Thursday, December 20, 2012

Meet Om Jongkie Tio, Semarang Story Teller & Writer

Me and my friends with Om Jongkie Tio, the author of Semarang Kota Kenangan book, in His residence that also a retaurant named Semarang International Garden and Family Restaurant.
What a December! After the event of Pameran Koloniale Tetoonstlelling successfully held, me and my friends who were volunteer are invited to the residence of Jongkie Tio, a famous story teller and writer about Semarang City. I know him from His book, Semarang Kota Kenangan that published when I’m still in Elementary School, on 2000. This book, for me is the first source that make up my mind, how rich my city is. Plenty of Semarang historical building and events are written in this book. 

Visiting His home on Jalan Gajahmada, who functioned also as a restaurant named Semarang International Garden and Family Restaurant, the atmosphere of Tempo Doeloe is so strong. The memorabilia, starts from old photos, radio, lamp, etc are well-decorated the reataurant.  We treats well by Om Jongkie, with His restaurant best food and beverages also with shared a lots of story related to the history and culture in Semarang, mostly about the relation of Chinese and the indigenous people. From His story, we know a lots of fact, like the committee that composed the foundation of Republic Indonesia, nine of them were Chinese descendant. Also like a fact that Admiral Cheng Ho were never landed in Semarang, only their crew who were landed in this city, He only observe from his ship, the main ship that command hundreeds of chinesse explorer fleet. He also share how difficult it was He photographs and exploring the story behind a building or kampoong under Soeharto regime. Even for several times He expelled from a kampoong, because of racial sentiments of chinese descendants, whereas He purposed to documenting the kampoong itself for the preservation, how ironic it is!

The reclame kiosk on the Chinatown, Semarang
taken on 2007
Then, I asked something that I never knew the story behind it, a tube shaped monument with a hexagon-shaped in the top of its, that located in pecinan (eng: Chinatown) and old town. He replied that, “That is not a monument, that is a reclame kiosk, a place for the people patch the advertising, so it wouldn’t patched randomly, in the wall of the building for example”. Well, the mistery has just revealed, also He said that the only one reclame kiosk that stil in genuine shaped is in pecinan. Genuine form its height for sure, cause the others in old town, is already “sinked” cause the elevation made by the city municipial, related to the flood and sea intrusions problems.

This dinner and all of the sharing time with Om Jongkie Tio, were made me felt so happy and believe , through history, we could build the understanding among the people from different background. Also, I realized that this city needs a lot of people who cares about the culture and history preservation. As the time goes by, a lots of old building also, local culture were disappeared, we as the young generation, never let it happened again, don’t we? People like Om Jongkie have a high expectation among the youth to continues what He do, to preserve the history and culture, specifically about Semarang city. So what are we waiting for? Let us do something to preserve it, and I believe in quotes, “Even the smallest people could change the course of the future”.  Lets Act! and thanks a lot for Om Jongkie anyway :)

The reclame kiosk, in the junction near Du Pavillion (now, Dibya Puri) Hotel (1929). (source: skycrapercity)
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