I have written my story on this for Yahoo quite a while ago, but apparently many people still find it interesting. Hence, I write this one in English.
Tomohon Market is located in Tomohon, North Sulawesi, about 30 minutes from Manado. My husband was so eager to take me there because he know I would love it. I love it because it is so different, not because I don’t have compassion to the animals here.
Just so you know, Beriman Market of Tomohon is an ordinary traditional market. Vendors sell vegetables, fruits, groceries, meats, lots and lots of fresh flowers, and other daily necessities. What makes it so different is some stalls sell roasted animals, animals considered to be pets for most people across the world.
When I got here, I saw scooters carrying huge dead pigs. Pork is common meat eaten by many communities in Indonesia, except in areas where Muslims are predominant. So I was not surprised, only alarmed because pigs here are so huge. Bigger than most pigs I saw on TV.
Walking deeper inside the market I saw a few stall selling dogs. All the dogs here were roasted. During his first visit, my husband witnessed vendor selling living dogs, when there is a buyer, he’d kill the chosen dog by hitting his head. Eating food made of dog meat is also not uncommon, some warungs selling sengsu (tongseng asu = dog brown curry) in my hometown of Yogyakarta.
Rats are also an apparent commodity in this market. Here and there I saw vendors selling dead rats. Bats are another dead meat sold here, a popular one. Paniki is Minahasan exotic food made from bats mixed with coconut milk, herbs, and spices.
What suprised me most is roasted cats sold in this very market. I saw only one vendor selling cats. The vendor smiled at me and said, “One for 100 thousand rupiah, lady!” He explained that the cats were marinated in spices and herbs before being roasted.
My driver, a local man called Hok, said that cats are quite uncommon meat eaten by Minahasan. Most people who eat cats are young men or those believe cat meat can become remedy of certain illness.
Although I have been warned by my husband, visiting Tomohon Market is still a surprise. A uniqueness of Indonesia.
My previous article on this topic was used by some irresponsible people to discredit certain communities and religions. Please don’t. That was not my intention. Indonesia is culturally rich, which I am so proud of. I am a travel blogger and I don’t write stuff to judge.