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Jakarta Indonesia Information
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Jakarta Indonesia Information

Jakarta Indonesia information, Betawi cultural art forms and Batavia places of interest includes information of national museum and Batavia old city.

Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia. With the population of more than nine millions makes Jakarta becomes the most populated city in Indonesia. The indigenous people of Jakarta are the Betawis. People who live in Jakarta also come from various regions with diverse ethnic backgrounds. These people outnumbered the Betawis. There is the National Monument (MONAS-Monumen Nasional) in Jakarta. There are also many statues in the city, including Welcome Statue (Patung Selamat Datang), Free Irian Statue (Patung Pembebasan Irian), and Farmer Statue (Patung Petani).In addition, there are a miniature of Indonesia or Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII), Taman Impian Jaya Ancol, Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM), and Ragunan Zoo. As is the case with other ethnic groups, the Betawi group is well integrated in the life of the city. In certain areas their cultural expressions in tradition and art forms are more distinct.

In fact since the early 1970’s the Betawi cultural art forms have been given much attention by the Government and with the rise of the tourism industry these art forms are experiencing a new impetus to flourish.

As the nation’s capital, Jakarta is able to show all the various art forms of all the regions and ethnic groups in the archipelago. And to realize this idea in line with the motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika ( Unity in Diversity ), the regional government feels obliged to develop all traditional art forms as equitably as possible with the local Betawi art forms as host hesding the rest.

To see for themselves what and now those Betawi art forms are, you can go to any travel agent and ask for tour to a ” Betawi Cultural Institution ” to catch a glipse of the ” real thing “. Or you can visit the Jakarta pavillion at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah ( Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park ) which has long been showing Betawi ceremonies such as the Betawi wedding ceremony, the circumcision procession, the baby head – shaving ceremony etc. As mentioned before, the Betawi group emerged in the 19th century from the melting pot of races, ethnic groups and cultures. Today the Betawi culture has a distinct personality of its own, but one can discern the various influences of other cultures by looking or listening to its art form.

The Tanjidor orchestra is certainly inharited from Dutch land – owners and the Gambang Kromong and Cokek dance originated in the residence of wealthy Chinese traders and merchants. The Betawi Cokek dance shows Balinese influence in the movement of the dancers and the style of playing the gamelan. This style of playing the gamelan can also be observed in the gamelan orchestra accompanying the Wayang Kulit Betawi show. The Portuguese speaking community has also left its inheritance, the Kroncong Tugu with its popular songs Nina Bobo, Kaparinyo and Kroncong moritsko is said to be the origin of the popular Kroncong orchestra of to-day.

The javanese presence since the 17th century has left its mark too on the Betawi music, dance and theatre, Wayang Kulit Betawi and Lenong are examples of this influence. A major influence on the Betawi culture is Islam, the religion of the majority of the people. The Rebana orchestra, the Gambus orchestra, the Zapin or Japin dance are Islam inspired art forms.

As is the case with other groups, the Betawi group has its specific dress for man and woman. Here are the specification :

Man’s Costume Information:
• A thight – length coat with normal trousers,
• Slip – on shoes
• Traditional Betawi headgear
• A special belt, called lokcan
• A dagger slipped in the belt
• A watch chain with a tiger claw attached

Woman’s dress Information:
• A long Kebaya with buttened cuffs
• A sarong with the lasem motif
• A sarong with the lasem motif
• Pointed sandals with low heels
• A hair – piece of the cepol type
• A hair – piece of the cepol type
• A veil matching the kebaya
• A heavy gold or silver belt
• A three – teir brooch to fasten the kebay.

Jakarta, from Village to Metropolis
Jakarta, the capital of the nation, has a fascinating history. Lots of different aspects have colored the city history and the life of people today. Since the fifth century, ships from China and Champa (Vietnam), and from all islands in the archipelago docked at the mouth of the Ciliwung river. Indian and Portuguese traders also visited this small town.

Jakarta Monument National – MONAS

Javanese sailors, carrying spices from Molucca, also docked there. Nearly all people from the East and West left their trails to blend special flavor of Jakarta.Concised description of old historical buildings and monuments refers to the site where the city of Jakarta itself begins. All historical evidence points to the area of the Kota, the old city on the banks of Ciliwung river. A bit south of the place currently known as Pasar Ikan or Fish Market was planted the first tiny seed that developed into a huge city of more than 10 million inhabitants. When did Jakarta start its journey throughout history? Nobody knows exactly!If we stand on top of Menara Syahbandar (the Lookout Tower) across the bridge over the Kali Besar, we enjoy a view of oldest area of Jakarta. To the north we can see the present old harbor with its colorful prahu (saliboats) and the Java Sea. Some 300 meters to the south, you can find a renovated old drawbridge. In the time of the Dutch East-India Company colonialism, the bridge was called Hoender pasarbrug or Chicken Market Bridge. At that time, between 17th and early 18 centuries, ships could sail further up to the river Ciliwung. Towards the south of this drawbridge, the once busy harbor town of Sunda Kelapa stretched along both sides of the river between the 12th century and 15th century. Sunda Kalapa was the main port of the Hindu Kingdom of Sunda . The capital of the Pakuan Pajajaran kingdom was located two day journey upriver, now known as Bogor. This port was often visited by ships from Palembang, Tanjungpura, Malacca, Maccasar and Madura, and even by merchants from India and South China. Sunda Kelapa exported, among other items, pepper, rice and gold.

In 1513 the first European fleet, four Portuguese ships under the command of Alvin, arrived in Sunda Kelapa from Mallaca. Mallaca had been conquered two years earlier by Alfonso d’ Albuquerque. They were looking for spices, especially pepper, to this busy and well-organized harbor. Some years later, the Portuguese Enrique Leme visited Kalapa with presents for the King of Sunda. He was well received and on August 21, 1522 and signed a treaty of friendship between the kingdom of Sunda and Portugal. The Portuguese received the right to build a godown (warehouse) and to erect a fort in Kalapa. This was regarded by the Sundanese as a consolidation of their position against the encroaching Muslim troops from the rising power of the Sultanate of Demak in Central Java.

To commemorate this treaty, they put big stone, called a Padrao, which vanished for some years. This stone was uncovered later in 1918 during an excavation for a new house in Kota area on the corner of Cengkeh street and Nelayan Timur Street. This Padrao can now be seen in the National Museum on Medan Merdeka Barat street. The original location of the stone suggests that the coastline in the early 16th century formed a nearly straight line which is marked by the present of Nelayan street, some 400 meters south to the The Lookout Tower.

The King of Sunda had his own reasons for great danger from the expansive Muslim Kingdom of Demak, whose troops threatened his second harbor town, Banten (west of Jakarta). Sunda felt squeezed and was in need of strong friends. Thus, the king hoped the Portuguese would return quickly and help him protect his important harbor. But they came too late. For in 1527 the Muslim leader Fatahillah appeared before Kalapa with 1,452 soldiers from Cirebon and Demak.

According to some historians, this victory of 1527 provided the reason for Fatahillah to rename Sunda Kelapa, Jayakarta, which means “Great Deed” or “Complete Victory.” On the basis of this victory, Jakarta celebrates its birthday on June 22, 1527, the day Fatahillah gave the town a name of victory of over Sundanese Hindus and Portuguese sailor.

Prince Jayawikarta, a follower of the Sultan of Banten, resided on the west banks of the Ciliwung river, which in the early 17th century reached the roughly at our starting place, the Lookout at Pasar Ikan. He erected a military post there in order to control the mouth of the river and the Dutch who had been granted permission in 1610 to build a wooden godown and some houses just opposite there on the east bank. Dutch ships had already come to Jayakarta in 1596. The Prince tried to keep a close eye on these unruly guests.

To keep its strength equal to that of the Dutch, Prince Jayawikarta allowed the British to erect houses on the West Bank of Ciliwung river, across the Dutch godown, in 1615. The Prince granted permission to the British to erect a fort closed to his Customs Office post. Jayawikarta was in support of the British because his palace was under the threat of the Dutch cannons. In December 1618, the tense realtionship between Prince Jayawikarta and the Dutch escalated. Jayawikarta soldiers besieged the Dutch fortress that covered two strong godown, namely Nassau and Mauritus. The British fleet made up of 15 ships arrived. The fleet was under the leadership of Sir Thomas Dale, former governor of the Colony of Virginia, now known as Virginia State in the United States.

The British admiral was already old and was indecisive. After the sea battle, the newly appointed Dutch governor Jan Pieter Soon Coon (1618) escaped to Molucca to seek support. Meanwhile, the commander of the Dutch army was arrested when the negotiation was underway because Jayawikarta felt that he was deceived by the Dutch. Then, the Prince Jayawikarta and the British entered into a friendship agreement.

The Dutch army was about to surrender to the British when in 1619, a sultan from Banten sent soldiers and summoned Prince Jayawikarta for establishing closed relationship with the British without first asking an approval from Banten authorities. The conflict between Banten and Prince Jayawikarta as well as the tensed relationship between Banten and the British had weakened the Dutch enemy. Prince Jayawikarta was moved to Tanara and died in Banten.

The Dutch felt relieved and tried to establish a closer relationship with the Banten. The Dutch fortress garrison, along with hired soldiers from Japan, Germany, Scotia, Denmark, and Belgium held a party in commemoration of the change in situation. They name their fortress after Batavia to recollect the ethnic group Batavier, the Dutch ancestor. Since then Jayakarta was called Batavia for more than 300 years.

Under the relationship of J.P Coen, Dutch army attacked and destroyed the city and Jayakarta Palace on May 30, 1619. There were no remains of Jakarta except for the Padrao stone now stored at the National Museum in Jakarta. The Jayakarta grave was possibly located in Pulau Gadung. If we stand on top of Menara Syahbandar and look around, we can enjoy the beautiful panorama in the oldest area of Batavia. Certainly, we can’t enjoy the remains of the city Sunda Kelapa or Jayakarta. Kasteel or the Dutch fortress, too, has been destroyed. Here we can see several remains from the mid-17th century. Nearly all of the remains are related to trade and sailing.

Menara Syahbandar was built 1839 to replace the old flag pole in ship dock located right on the side across a river. From the pole and later the tower, officials observed ships about to anchor gave signals. The tower then is used a meteorology post. To the West of the Lookout Tower, we can see the view of the present Museum Bahari. The museum represents a very old and strong edifice with Dutch architecture. The museum also provides several maps of the city, with stages of the city development shown. The museum is part of something in Dutch called Westzijdsche Pakhuizen (Warehouse on the West bank). Here nutmegs, pepper. coffee, tea, and cloth in a large scale were used to be stored.

The areas around Menara Syahbandar was once the center of Kota Batavia. It was the center of a trading network with wide spread agents reaching Deshima (Nagasaki) in Japan, Surate in Persia and Capetown in South Africa. Inter-trade among Asia was more profitable than inter-trade between Asia and Europe. And the Pasar Ikan (Market Fish) once was the pulse. Here, the site where the origin of the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, came from.

jakarta indonesia information

Jakarta Indonesia Information and Places of Interest

The National Monument
The National Monument,or “Monas” as it is popularly called,is one of the monuments built during the Sukarno era of fierce nationalism.It stands for the people’s determination to achieve freedom and the crowning of their efforts in the Proclamation of Independence in August 1945.The 137-meter tall marble obelisk is topped with a flame coated with 35 kg. of gold.The base houses a historical museum and a hall for meditations.The monument is open to the public and upon request the lift can carry visitors to the top which offers a bird’s eye view on the city and the sea.

Central Museum
Established in 1778 by U.M.C. Rademacher under the auspices of the Batavia Association of Arts and Sciences,it offers historical,prehistorical, archaeological and ethnographic aspects of Indonesia through its extensive collection of artifacts and relics which date as far back as to the Stone Age.It has one of the most complete collections of bronzes and ceramics dating back to the Han,Tang and Ming Dynasties.The Museum has one of the finest numismatic collections in the world,including cloth and money which was used on several islands until recently.The religious art section is filled with statuary and sculpture salvaged from sites of Hindu,Buddhist and Islamic edifices.Its collection of cultural instruments,household utensils,arts and crafts provide an introduction to the life of the various ethnic groups which populate Indonesia.This museum is popularly known as Gedung Gajah or “Elephant Building” because of the stone elephant offered by King Chulalongkorn of Thailand in 187 1, placed on the front lawn of the building.

Indonesia in Miniature Park
An extensive park to get a glimpse of the diverseness of the Indonesian archipelago,it represents Indonesia’s 27 provinces and their outstanding characteristics,reflected most strikingly in the exact regional architecture of the province.It has its own orchid garden in which hundreds of Indonesian orchid varieties are grown.There is also a bird park with a walk-in aviary,a fauna museum and recreational grounds with a swimming pool and restaurants.

Of special interest here at Taman Mini is the Museum Indonesia.A richly decorated building in Balinese architecture,it houses contemporary arts, crafts and traditional costumes from the different regions of the country.Open from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. daily.

“Theater Imax Keong Emas” (Golden Snail Theater).Located in the Taman Mini is the Imax theater which presents “Beautiful Indonesia” on a gigantic screen using the latest Imax system.Open from 11.00 am – 5.00 pm.

Jaya Ancol Dreamland
This is Jakarta’s largest and most popular recreation park.It is built on reclaimed beach land at the Bay of Jakarta,having,sea and freshwater aquariums,swimming pools,an artificial lagoon for fishing,boating,bowling,an assortment of nightclubs,restaurants,a steam-bath and massage parlors.

Daily shows are held at the Aquarium where dolphins and sea lions perform.The Ancol complex includes a Marina,Dunia Fantasi (Fantasy Land),a golf course,hotels and a drive-in theater.The “Pasar Seni” or art market has a varied collection of Indonesian handicraft,paintings and souvenirs on sale.At a nearby open-air theater art performances are held using the local dialect.

Fantasy Land
A recent addition to Jakarta’s growing recreation facilities is the Fantasy Land,a 9.5 hectares (23.75 acres) entertainment park located inside the Ancol Dreamland.Planned to eventually become a part of a 200-hectares (500-acres) park designed to usher the visitors into the fascinating world of modern science and technology,the present facility takes them on an imaginative tour of Old Jakarta,Africa, America,Indonesia,Europe,Asia and the Palace of Dolls.Each of the areas is designed to give the visitor a feel of the region he is visiting through features and architecture of the area at a certain period of its history and by the use of animated puppets in the Palace of Dolls.

The park also offers a number of restaurants and souvenir shops.

The Marina Jaya Ancol
This is a special port for yachts,motor and sail boats,the port of departure for Pulau Seribu and the scattered islands in the Bay of Jakarta.This is also the place for marine recreation and sports where each facility is amply provided;water cycles,canoes,sail boats,fishing gear and many others. Stalls along the beach serve drinks and snacks while tents are available for sunbathers and sea lovers.

Jalan Surabaya
This street is located in one of the city’s better residential areas known for its flea market.Stalls offer a wide range of goods,some of them antiquities, including ornate lamps,porcelain,brass-ware,handicrafts,Bargaining is necessary,including the skill to distinguish authenticity from imitations.

Jakarta Museum
Completed in 1627,the building initially served as the Dutch East Indies Company’s Town Hall. Additions and renovations including a stone gate, offices and renovations were added between 1705 and 1715.The known Indonesian hero,Diponegoro,was said to have been imprisoned in its dungeon before his exile to South Sulawesi.

The building was used as military barracks and offices when the Jakarta City Administration decided in the early 1970s to make it the focus of a restoration plan of old Batavia. Now a museum,it provides the historical background of Jakarta through displays of old maps and antiquities including furniture and porcelain used by the Dutch rulers of Batavia, plus a 16th century Portuguese cannon which stand across the cobblestone square.

Sunda Kelapa
Sunda Kelapa, better known as Pasar Ikan (meaning fish market) is located at the mouth of the Ciliwung river.It was formerly the harbor town of Sunda Kelapa where the Portuguese traded with the Hindu Kingdom of Pajajaran in the early 16th century.

The fish catch of the day was auctioned in the early morning at the old fish market.The street leading to it was lined with shops selling all sorts of shells, dehydrated turtles,lobsters and mostly everything the seafarer might need.Dutch domination of Jakarta and the rest of Indonesia began from this area,whereas the remnants of Kasteel Batavia,an old fort and trading post of the Dutch East Indies Company can still be seen now.Sunda Kelapa is at present a fisherman’s wharf and an interisland port.Tall masted Bugis schooners from South Sulawesi anchoring there offer a picturesque scene. They belong to one of the last-fleets of sail boats in the world and still ply the seas between the islands,as they did centuries ago,carrying merchandise.

T.I.M. Art Center
The focal point of cultural activities in Jakarta is the Jakarta Art Center,known as Taman Ismail Marzuki or TIM in short.It is said to be the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia and consists of exhibition halls,theaters,an academy of arts,an archives building and a planetarium.A monthly programme of events,available at hotel counters,includes exhibitions,plays,musical and poetry recitals,dance performances,folk art and drama from the various regions of Indonesia.

Pulau Seribu Thousand Island
This group of islands in the Jakarta Bay offers a haven away from the bustle of city life.There are golden beaches fringed with coconut palms.The surrounding waters are a paradise for skin divers.They are filled with a myriad of tropical fish which live among the multicolored corals.The islands can be reached from Tanjung Priok or Pasar Ikan (Sunda Kelapa) by ferry or by chartered boat.Some of the islands in this group developed for tourism are Pulau Bidadari,Pulau Ayer,Pulau Laki and Pulau Putri.Pulau Tanjung near Putri has an airstrip.There are cabins for hire,having fresh water on Pulau Air and Pulau Bidadari only.The Pulau Putri Paradise Co. has developed Pulau Putri,Pulau Melintang,Pulau Petondan and Pulau Papa Theo as a holiday resort with cottages,restaurants,diving and sailing facilities.

Ragunan Zoo
Jakarta’s zoo is situated in the suburb of Ragunan in the southern part of the city.Laid out in a lush tropical setting,such indigenous animals as the Komodo lizard,tapir,anoa, ava tiger,banteng, wild ox and brightly colored birds are given ample room to be in this green foliage.Open dally from 8.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. The zoological garden is most crowded on Sunday and public holidays.

The Wayang Museum
This puppetry museum on the western side of Taman Fatahillah in “The Old Town” area has displays of wayang puppets from all parts of Indonesia and some from other parts of Southeast Asia as well.The wooden and leather puppets displayed here represent the finest craftsmanship in this particular form of traditional theater.The museum also shows shortened performances of the wayang kulit leather puppets every Sunday morning.

Satria Mandala Museum
This central museum of the Armed Forces displays exhibits on progress in the development of the Indonesian Armed Forces,its role in the struggle for the nation’s independence and other military relics. Open daily except Mondays.

Lubang Buaya Heroes Monument
Situated in the southeast of the city about 20 km from downtown,it is a memorial park dedicated to the six army generals and one army officer who were slain on October 1, 1965, in an abortive communist inspired coup d’etat.The centerpiece is the Pancasila Monument with statues of the seven heroes,standing near the old well in which their bodies were thrown after having been tortured and executed by communist militia squads.

Textile Museum
This museum displays various textiles from all over the country,from hand-woven cotton,silk and batiks,as well as,of ancient or contemporary productions.

Maritime Museum
Two warehouses are the only ones left,which were of the first trading post and port of the Dutch East Indies Company in Java.They now house the Maritime Museum.The old harbormaster’s tower stands nearby.Open from 8.00 a.m. till 2.00 p.m. on Tuesdays Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. On Fridays closed at 11.00 a.m. and on Saturday at 1.00 p.m. It closes on Monday.

Museum Komodo
Built in the form of the Varanus Komodiensis (the only prehistoric giant lizard found exclusively on Indonesia’s Komodo Island),it exhibits dioramas depicting the fauna of insects and wild animals.Located at Taman Mini and open daily from 8.00 – 15.00.

Portuguese Church
Situated in downtown Jakarta is the Portuguese Church, built between 1693 and 1696 for the Portuguese speaking people of Batavia. Although rather plain from the outside, its interior is quite impressive with its baroque pulpit and organ.

Parliament Building
This strikingly modern building on jalan Gatot Subroto is the parliament where at least once in every five years,the People’s Consultative Assembly (the National Congress) holds its sessions.When not in session, visitors are allowed in but permission must be obtained in advance.

Perintis Kemerdekaan Building and the Soekarno – Hatta Monument.

Both are located at jalan Proklamasi 56, on the site of the former residence of the late President Soekarno where the nation’s Independence was proclaimed.By the Perintis Kemerdekaan Building stands the Soekarno-Hatta Monument,in commemoration of the nation’s first President and Vice President,who together proclaimed Independence on behalf of the Indonesian people. Open daily from 8.00 a.m.

Orchid Gardens
Some of the most exotic orchids come from Indonesia.Several commercial orchid gardens are open to the public,the best known of them is located at Slipi and Taman Mini.

Condet
This village in southern Jakarta is a protected area where the old rural life style of Jakarta is preserved.Condet is also famed for its fruit orchards.

Museum Perangko
The Stamps Museum at Taman Mini has an attractive collection of stamps once issued in the country over the years.The museum is ideal for philatelists. Open daily except Monday, from 08.00 – 15.00.

Indonesia Jaya Crocodile Park
This park in Pluit, North Jakarta has about 700 crocodiles of all sizes and ages.It offers regular shows, usually taking their themes from popular Indonesian folk tales.

Shopping Hints
Handicraft from all over Indonesia. Batiks, jewelry, electronic and photographic equipment, garments made to order and local herbal cosmetics.
Note: Picture of Traditional mask worn by native people of Jakarta at certain celebration.

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