Tomohon Traditional Market Is Not For Faint-Hearted People

Tomohon Traditional MarketTomohon Traditional Market – Warning ! Possible Disturbing Images

Yap. I must put the warning on the top of this article. I really don’t want to cause someone, my readers to puke when they see some pictures in this writing. It will be a big problem for me.

Also, if you are cat lovers, or dog lovers, or .. let’s make it short, if you are animal lovers, your discretion is needed. What I am going to tell you is about a culture in one part of Indonesia. It may look terrible but from another perspective, it tells about the life of people in one corner of the world, in my country.

Shall we start?

Tomohon City

The first thing to know is that Tomohon is a name of a small city in Northern Sulawesi. It is used to be a district of MInahasa Regency but after 2003, it has been stipulated as a city.

To reach Tomohon, it will take 50 minutes driving from the Capital of North Sulawesi Province, Manado.

The population is a bit more than 90,000 and formed majority by two ethnics, Tombulu and Toutemboan. The language used in the society is either Manado or Indonesia language.

The religion here is mainly Christian (Protestant)

Tomohon Traditional Market, the most extreme one in Indonesia

The extreme Tomohon Traditional Market
Flamed-roasted dogs

What makes the small town so famous is mostly contributed by one corner of the city, the extreme Tomohon Traditional Market. How extreme? So extreme that can cause someone to feel inconvenient inside their stomach.

Even for me, an Indonesian. What can be seen inside the market still gives me “a butterfly” inside my tummy. Uncomfortable one but exciting at the same time.

Actually, the market itself is not so different from other traditional ones all over Indonesia. It is just a place for Tomohon people buying their daily needs, such as rice, vegetables, fish and MEAT.

The word “MEAT” is in uppercase due to a reason.

The Meat In Tomohon Traditional Market

You will still find regular and common fish, chicken and also cow meat. Pork is also traded here. As majority of Tomohon’s population is non moslem, then there is no prohibition of sell or buy this type of meat.

Nothing special. Those are normal everywhere.

Extreme meat in Tomohon Traditional Market
Roasted Rats

However, the meat section of the market is known to also offer some other types of commodities from other animals.

Sellers here also provide RAT, BAT, CAT, DOG, and even PHYTON meat.

If you think I am joking, you are definitely wrong.

Those commodities are the one who is responsible for Tomohon igniting unstoppable talks. Pros and cons, as usual.

The first picture on the top is “flamed-roasted” dog and the last of the above three is “rats”. Those are sold and bought in this market.

That’s why I mentioned on the first paragraph, you may find “possible disturbing images”. Especially, if you are dog and cat lovers. It may cause you feel terrible seing and knowing that considered cute and lovely pets are slaughtered and eaten.

However, that’s the fact.

Cat and Dog eating culture in Indonesia

Probably, eating bats, snakes are not quite extraordinary in your country. Perhaps. Just perhaps. However, consuming cats and dogs are probably a bit extraordinary, uncommon. In many countries, these two animals are known as pets to cuddle. Even, these two animals are often considered as human friends. Many stories tell about how close a relation between human and a cat or a dog.

Those pictures should have raised some eyebrows.

Why do Tomohon people eat such lovely and cute animals? Are they too poor to buy “regular” meat? Are they starving but have nothing to eat?

Tomohon Traditional Market
Roasted Bats

It is not because people in this part of Indonesia are too poor to buy cow meat or chickens to obtain protein. No, it is not like this. They are not in the famine or trapped in poverty.

It is just their habit. It is similar to why people in European and Asian countries still eat whale or dolphins. They are cute animals too. In fact, cows and chicken are also fun animals.

Eating a dog or a cat has been done by some ethnics in Indonesia since long time ago. When I was a child, which was 35-40 years ago, I already heard some people in Indonesia ate these two animals. Until now, one of my friends told me that she enjoys the taste of dog meat. In several cultures, the meat will be accompanied by alcohol.

Bats have been eaten as well. Many Indonesians believe consuming bat flesh can cure asthma. Whether it is medically true is another case. Snakes are believed to increase the stamina and yet the virility of a man.

So, what is seen in Tomohon Traditional Market, meat section is extreme, but at the same time not uncommon in this country. The habit exists since long time ago. It can be said as ancient but it should be as old as a habit of consuming chicken or cow meat. It can’t be said that eating cow or chicken as modern way of eating. Human have already been eating those two since ancient era too.

I don’t eat pork, bats, cats, dogs and phytons. As a moslem, cow, goat, sheep and fish are already more suitable. Seeing roasted dogs, rats, bats caused me to shake my head but at the same time, it is not too uncommon. Furthermore, I see it as an exciting thing, from culture perspective.

How about you? Can you do the same as me?

Flamed-Roasted dogs or cats or bats (those extreme meat)

Indonesia extreme food - Tomohon traditional market

Sorry, I can not stop saying “extreme” but I believe many people feel that way too.

Some writing found on internet used a term “flamed-roasted” meat. However, based on the explanation of a person who has ever eaten these animals, it is not roasted meat. The meat is still raw. The flaming is used just to burn out hairs of the animals.

Before it can be eaten, it will be later cooked and combined with many other ingredient. Usually, the meat will be seasoned by spice and vegetables. Don’t ask me how to cook those animals, I can not give answer.

So, it’s not roasted meat. Flamed yes but not toasted.

(You can see some videos about the extreme Tomohon Traditional Market by clicking here. You can source more as you wish. Please be prepared and if you don’t have strong stomach, better not to see)

That’s all my friends.

I have read some writings made by foreigners on internet. They use their own perspective about how extreme Tomohon Traditional Market, meat section (because other parts are normal) is.

Some said, it is disgusting to eat those animals. Some others mention how the animals are slaughtered is the problem.The latter emphasized about why docs are clubbed or hung instead of slaughtered as cows or other livestocks. But, it is a habit in some ethnics in Indonesia to club a dog to avoid blood flow out from the body. Dog eaters said this way make the meat taste more delicious.

Indonesia extreme foodIt is understandable as every opinion was made based on their standards.

However, as Indonesian who knows a bit more about the habit of people in this archipelago, allow me to also provide you with my point of view on this case.

Finally, you may find it’s silly to write about how extreme Tomohon Traditional Market. You may have an opinion better not to tell this to anyone else. Something to hide.

But, I beg to differ.

It is extreme (I say it again). Indeed. Even for me. At the same time, I think it is very interesting. This may attract people to know further and to prove by themselves about this. Eventually, if you come to this Tomohon Traditional Market, like or not you will see and understand a bit more than just getting the information from foreigner side.

Besides, Tomohon is a part of Indonesia. The people, the society and also the habit and the culture. I should not hide it just because foreigners think it’s disgusting or cruel. No, it is not.

That’s why the blog is titled as Talking Indonesia as we are gonna talk and chat about everything in this country.

I hope you don’t mind.

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1 thought on “Tomohon Traditional Market Is Not For Faint-Hearted People”

  1. Hi.
    I’m coming over on a weekday.
    Is 3-4pm a good time to visit the market?


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