|The period prior to the
corn harvest is known as the time of
"ordinary hunger". During this period,
the poorer segments of the population survive on
reserve foods, primarily cassava,
pumpkins, dry fish, smoked/dry meat, some sweet
potato, forest yams and syrup supplies from
tapping lontar palms.
In drought years, when the planting and
subsequent harvest of the corn crop is delayed,
the period of ordinary hunger is extended and
conditions turn more critical. "Ordinary
hunger" becomes "extraordinary
hunger" (Indonesian: lapar luarbiasa) or
better know in Savunese as "awe menganga
rowi kemangu kereka". Most families manage
on one meager meal a day. Livestock, suffering
from the same conditions as the human population,
are consumed or sold to buy emergency foods.
As green papaya is a popular Savunese dish, it is
also use as traditional medicine. Savunese
consume green papaya as vegetable. Certain kinds
of papaya leaves as well as the blossoms are also
consumed as vegetable on the islands apart from
how Savunese use them to prevent the possibility
of catching malaria. Roasted and marinated
tamarind seeds are well known traditional snack
amongst children. The most common fruits on the
islands are water melon, papaya, mango, banana,
anona, borassus palm fruit (borassus flabellifer)
known as wo
to Savunese, coconut, tamarind and a few
more known to Savunese such as wo
koo, wo kohabe, wo wud'i and wo
In the dry season, drinking water becomes
difficult to obtain and is often polluted by
animals seeking water in certain parts of the
islands. A strong indicator of the
"extraordinary hunger period" is a
sharp increase in gastro-intestinal diseases.
Children are particularly vulnerable.
"Ordinary hunger" is considered part of
the annual seasonal cycle on Sawu and in the
province as whole. "Extraordinary
hunger" is also recognized as a matter of
all too common occurrence. Without any aids from
the outside world, year to year the islanders of
Savu and Rai Jua are known to have managed their
way and survived "extraordinary hunger"
mainly by depending on the highly nutritious palm
syrup supply. However these days the islanders'
life style have become exremely difficult under
the Indonesian occupation. So far, it appears
that the Indonesian authorities have hardly
interest in making effort to bring positive
developments onto the islands.
Download as word.doc.
Grilled fish in coconut sauce
Serves 6 with rice.
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Water
2 Pounds Fish Fillet -- sea bass, snapper
3 Large Shallot -- sliced
2 Cloves Garlic -- sliced
3 Teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric
1/3 Inch Ginger Root
1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1 1/2 Cups Coconut Milk
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 Inch Galangal -- finely chopped
1 Teaspoon Lemon Grass
2 Tablespoons Tamarind Paste -- dissolved in
1/4 Cup Water
Dissolve salt in water. Make 3 slashes in fish
and soak in salted water for 15 minutes. Drain.
In food processor, blend shallots, garlic, red
pepper, turmeric, ginger, and coriander to form a
paste. Mix this with coconut milk, brown sugar,
galangal, lemon grass and tamarind liquid. In a
saucepan, bring the mixture to a boil and cook
over moderate heat for 10 minutes or until about
half of the liquid is evaporated. Dip fish in
coconut sauce and grill under a broiler for 10
minutes on each side, basting generously.
Copyright © 2006 Ina
Tali/Francesca Von Reinhaart
to your favourites!
Parts of this website require Flash