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Bintang

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You can't visit Bali and not encounter Bintang Beer, literally "Star Beer" the best selling brand of beer in Indonesia.

It has a watery, malty, hoppy flavor, similar to Heineken. It is sometimes mixed with lime juice, although I wouldn't know why when it is perfectly delicios and refreshing already.

Wikipedia says that "Construction of the brewery began in Surabaya in 1929 during Dutch colonial rule of Indonesia. In 1949, following Indonesian independence, the brewery was renamed 'Heineken's Indonesian Brewery Company'. In 1957, the Indonesian Government appropriated the brewery, and retained control for the next ten years."

Elements of Dutch occaption are everywhere, in common words such as Kantoor Pos, which means post office and is practically the same in Dutch. Balinese often say "permisi" when trying to get someone's attention, another word quite similar to Dutch.

But almost nobody in Bali of our generation remembers or speaks Dutch and I'm guessing most would prefer to forget the days of colonization and the massive toll on lives and culture it took.

Sound familiar?


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