avatarRhonda Carrier


Scottish Dancing in Jakarta

Highland Gathering Fun

Highland Gathering in Jakarta (author’s photo)

One of the activities Gerad Carrier and I have done together for many years was Scottish country dancing. We started when we lived in Jakarta, Indonesia.

I was teaching at Jakarta International School. One of the teachers there knew how to do Scottish Country Dancing and wanted to form a group to learn to dance together. We started by dancing at the school in the evening but quickly switched to dancing in the house of one of the new dancers. We enjoyed it and met every Tuesday night to dance and have fun.

She finally suggested we should join the St. Andrew’s Society, the local Scottish social group. We enjoyed participating in the annual St. Andrew’s Ball. By then we knew many of the dances and could fully participate in the dancing.

Our dance instructor next suggested that we ask permission to participate in the spring Scottish Highland Gathering dance competition in Jakarta.

The dancing was fun, and the Highland Gathering was amazing. There was a large Scottish community in Indonesia, so there was full participation in all the Highland games. The dancing was just one event happening at the side of the field. We attended and participated in the Gathering for several years.

When we moved to Singapore a few years later, we joined a Scottish dancing group. It met weekly also. We went to the St. Andrew’s Ball, and both our mixed team and our women’s team flew to Jakarta to participate in the dancing competition there. What fun to be back dancing at the Highland Gathering again.

It was fun to dance together with a group, and dancing kept us fit and healthy. I’m not a good athlete. I was never any good at tennis, squash, or team sports, but somehow I could dance and I enjoyed it. And it was something Gerad and I did together, and I enjoyed dancing with a group of women friends.

That’s me on the left in the group (photo by Gerad Carrier)
I was young and healthy and loved dancing. (photo by Gerad Carrier)
St. Andrew’s Ball in Singapore (Author’s photo of author’s photo)

Gerad’s mother was a McIntyre (with ties to the McIntyre cousins in Penang), so he got a McIntyre kilt to wear. He still has it hanging in our closet, and I still have a McIntyre sash to wear now and then. (Note: That is me when I thought I should have red curly hair. That phase didn’t last long.)

It’s odd that in all of our travels, we have not gone to Scotland. That is on our bucket list of potential destinations.

Yule Blessings from the Tropics by Fiona Morris — Another writing here on Medium with ties to Indonesia and Malaysia.

St Andrew: Patron Saint of Scotland by John Welford

These photos and this story are a result of my Traveling Through the Past

Destination Destiny: We aren’t Scottish dancing any longer but we are still together and traveling together with Scotland on our list.

Highland Gathering
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