The road that follows the northern rind of Samosir between Simanindo and the town of Pangururan is a scenic ride through the Bataks’ embrace of life after death. In the midst of the fertile rice fields are large multistorey graves decorated with the distinctive miniature Batak-style house and a simple white cross. Batak graves reflect the animistic attitudes of sheltering the dead (who are dug out 10 years after the original internment and reburied after the polishing of the bones).
Cigarettes and cakes are offered to the deceased as memorials or as petitions for favours. Typical Christian holidays, such as Christmas, dictate special attention to the graves. Some of newer graves are particularly showy.