed this monument located at Manembo-nembo 7 km from Bitung center.

Trikora Monument
Is situated on a bluff at Lembeh Island Beach, the DC3 monument and park offer a nice opportunity to observe ships going by as well as being a gathering place on Sundays and holidays. Reachable by motorized outrigger.

The Minahasan region covers an area of approximately 418,862 Ha with a population of 733,029 people (1996). The Linau Lake The capital of this district is Tondano, a town close to Lake Tondano.It is situated on a plateau 700 m above sea level, surrounded by magnificent countryside with cool mountainous air. Minahasan people believe the legend that they are descendants of Toar and Lumimuut. The reminders of this time long ago are the Waruga, stone graves in Sawangan Airmadidi, and Watu Pinabetengan in Tompaso. The word Minahasa which means unification of the traditional tribes was derived from the word sea or one, hence the land was named Minahasa.

Mount Klabat
The highest mountain in North Sulawesi (1995 m) is a 5-6 hours climb beginning near the Police Station in Airmadidi. Try walking up at night during a full moon and staying overnight to watch the sunrise. On Sundays and holidays, Mt. Klabat bustles with the activity of students and hikers.

Waruga Taman Purbakala Sawangan
The ancient Waruga, stone graves (sarcophagi), of the Minahasan people, dating from the Megalithic age are extremely interesting.144 stone graves were built to house the remains in the sitting position. The pre-Christian belief was that the babies were born in the sitting position in the mother’s womb and it is in this position that humans must pass on to eternity. The engravings on the headstones depict the cause of death, the deceased’s hobby, character or occupation, etc. There is a small shop in front of the gate and a small donation is suggested. It is located at Sawangan village near Airmadidi,24 km from Manado.

Ibu Walanda Maramis Mausoeum
This site pays homage to the national heroine of Women’s Rights in North Sulawesi. She was born on December 1, 1872, and died on April 22, 1924. An organization called “PIKAT” was established by Ibu Walanda Maramis to involve women in social and educational development.

DR Sam Ratulangi Monument and Grave Site
This monument and gravesite, located in Tondano, memorialize this national hero from North Sulawesi, born in Tondano 1890, and died in 1949. Situated on a hill with an unspoiled view of Lake Tondano and surrounding rice fields, it reminds us of the spirit of national heroism during the revolutionary period.

Manado Sulawesi Information

This sleepy town, 13 km. from Tondano, situated on Lake Tondano, is an ideal place for various water sports. Bungalows, hot springs, and local fish restaurants are available on a limited basis.

Kyai Modjo Mauoleum
Kayai Modjo was the commander of Pangeran Diponegoro during the Java War (1825-1830). He was exiled to Tondano and died in 1848. The mausoleum that was built in his honor, is located in the village named Kampung Jawa about 12 km from Tondano.

Sarapung and Korengkeng Monument
This monument,1km from the center of the town, honors the Tondano War,1808-1809 led by Sarapung,the chieftain of Tondano Touliang and Korengkeng, chieftain of Tondano-Toulimambot tribes.

Tamaska Hijau
This area in Tataaran features hot springs and impressive views of rice fields. It has limited facilities for overnight stays.

The Bendi (traditional horse cart) This picturesque town, 25 km. from Manado,is the center for many of the Christian Missionary groups. It is located on a plateau between two active volcanoes, Lokon and Mahawu. The cool fresh air enables a multitude of flowers and all kinds of the more exotic plants to proliferate. Bukit Inspirasi, (auditorium) facing Mt. Lokon is the home to national conventions, festivals, and other events.

Mount Lokon and Mount Mahawu
The volcanic mountains Lokon (1.580 m) and Mahawu (1.311 m), both have crater lakes of considerable beauty. Lokon is sometimes considered to be the most beautiful of the two. The trek to the top should be made by climbers in reasonable condition. The steaming crater lies 600 m below the peak of the mountain and the lake is about 60 m deep. The best time to start walking from Kakaskasen is 7 AM and it is possible to arrive at the crater while the morning is still cool. It is important to contact Pos Pengamanan Gunung Lokon and Gunung Mahawu in Kakaskasen III, Tomohon.

Mount Soputan
This active volcano is situated in Tombatu, about 60 km from Manado or a 10 km walk from Toure village. Soputan, 1825 meters in height, is still active, oftentimes steaming and spewing volcanic ash. Trekkers will pass through plantations, as well as areas overrun with “Edelweiss” flowers, usually called “Bunga Abadi” or “Eternal Flower”. Often times people choose to camp overnight in the Casuarinas Forest before making the final ascent which begins at 4:00 AM.

Watu Pinawetengan
Pinabetengan village, about 50 km from Manado, is the home to ancient stone, shaped like a table. It measures 4 m long and 2 m high and is one of the remnants left by the Minahasan Tribes where they negotiated the territorial division, unification, peace, and war against their enemies. Pictography carvings on the stone cannot be deciphered.

Japanese caves
These caves are located alongside the road between Kiawa and Kawangkoan, countryside villages about 45 km from Manado. The caves were built by the Japanese during World War II primarily for storage.

Lapian – Taulu Monument
This monument, located in Kawangkoan, 45 km from Manado, commemorates Bernhard Wilhelm Lapian and Charles Chus Taulu, the leaders in Peristiwa Merah Putih, February 14th, 1946, which represented the heroic fight to defend the Republic of Indonesia.B.W. Lapian was also a religious hero who established KGPM (Kerapatan Gereja Protestan Minahasa).

Imam Bonjol Mausoleum
This mausoleum, located 7 km from Manado, represents traditional Minangkabau architecture and honors Imam Bondjol, a national hero from Minangkabau in West Sumatera. He was a hero of the Perang Paderi (Paderi War) against the Dutch and was later exiled to North Sulawesi. He was born in 1791 and died in Lota Village, Pineleng in 1864.

Kali Waterfall
Located in Kali Village, Pineleng, about 10 km from Manado, this natural 60 m waterfall is an ideal place to enjoy nature and fresh water pools at the base of the falls. It is easily reachable from Manado by public transportation followed by a short 30 -45-minute hike past the village. Please read Tips for Excursions.

Bolaang Mongondow
Bolaang Mongondow is the name of a district, which covers the highlands & lowlands between Minahassa and Gorontalo. The population is 411,086 (1996). Besides the legend of their origin, Bolaang Mongondow is renowned for its traditional ceremonies, which are unique and impressive and portray the process of human life from birth to adulthood. These celebrations are great tourist attractions that should not be missed. Another cultural attraction is the traditional dances, which have been preserved over time.

Lake Moat
This tranquil lake, about 23 km from Kotamobagu, is situated in the highlands,1000 m above sea level, is surrounded by dense forest with abundant bird and animal life.

Molosing Indah Beach
This beach is 50 km from Kotamobagu, offshore from Motabang village on the tiny island of Molosing. This tranquil tropical island is pleasant for swimming, fishing, boating, as well as snorkeling. There is basic accommodation and restaurants.

Mount Ambang
This impressive mountain is reached by passing through the coffee plantations between Modayag and Lake Mooat and is 27 km from Kotamobagu. This nature reserve offers a crater lake, unexplored forest, and hot mud pools.

Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park ( Dumoga Bone)
The National Park,260 km from Manado, has a landmass of 193,600 ha, altitudes of 200 – 1,968 m and stretches from Dumoga in Bolaang Mongondow to Bone in Gorontalo. Its mountainous terrain and dense vegetation make it an ideal home for maleo birds, anoas, hornbills, wild pigs, Tarsius spectrum, and giant fruit bats. Giant fruit bats were a new species discovered in 1992. The major reason for establishing this area as a National Park was to protect the watershed and stop deforestation. The World Bank has lent its support to this program. Much of the forest is at comparatively low attitudes and correspondingly rich in fruit-bearing plants and trees, such as wild durians and wild nutmeg.

Sangihe Talaud
This district consists of 77 islands, of which 56 islands are inhabited. The population is 260,370 people (1996). Most of the people are involved in agriculture, which includes coconut, vanilla, nutmeg, and clove. The islands are located north of the Sulawesi Peninsula and south of the Philippines The islands are divided into two main groups; Sangihe, consisting of the islands Sangir Besar, Siau, Tagulandang, and Biaro; and Talaud consists of the islands of Karakelang, Salibabu, Kaburuan, Nanusa, Miangaas, plus many other small islands. The capital of Sangihe Talaud is Tahuna, which is located on Sanger Besar. The airport located about 21 km from Tahuna is serviced by domestic airlines on an irregular basis. Please check with a travel agent. There are seaports in Tahuna, Siau, Tagulandang, and Beo which are serviced by various ferries and local boats. Sangihe Talaud is renowned for its magnificent white sandy beaches with amazing coral gardens as well as an underwater active volcano. It is also known for its beautiful dances with a variety of war dances and those re-enacting legends. The traditional music of Sangihe Talaud consists of Oli-Oli and Musik Bambu. Handicrafts from Sangihe Talaud include wonderful ebony carvings and beautiful fine embroidery from Batunderang Island in Sangir Besar.

The King’s Palace
Is the old royal residence used during the period of the Tahuna Kingdoms, Manganitu, and Tamako. Inside the building,, you can still see relics of the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and Tagalog episodes. This is a definite must-see.

The Old Church
This church is located in Manganitu, Sanger Besar Island. It was built by Steyler, a German missionary in the last century. There is nothing left inside, however, the building is still intact. There is a family gravesite on the property. Take a look, as it is one of the few historical sights in the islands.

The original Minahasans are said to originate from Lumimuut, who rose from the sea and gave birth to Tar. After many years of separation, the mother and son met again. Not recognizing each other, they married and their descendants populated the region. Minahasan lands and languages were divided by the god Muntu Untu at Watu Pinabetengan (the dividing stone), a carved rock on the foothills of Mount Soputan.

Rice surpluses from Minahasa’s volcanic hinterland made Manado a strategic port for European traders sailing to and from the spice island of Maluku. Spain established a fort and Manado Rulers wanted their unruly and corrupt Spanish guests out and appealed to the Dutch VOC in Ternate for help. The Dutch and their Minahasan allies eventually gained the upper hand in 1655, built their own fortress in 1658, and expelled the last of the Spaniards a few years later.

The Dutch helped unite the linguistically diverse Minahasa confederacy and in 1693 the Minahasa scored a decisive military victory against the Bolaang to the south. Dutch influence flourished as the Minahasans embraced European goods and god. Missionary schools in Manado in 1881 were among the first attempts at mass education in Indonesia, giving their graduates a considerable edge in gaining civil service, military and other positions of influence.

The Japanese occupation of 1942-45 was a period of deprivation and the allies bombed Manado heavily in 1945. During the war of independence that followed, there was a bitter division between pro-Indonesian Unitarians and those favoring Dutch-sponsored federalism. The appointment of a Manadonese Christian, Sam Ratulangi, as the first republican governor of eastern Indonesia, was decisive in winning Minahasan support for the republic.

As the young republic lurched from crisis to crisis, Jakarta’s monopoly over the copra trade seriously weakened Minahasa’s economy. Illegal exports flourished and in June 1956 Jakarta ordered the closure of the Manado port, the busiest smuggling port in the republic. Local leaders refused and Jakarta backed down. Soon the Permesta rebels confronted the central government with demands for political, economic, and regional reform. Jakarta responded to Manado by bombing the city in February 1958 than in fighting in June.

Manado prospered under Indonesia’s new order, which implemented many of the economic reports (but few of the political reforms) sought by the Permesta rebels. The city has a tolerant, outward-looking culture and it will be interesting to see what the future holds with the implementation of Regional Autonomy.

The total population of North Sulawesi province is 1,989,977 People (1996). The ethnic groups are Bolaang Mongondow, Sangihe Talaud, and Minahasa. The province is also inhabited by immigrant populations, which are divided into the following groups: Chinese, concentrated in towns and engaging wholesale and trading, Arab communities (primarily in Manado), Javanese, Balinese, Bugis, and Makassaresse, including Bajau (Bajo) in small numbers.

The people in North Sulawesi are followers of Christian, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Merchants brought the Islamic Religion through the ports and small seaside villages in Gorontalo and Bolaang Mongondow. Christianity first started in Manado Tua, an island in the Bay of Manado and the islands of Sangihe Talaud around 1563 when the Portuguese merchants began spice trading. Buddhism was introduced by Chinese merchants around 1881. A traditional Buddhist temple was built in the center of Manado to provide a house of worship for the followers of Buddha. Hinduism came to North Sulawesi in 1963. The transmigrants from Bali brought Hinduism to North Sulawesi and the followers are concentrated near Bolaang Mongondow.
Art and Culture

Manado Sulawesi Information

Traditional Music Instruments
Bamboo Music – Clarinet Minahasan people are fond of music. The popular traditional music is Kolintang, Bambu, and Bia. Kolintang (Indonesian Xylophone) is similar to a wooden xylophone and is popular nationwide. One version of local folklore states that the name Kolintang came from the sound: TING (high pitch note) and TANG (moderate pitch note), TONG (low pitch note). In the local language, the invitation “Let us do some TING TANG TONG” is: “mangemo kumolintang”, hence the name of the instrument, KOLINTANG Bamboo Music – Bass Bamboo Orchestra: There are other traditional Minahasan musical instruments often used to accompany the dance such as Bambu and Bia. A Bamboo Orchestra is typically a large ensemble consisting of a variety of wind, string, and rhythm instruments made of bamboo (bamboo melulu), sometimes fabricated from brass (bambu clarinet) or of tin (bamboo seng). Bia music consisting of a conch shell is less popular but is still employed in some areas of North Sulawesi, usually at holiday celebrations.

Traditional Dances
Maengket Dance from North Sulawesi Maengket is a dance drama from Minahasa, North Sulawesi. The dance is often performed on important occasions welcoming prominent visitors, as a prelude to competitions, or during local festivals. Maengket is accompanied by spirited harmonic songs in the form of Minahasan communal work. It is actually a variety of modernized and secularized dances consisting of three parts, Makamberu depicting the harvest time and in some parts of its choreography tell about romantic love poems; Marambak celebrating the building of a new house and passing on traditional values; Mah’laya is usually humorous and is generally full of merriment.

There are several other traditional dances:
Kabasaran which is some time called “Cakalele Minahasa”,is performed as a welcome dance to greet incoming guests. Tumatenden is a fairy tale of love depicting the folklore of Tumatenden. Tari Lenso is a dance derived from Maengket where the dancers use handkerchiefs in the dance routine.It slightly resembles dances from the Vietnamese and Kampuchean cultures, where Toar and Lumimuut, the descendants of the Minahasans came from.

Local Food and Drinks
Like for most of Indonesia, the staple food in North Sulawesi is rice, except for Sangihe Talaud where it is Sago. However, rice is becoming more popular and affordable there as well. Fish features prominently in the diet: fresh, salted, dried, smoked, or paste. It is abundant and of great variety: lobster, oyster, prawns, shrimp, squid, crab, etc. Coconut is found everywhere and besides being processed for cooking oil, its milk and meat is an ingredient for many dishes. Spices and hot chili peppers are the essences of most cooking and in North Sulawesi, they are used generously.

*Bubur Manado or Manado porridge is a traditional food served generally for breakfast. It contains vegetables and rice and is served with hot chili peppers.
*Nasi Jaha is sticky rice mixed with red onion and ginger, then cooked in bamboo with coconut milk. It is usually eaten as a snack with coffee and tea.
*Coconut Tart is comprised of young coconut, wheat flour, and cornflour and makes this sweet and typical North Sulawesi dessert a treat to remember.
*Saguer is brewed from the liquid obtained from the Sugar Palm Tree. It has a low alcohol content and is both sweet and sour in taste.

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