Jun Village

Dak Lak, December 30th 2010

Tin, our guide from Groovy Gecko Tour brought us to visit Jun Village. The sun was shining very, very, bright. It was literally a sunny day.

The tribes living in Jun Village are the Mnong people. They live in long houses called "rong house". At first I thought it was the Vietnamese bad pronunciation that they pronounced "long" as "rong". But it turned out that "rong" was not a wrong pronunciation.

Tin explained that in one rong house there are more than one family living in, but there are no rooms inside. Therefore, when a couple wants a personal intimacy, they have to go outside the house, into the woods, or anywhere, as long as not in the house. The reason is actually because the gods will consider a house unclean if someone conducts a personal intimacy inside the house.

Few houses in the village have been rebuilt with concrete, but still preserve the form of long rong house. Yes, long rong house. That's not wrong.

At the end of the village I saw this toppled down roof. Tin said that they are renovating the house with a modern roof style.

Tin was very kind towards the kids of the village. He blew them many, many, many balloons, and the kids were very, very, very happy. Whenever the hard wind blew off a balloon from a child's hand, another would eagerly chase the flying, tumbling, balloon till under the rong house.

"Must we bring the kids balloons to please the adults when entering their village?" we asked Tin.

"Not at all," Tin replied. "I just want to give them the same feeling as I had when I was a kid."

Yes, I think, every kid anywhere, love balloons. I remember the time when Dad came home with a blue balloon gas tied to the mirror on his motor scooter steering. I ran out the house and couldn't wait for him to park his motor scooter. The next morning when I opened my eyes, my mind immediately went to my blue balloon which was tied to our living room window. I opened my bedroom room, and my eyes first looked for my blue balloon. There was still enough gas inside it, so it was still stretching upright by the window. Now, being an adult, I wonder, why can a kid be so happy just because of a simple round balloon? It's actually touching how a kid can be happy just because of a very simple thing.

This kid was my favorite of all. So cute and adorable. Her cap seemed a bit too big for her head that she had to hold her head up high whenever she wanted to watch her older fellows, because the cap almost covered her eyes. But when she realized that I was shooting her, she became very sigh and ran away from me.

I'm sure she will grow up into a beautiful woman. I just wonder why she looked like this. Maybe she lost her balloon?
Soon after, a big group of French tourist came. A woman gave away sweets to the kids. Everyone came to her, but they didn't look as happy as when they got balloons from Ting.

Another tourist guy brought something for the kids. I smiled at the sight. Some of the kids had their hands full already. One hand holding a balloon and another holding the sweet from the lady tourist just now. Some even had more than one balloon. Ah, they should learn when to say enough. You cannot have everything in life.

Tin brought us into one of the rong house to enjoy a music and dance performance which was actually presented for the French tourist group. I and Wiwik were lucky to be there right when there was a big group tourist. Watching a huge music performance together with a group of people is for sure more exciting. But most important, I and Wiwik didn't need to pay any extra money for this performance. The French tourist paid and we simply joint in. Wonderful, isn't it?

The M'nong people performed two three dances. Every dance had a story. One of the ladies explained the story of the dance and the tour guide for the French group translated it. Too bad I sat far across Tin who translated for Wiwik who sat next to him.

Between performance, guests took turns sipping rice wine from a big earth jar. I'm sorry, I didn't have the guts to try a sip. First, of course I don't like rice wine. You know that. Second, Westerners to me, are white on the outside but in questioned in the inside. Sorry to say. I still want to travel and travel to the ends of the world. I am not going to risk my health.

After the performance, some of the guests, including Wiwik, danced together with the M'nong dancers.

They seemed to have a good time.

... and a little girl was curious.

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