The magic of Maluku’s Kei Islands

“Mr. Ben, do you believe in…black magic?” This was the response from my friends and neighbors immediately after I told them I would be traveling to the Kei Islands in February. Initially, I thought this was a silly question coming from people who live on the island of Seram, an island whose name actually translates…

Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa comes to Masohi!

I stood behind the stage and adjusted and readjusted my white beard and red cap and wondered how I ended up here: A 23-year-old recent college graduate outfitted — and overheating — in a full Santa Claus costume in Masohi, Indonesia. It seems that people here feel that if they know a white male he must surely…