It is a custom here in Indonesia to kiss or to touch the teachers’ hands to the students’ forehead or cheek. This custom is called Salim. The teachers would line up at the entrance and all of the students would have to do Salim to each one. We have the same in the Philippines. We call it “Pagmamano” wherein we would kiss or touch the elders’ hands to our foreheads.

These are the simple things that we do to honor those who are above us. It is just right to respect them because they know infinitely more than we do. I just find it endearing and nostalgic to see people do pagmamano in such a foreign land, and for the same reasons, too.

Indonesia, Palu in particular, is not that different from our Motherland, I reckon. Of course, there are differences, but it’s impossible to feel alienated in a land where everything looks so much like home.


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