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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Indonesia, Lesson 23 - Lake Toba Festival
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Indonesia Series at IndonesianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Indonesian holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 23, Lake Toba Festival. In Indonesian, it’s called Festival Danau Toba.
The Lake Toba Festival is an annual event held by the people of the Batak Tribe who inhabit the area surrounding Lake Toba in North Sumatra province. However, many members of the Batak Tribe live far away in other regions and even on the other islands of Indonesia. This festival is held as a form of traditional celebration of the Batak Tribe, and also as an opportunity for these travellers to return home and gather with their families.
In this lesson, we’ll learn about the activities that take place during this festival.
Now, before we go into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Lake Toba is the biggest volcanic lake in the world. Do you know how big it is?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. So, keep listening.
The festival is centered in Tuk-tuk, an old city situated on Samosir Island. The festival usually consists of three main events, including performances of art, or seni, culture, or kebudayaan, and sport, or olahraga. Art performances are marked by the gondang festival, which involve traditional percussion instruments played throughout the whole night for several days, accompanied by Tortor traditional dances.
The cultural performance is called an ulos exhibition. Ulos is a traditional woven cloth used in every traditional ceremony of the Batak Toba tribe. Nowadays, ulos cloth has begun to be used also as a basic material for everyday clothing. During this festival, masters teach participants how to weave, and the results of the woven ulos fabric, as well as new patterns, are displayed.
Sports events specific to Lake Toba include a traditional boat race known by the name solung, paragliding, and mass swims. The Lake Toba mass-swim around Samosir Island is the most unique event of the festival. This mass-swim draws hundreds of participants from public circles, as well as international athletes. The swimming route is divided into ten stages, with a total distance of 120 kilometers, which can be completed by relay in three days.
The eruption that formed Lake Toba occurred approximately 73,000 years ago, and was a natural disaster that changed the face of the Earth and influenced the population spread of the entire world. The eruption caused drastic temperature decline in the sub-tropics. Lake Toba is still an active volcano, or gunung api, predicted to erupt within the next few thousand years.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Lake Toba is the biggest volcanic lake in the world. Do you know how big it is?
Lake Toba is 100 kilometers long, 30 kilometers wide, and 505 meters deep at the deepest point. The surface area covers 1,130 square kilometers, with 240 cubic kilometers of water volume.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Would you like to try swimming in Lake Toba?
Leave us a comment letting us at IndonesianPod101.com!
And we’ll see you in the next lesson!

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Would you like to try swimming in Lake Toba?