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Jakarta Post

Enjoying ‘tuak’ in Batak country

  • Wan Ulfa Nur Zuhra


NORTH SUMATRA   /   Mon, January 21 2013   /  09:56 am

Lively: Lapo tuak or foodstalls where tuak is served are popular gathering places in North Sumatra. They also serve a variety of snacks.For the Batak community in North Sumatra, tuak (palm liquor) is not just for drinking binges. The beverage is mandatory at celebrations, and drinking tuak has become something of a tradition.

Five minutes past midnight a lapo tuak (tuak foodstall) is serving tuak in the Simalingkar area of Medan. A rectangular table was surrounded by five youths. Their eyes were beginning to redden but they weren’t babbling. They were talking about God.

“What makes you convinced Jesus is God?” one of them asked his friends. Before they replied, the discussion was interrupted by our arrival. When we said we wanted to discuss tuak, they warmly welcomed us and invited us to sit down.

“Just guess, how many glasses of tuak have I drunk?” asked ...