We knew that Jakarta had a big expatriate community, but who would've thought that one of the biggest Scottish events in the Southern Hemisphere would be situated in the Indonesian capital!
Bringing in around 8,000 people every year, this is Indonesia's biggest international community gathering. This annual charity event is open for families and friends for a day out of eating, drinking and watching traditional Highland Games - but what are Scottish Highland Games exactly? Well these 10 reasons why you should visit the Jakarta Highland Gathering explain it all:
A big part of the highland games is of course the people wearing 'kilts' - which I guess we could say is the Scottish version of the sarong? Yes, men wear them too, and no, don't call it a skirt !
Also, it is Scottish tradition to not wear underwear under the kilt. So, look out for big gusts of wind!
2) The Weight Over the Bar
Here's another impressive one, the Heavies must throw a huge anvil-like weight way over a bar above their heads. Dangerous, but an exciting watch for sure
3) The Scottish Hammer Throw + Stone Throw
Another one for the Heavies, this competition involves throwing a huge round hammer that weighs over 15kg. They also do it with large stones, similar to the 'shot putt'.
4) The Caber Toss
The 'Heavies' at the highland games are basically the 'strongmen'. The caber toss is a competition whereby Heavies compete against each other to throw a huge tree trunk in an attempt to flip the large trunk over.
5) Scottish Pipebands
The national music of scotland! Complete with the famous bagpipes, drum lines and more. It's an awesome spectacle and you won't see anything like this in Indonesia outside the gathering.
6) The Axe Men
Another awesome thing you'll witness is the Axe men - no, we don't mean the deodorant! These are the real deal: watch these guys race each other to chop wood and trees down - swinging their axes like professional old school lumberjacks!
7) Scottish Dancing
Also, throughout the day, the field stage is filled with dancers showing off their highland flings, dressed in appropriate attire of course.
8) Up Helly Ha !
Another one of the rituals of the Highland Gathering is the traditional Scottish 'Viking Boat Burning', called Up Helly Aa. This is a tradition found in the Shetland areas of Scotland and makes for an awesome bon fire.
9) The Fireworks Display
Without a doubt, one of the best firework shows in Jakarta throughout the year. The Jakarta Highland Gathering team spares no expense in this pyrotechnic show, and family and friends huddle and gather together under the glowing sky.
10) It's All Charity!
The best part of the Jakarta Highland Gathering is that it's a community event, it's non-profit and made to bring together expats, locals and visitors alike to enjoy a day out. From the charity golf day, to Scotland in Concert, the Gathering and then finally the Kids Charity Sports day (below) - it's all for a good cause.
Picture of all the Yaysan children on the Sunday Charity Kids Day
So get involved this year! The Highland Gathering is on the 23rd of May 2015, starting at 10am at Imperial Klub Golf Lippo Karawaci. Come, see the pipe bands, cheer on the heavies, watch the dancers and gaze at the fireworks… !