Friday, November 22, 2013

There’s Nothing More Fun than Being at The Top (Part 2)

The paintings made by Hal Wichers on 1937 depicting the landscape, face Merbaboe mountain. The beauty of this 5th highest peak in the whole Java Isle has been famous for a long time ago. (source: geheugen van nederland)
Just like the titled so this was my 2nd summit that I've conquered ;) Its began when Mas Dimas wishes once He ought to succesfully climbed the mountain, and not so long after that I've seen a posters on my campus explained about Pendakian Massal (eng: mass climbing) upon the Merbabu mountain, the 5th highest peak in the whole Java Isle, organize by FEPALA, a student mountaneering club of Economic Faculty of UNDIP. Inviting another, then I got a company, consist of Kuni, my organization pals and Aji, my college pals.

Me and my team posed in the village of Wekas,
 the last village in the climbing lane to the peak of Merbabu.
On the morning of November 2nd, 2013, me and Aji walks from His dorm after got a breakfast to the assembly point before we picked up by trucks (sounds riddiculous eh? But its common here ;)) and met Mas Dimas and Kuni as well. Over there I met with Kuni's friends Deny, also my juniors Mamos and Rilo, the boy who before it once we met up on the campus bazaar events while we together participated.

The trucks starts to roll, and the journey to the Merbabu just began. Pretty hot during the trip, ya now I know the suffering of the soldiers during the war. The committee said its almost 47 participant and together with the committee, the total of this "challenger" would be 70. Some of the committee had already in the Merbabu ground camp, to prepared the accomodation to the participant. Around 12:15, We arrived at Wekas, the last village on the climbing lane to Merbabu. Got our lunch and also got a break before the climbing starts.

Right on 3.00 pm, the journey to conquered the Merbabu peak begin. Related to my unwell condition, because of couple days before it I was suffering for cold, and a night before it I even cant sleep properly. Thus, felt exhausted quicker than normally, made me always walks far behind the groups. Damn, but its true, its still the begining, the journey still far away, Mas Dimas and Aji always give the motivation, to always move and not to got rest frequently. Theoretically, a lot of rest, there will be more exhausted you'll felt, but ya, I just cant stand anymore at that time. 

through the storms, the visibility
not more than 5 meters
After three hours of walking, then I arrived in the 2nd post of Merbabu Climbing lane that used as camping ground. I'am the last man who arrived, and the sky already dark. A bread and a cornets curing my hunger, and a bottle of fresh water made me felt "alive" anymore. Me together with Aji, Mas Dimas, Rilo, Mamos and Dani become a one group and after choosing the tent, we prepared our equipment to cook but later we decided to sleep firstly and cook later, considering the queue from another group to used the stove. Our tent, its said normally enough to used by five person, but when we used it, only four of us, could occupied it. Then, Mas Dimas choosed to sleep outside the tent using  His sleeping bag. But then in the middle of the night, the storms struck the camp, and I saw the lightning blazing and affraid of the rain would falls down, I ordered Mas Dimas to moved inside and made us more likely a salmon inside the sardinnes can.  

Pretty cold on that nite, because its so windy, and we forgot our dinner. a bad start, because at 02.00 am we woke up and prepared to climb the peak of the mountain, in hungry condition! Only couple of bread we ate and we begin to climb to the top. The lane were so hard because of dominated by rocks, still I was the last man in the group. All of us want to catch the sunrise in the top, but for me it doesnt important at all related to my bad condition. There I realize why this mountain loss of many lives, because of the tracks were so dangerous and challenging. Near the peak there's a lane called Jembatan Setan (eng: the devils bridge). A rocky mountain that need an extra consentration to passed it.

Taking picture together in midst of storm at the
peak of Merbabu mountain .
Arrived at the peak of the Merbabu mountain in the height of 3412 mdpl on the 6:30 am I just could said "Alhamdulillah". I give a several toast to Mas Dimas, because finally we made it, conquered the peak of Merbabu and for Him, this was His first mountain to be climbed. Here in the top we wanna celebrated it with got our breakfast because of we havent got our dinner yet. But poor us, the gas can leaked thus set the stove into fire. Our chance to got our breakfast gone away, but its not only stop on it. Unluckily the storm struck again and made our way back not easy, and Kuni's wounded in the middle of the way back until its need to be evacuated by the stretcher. 

All of that is only the way to proof how strong are you. Later all of that could be handled of. Just like the wise man said "the show must goes on". In the hunger condition finally we could reach the camp and ate our "most delicious noodles" on our lives, and Kuni successfully evacuated. And at 3:00 pm, time's to go back to the village before transported back to Semarang, we had to move slowly becouse of Kuni condition, also the rain falls down made the way slippers, even severals time I got slipped and fallen. But we made it, we reached Wekas on 7:15 pm, because of the spirits and faith amongs the team. At last, inside the truck on the way back, I just realized not to be afraid facing the problems, there's people around who always support us, and thats what a solidarity stands for. Still, there's nothing more fun than being at the top! :)

The Real Mailbox

The photos from Leiden University Library depicted the women used the mailbox in the Bergota street. In the right is this "Brievenbus" which now is displayed as memorial in the front of Kantor Pos Besar building, Semarang.
Today, the interaction between people were very dynamics. For me, when I started my activity in the morning, I will worried if my cellphones were in low power condition/ inactive , rather than got my breakfast. Its getting common while people wake up in the morning, then firstly checked their gadget, as same as they gonna go to bed in the night. Yap getting "keep in touch" with others is one's of the common sense due to its real that human created as a social creatures. Long time ago, an effort to made this kind of communication activity were created. The correspondence through the mail was the famous way for long distance communication for a long way. 

One's of my Mom's collection, a
 postage stamp issued on 1962 by
PT POS Indonesia, commemorated
the 4th Asian Games in Jakarta.
According to the official sites of PT. POS Indonesia, as the official institutions about this business, the history of the postal services begin in Batavia. Inisiated by the General-Governoor G.W Baron van Imhoff on August, 26th 1746 with the purposes to securing the mail flows for the cilvilian and military as well. The services not only handled the services in East Indies region but also to the Netherlands. After its established in Batavia, four year laters, its established in Semarang thorugh the cities of Karawang, Cirebon and Pekalongan

This correspondence activity were survive for a long times after that. Even when the telegraph and telephone invented, its still the main ways for long-distance communication. This activity generated the philately hobbies which once so popular. Among the philatelist collecting the postage stamp from the various place in the world is the purposes, thus the correspondence activities not boring. My Mom, are also a philatelist during Her youth.

Talking about the postal history in Semarang city cant be separated from this Kantor Pos Besar, the head office of postal services in this city, located near the Kota Lama. Built in the 19th centuries, this former Post en Telegraf Dienst Kantoor still used as serving the people. There's a zero milestone in front of this building. There's a unique fact that most of the postal head office always existed near the zero milestones. Here in Semarang then Bandoeng, Pekalongan, Cirebon, etc all of them were near the postal head office in those cities. Maybe this was related to the position of those building which in the roadside of "De Groote Post Weg"(eng: the postal grand road). The Groote Post Weg, inisiated under the general-governor of Herman Willem Daendels, a dutch who become French colaborator during the Napoleonic war (1803-1815). The Daendels inisiated to conected the major cities in the north coast of Java in order to made the movement of the army easier to defend the Java  from the British. But also, its purposed to made the flow of the postal services quicker than before then it make a sense while most of them were located close to the zero milestones.

So, when is the last time you sent the mail through this real mailboxes? :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Van Dorp, The Famous Bookstores

Van Dorp Bookstores and publishers during the colonial era and the current condition on 2013. The inzet depicted the GCT Van Dorp & Co. logo. (source: Masyarakat Indonesia Sadar Sejarah (Mesias) and )
A bookstores is having an important role the societies. Because of books are the window to the World. Its made us able to travel anywhere in this world and beyond in the covers of a book. There is no limit to what we can experience while reading. It's an entertainment we can take with you anywhere, any time. Through readings the books, people will gain more knowledge deeply than others, even in this modern era's when the electronic gadget developed so fast, still on the educational sectors teacher as well as lecturer prefer to ask their students to read the books. Books writed by writers, edited by editors then printed and published by publisher until its "served" on the bookstores.

The ads about the watercolor boxes that
sold in Van Dorp Bookstores.
(sources: koleksikertasdjadoel)
Lately, I found a fact that once in Semarang, its existed the famous bookstores called Van Dorp. The complete names is that G.C.T van Dorp & Co. or simply called as Van Dorp, located in Kota Lama in front of the old Javasche Bank building. Van Dorp beside its sells the book, its also having role as publisher. Felt difficulties to found the records about this bookstores that based in Batavia (now: Jakarta) and has branches in Bandung, Semarang and Surabaya with the distribution all over East-Indies. But Asrul Sani on Arief Budiman's book entitled "Chairil Anwar: Sebuah Pertemuan" recount about His story and Chairil Anwar about its Van Dorp Bookstores. “In Jalan Juanda (Jakarta) once there's two bookstores that now becomes the office of Astra Company. They were Kolf and Van Dorp. The collection was extremely much. Me and Chairil often to stolen the books over there,” Asrul Sani recounts on the books. 

The fate of Van Dorp bookstores later nationalized by the government after the repatriations of the Dutch people following the tensions between Indonesia and Netherlands in West Papua conflicts. The glory of this bookstores found its ends. The new owners seems unable to managed the bookstores until its getting declined and the building taken by Sarinah International, and here in Semarang taken by Ikatan Arsitek Indonesia (IAI) but now were no longer used and abandoned. PK Ojong, the founder of Kompas Daily, one's of the leading newspaper in Indonesia wrote about this. For Him, the lost of Van Dorp Bookstores is one's of the evidences behind the failure of nationalization policy.

GCT Van Dorp building before its change into the art deco style on 1913.
(source: Leiden University Library)
"The soul of a company is not placed on the building, the furniture, the car, the truck, and the archive, but on the leader. What we actually do with this Van Dorp bookstores? The expertise, efficiency, we kick it out abroad. And that we have is only the building, the furniture, the car, and so on. We kick it soul, and the only things we owned just a dead objects", said PK Ojong.     

When the nationalization carried out in an emotional atmosphere, based on hate, based on revenge without a good and professional management, its means nothings. Just like the fate of Van Dorp Bookstores. abandoned, decayed, and no one's recognized it anymore.

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Peace Movement to Persuade the Government Established City Museum

Inside the Pameran Kuno Kini Nanti, taken before the opening ceremony by Mas Asmarie from DotSemarang, danke broer! :) 
Its September already!

But the memories of August were couldn’t went away yet, still on my mind the crowds, the smiles and the curiousity of the guest on Lopen Semarang history exhibition. Yap, like what I said before in my blog post here, finally we did it! Held the great exhibition about history in my city, even a lots of people said that this was the first time such this kinda exhibition  runs by the youth and without any government intervention! Its pure for the people, by the people, from us, LoL

The front facade of the Spiegel Building,
the location of Kuno Kini Nanti exhibition.
(source: Harry Suryo)
The Pameran (eng: exhibition) titled “Kuno Kini Nanti”.  Taken from Indonesian word which kuno means the past, kini means recent and nanti means later. So as the history study is, we learns from the past, we observe it in our current condition to prepared our future to be better than before. From this exhibition we want to brought back the visitor back into Semarang on the early of 20th century. The period in which the worlds is being transformed from “Kuno-Kini”,  from the traditional life into modern life like what our life is. Because in 20th century, there’s a lot of invention on Economics system, Industrial works, Education system, Ideology, and the important one, the new technologies. Come skelian lord and lady, together we learn cultural heritage which is owned by the city of Semarang!

The exhibition runs for a a weeks, starts from August 22nd to 28th, 2013, from  10 AM to 9 PM in Spiegel building, Semarang Old quarter. Here in the exhibition, together we collaborated with several communities like AIESEC UNDIP, Jazzngisoringin, Orart oret, FDGI, Akademi Berbagi and our brother who together put a concern on historical thingy, Blusukan Solo. The collaboration with its several community have a a lot of purposes, starts from our hopes that the community could collaborated together, act together to build the Semarang city more attractives. Like in this exhiobition, the historical exhibition is just the name, but inside it, we let those community fulfilled it with their own way. In the other hands Lopen Semarang were still young, not so many people know about this community, so we hope through this collaboration, it would gained much visitor over the exhibition.

The members of Lopen Semarang, explained about the content of the
exhibition into this "little visitors".
Then its really happened! We recorded 1467 visitors in Kuno Kini Nanti, from the students from the elementary school to the retirements of civil servants, from the college to the entrepreneur, from the family to the old friends, everybody learns here. Even after we closed we expected to extended our exhibition as a part of Hidden Heritage events on August 6th-7th, 2013. 

Thanks for all the people who helped us to realize it! And the last but not least, we have a strong wish. Someday it must be a City Museum of Semarang, located in Kota Lama, because until this time there’s no City Museum existed in this city. We, the youth, have proved it, that the history of Semarang city is great and its worth to be learn of, the now its ur turn, the Government of Semarang City, for how long we’ve to wait y’all realize the city museum? We’ll waitin’ for ;)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Remains of Hotel Tjandi and A Story of Divorce Drama

Hotel Tjandi, the current condition are photos in the left side taken on April 2013 and on the right side were the condition on the same sites, the zweembad (eng:swimming pool) on 1927, with the luggage label of Hotel Tjandi.
(source: Leiden University Library | e-bay)
Hello World!

This afternoon in the middle of my daily activity, I've visited the remains of Hotel Tjandi, one's of the best hotel in Semarang during colonial period. Visiting the remains of the glorious Hotel Tjandi actualy kind of weird since there's nothings left, only its fences and its decayed-swimming pools remains. The funny fact that the ruins of the swimming pool that once made this hotel famous, now used as the volley ball fields. The Tjandi Hotel according to the advertisement in De Locomotief, a  popular newspaper based on Semarang opened in September 25th 1888. The Hotel claimed has sophisticated view of the city of Semarang and Java Sea. The hotel initialy contains 16 spacious rooms that also has a telephone connection, water pipeline facility (which at that time consider as very luxury) and also provided with restaurant that served fresh milk. The Tjandi Hotel which located in 300 feet above sea level was only eight minutes away from Djomblang tram station, made it always easily accessible. The hotel even has its own car rental, located in the opposite of Djomblang tram station, where there are also available buses to the city or to southern part of the city to be reached. 

There's not so many articles regarding this Hotel Tjandi, mostly the articles was about the murder that happens in this hotel that also reported by De Locomotief . I've translatted and edited the content of the events that exacted 84 years ago happened as follows, so sorry before if its not appropriated translated. (See the original one's here)

Hotel Tjandi on 1910 (Source: Leiden University Library)

OCHTENDBLAD, A (eng: Morning Paper).  25 Aug. 1929

De moord in het Tjandi-hotel te Semarang 
(eng: The murder in the Tjandi hotel in Semarang)

(eng: Divorce Drama)

Just as telegraphic reported, its happened in the pleasant Hotel Tjandi in Semarang on Monday 22 July at 12.15 PM a drama play. With four shots , three of which exceeded target, has certain A. N. van den Worm Mr. W. van Zuylen , a member of the orphan room there, deprived of life. The perpetrator writes for The Locomotive daily he choose on silent midday , while Mr Van Zuylen with his wife received Mr. Oei visits then together have a afternoon tea drinking. Suddenly appeared in the middle of the three unsuspecting men the aforementioned with a revolver in hand, caused the fatality for Mr. Van Zuylen. Shortly after committing the crime, the perpetrator were explained the shots as the following :

Mr. J. Blom, superintendant of the hotel, in the hall of the hotel waiting for the afternoon . He suddenly heard a bang. Soon afterwards he heard screaming from the Northwest Appear corner of the hotel , from the direction of the rooms occupied by Mr. Van Zuylen and his expectant wife , Mrs . Keyer . Mr Blom rushed there and saw Van den Worm standing with revolver in hand, while Mr. Van Zuylen lay on the ground in a pool of blood . At a distance Mr. Blom, with a little bit frightened , look assigns Van den Worm and cried far, "Give me that thing! ". Van den Worm replied "Here it is , and here you have some spare cartridges as well. I shot him . Call the police after all" .

Mr Blom then went to the phone with Van den Worm to warn the police, still felt shocked and amazed because of how come the perpetrator commited a crime then call the police for what he done? Van den Worm was now quiet in the hall of the hotel and said among other things, "Look yet again that this man were supposed to be dead! Otherwise he goes there next time anyway". A moment later it was called : "I have over ten years . I have already said that he was coming. That was a honor , like Van Rijn .

So hows the crime has taken place, please read as followings,
On that day the inhabitants of the rooms on the northern wing of the hotel  along with heavy looping fit. A lady , who stood at the window of her room , glanced , who surely the man was who found it necessary at this hour of afternoon rest with so heavy steps on the hotel gallery to march. She saw a man who had his right hand in his pocket  pass . Sometime later there were shots 

For the room of Mr. Van Zuylen were Mr van Zuylen near the door with the face and on his right sat Mrs.  Keyer and left, with his back were Mr. Oei . To the provisional statements show ,Van den Worm with rushing mighty pass to the corner came behind and walked to Mr. Oei 's called something like, " Where are my children?" . Immediately afterwards or perhaps simultaneously pulled a revolver and four shots fired . In two or three seconds, that was the drama happened.

The current condition of the front fences of Hotel Tjandi,
the buildings were already demolished on 1997. 
The reason for this heinous crime should be sought in a love affair .The perpetrator, Van den Worm , a man of 51 years , was formerly married to Mrs . Keyer , with whom he has three children. This marriage, which was very unfortunate, was disbanded last year. It was during this marriage and be the occasion of a violent scene in the house of the family Van den Worm, then the story goes when Mr. Van Zuylen met Mrs. Keyer . He lived in a pavilion at the home of Van den Worm. Mrs Keyer anyway, threatened Mr. Van Zuylen in such a manner that later made Mr.Van den Worm dislike it. Then Mrs . Keyer is fled to the pavilion where Mr Van Zuylen lived . Start form that time, the separation process started.

The victim of this crime , Mr. W. van Zuylen, was a quiet , calm and modest man. A hard worker , who diligence in the course of years of committees in the orphan room service. He lived a quiet life and would soon be married with mrs . Keyer , the former wife of Mr. Van den Worm, with whom he had lived for long time and even the peoples already applied Her as Mrs. Van Zuylen. Mr. Van den Worm apparently very strongly affected by these separation. So it seems that he had to "avenge" not to have to lose. 

A member of policemen did the research about the case, led by Mr. Wird Barendregt , commenced the perpetrator, seens from how he came and how he performedsimiliar with the Van Rijn case, another murder case in Madiun , which Mr Van den Rijn shoted notary Heyman Cohen till dead , apparently has been inspired the Van den Worm. Currently, Mrs. Keyer still suffered by the murders on that noons and it is transferred to St. Elizabeth Hospital on the evening. It will certainly take a considerable time to recover. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Between Timber Company and Saminism

The Vereeniging Javasche Houthandel Maatschappij (Java Hout) building in Bandarharjo, Semarang as it appears on 2013, abandoned and decayed. No longer could showed the glorious of the primary Dutch-Indies timber company. 
Timber, one’s of the basic resources for the humankind. Talking about this, moreover about the business related to this were very interesting. In this modern era’s where the forestal area  were reduced from time to time, the needs of timber were also growth significantly. A lots of ways had been made to changed the used of timber, since its getting so expensive today. But for those who pursuing the luxurious and prestigious felt, there are no doubt for them to spend more to it. Last nite, after a charity events, in the rural areas outskirt of Semarang City, in Genuk, me and my friends passed a multinational furniture company that’s owned their own “palace” over there, The Harrison & Gill Co . A walled building with a mediteranean style gate, with the several Moorish-style building inside. The people surround said that it’s used as both the residence of the owner and its production facilities. Checking on the owner profile on wiki, He designed and built a one million square foot workshop complex in Java in order to accommodate the 1,400 carvers, woodcarvers and specialist finishers that craft his designs. Could you imagine how big its?

The warehouse of Java Hout on 1915, located besides the
offices now is no longer existed anymore. (source: Leiden University Library)
Here in Semarang, long before Harrison & Gill existed, once there’s a big timber company established by the East-Indie government. It’s the important timber exporter to Netherlands specifically, Europe Generally. Its Vereenigde Javasche Houthandel Maatschappij or simply called as Java Hout in Bandarharjo, North Semarang. The building of this primary timber company in East Indies now is used as the office of Perusahaan Daerah (Perusda) Jawa Tengah. But since its often to get floods, now its abandoned, like the others building surround it, the Lendeteves Stokvis building for example, that located in front of it, its getting badly damaged from time to time.

From the inscription in front fa├žade of the building, its showed us that its established on 1911. The workshop of Java Hout, besides this building were already collapsed. There’s lack of activity except a few people’s who residenced in the housing complex behind it. The Java Hout, instead having the important role for the timber industry in Indonesia, related to the modernization of timber industry, its also having a story related to the creation of Samin movement in Blora, the main source of Timber in Java.

Its Samin Surosentiko or Raden Kohar from di Ploso Kedhiren, Randublatung, Blora. He was the leader of the Samin movement that persuade the people of Blora, specifically those who lived in the teak forest area, performed protest against the Dutch. At that time, the Dutch via Java Hout claimed the permission to exploitated the teak forest in Blora. Here for long time until now, is famous for the best quality of its teak wood.  Thus, people outside the company, the indigenous people also were forbidden to cut the trees surround the areas which already monopolized by Java Hout. Those who were violated the rules would be prisoned.

Monorailbaan, the monorail track using for the timber
transport in Blora, around 1914. (source: Tropical Institute)
Seeing this condition, and felt that He together with his people are the owner of this forest for a centuries, a legacy from their ancestor, so long before the Dutch claimed that its belong to them. During his speeches on 1889, Samin stated that the land of Java is owned by the descendants of the Pandawa, Pandawa are family descendants of Majapahit Kingdom. This history is written on one’s of the Java book tittled Punjer Kawitan. According to the content of Punjer kawitan, Samin Surosentiko persuade his people to fight against the Dutch Government. “This Java soil does not belong to the Dutch, this were our ancestor land! Java is for the Javanese!” he said.

Hence, after that, He together with his follower formed Samin Movement. A peaceful protest, like what Gandhis with his Ahimsa principle. The Samin people were refused to pay the tax, refused the duty to work for the Dutch-Indies government, and refused the duty to performing the regular night watch. The Samin movement soon gained hundreds of follower and its spread into the cities surround Blora like Cepu and Bojonegoro. The Samin movement also have a purposed to create the Independence State ruled by the Javanese, thus they could live in peace and harmony.

The government of Dutch-Indies getting furious knowing what the Samin Surosentiko and his follower does.  The Batavia feared that the Samin movement would growth bigger and could harm the stabilization in Java. Then on the same years,on 1907 Samin Surosentiko together with 8 of his follower, arrested by the Dutch-Indies government and exiled to Padang, West Sumatera until he died on 1914. The Samin movement after their leader being exiled were not extincted, they isolated themselves from the outside, and even there’s a story told that they just found a fact that Indonesia has gained their independence from the Dutch in the years of 1970’s. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Balai Muslimin And The Memories of Tan Malaka in Semarang

The Balai Muslimin building, in Kampung Gendong, Sarirejo, Semarang Timur, taken on 2013 as appeared on the articles of Majalah Historia. The condition were badly damaged with the original facade were hard to be rcognized.
Happy Ramadhan all! Long time no post, several activity whack up my time to write, then in the ends of months like this, I gotta share something that I got couple days ago, about kinda untold story coming from Kampung Gendong about an abandoned building called Balai Muslimin. Less people know about the fact about this building that closely related to the figure of Tan Malaka,” the Che Guevara from Asia”. Then the story goes…

Tan Malaka, is an Indonesian independence activist, once the leader of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), thus He’s story were little bit undiscovered yet, related to his origin, an Let-wing activist. Here ini Semarang, we’ve got his legacy, the Balai Muslimin, once used by Tan Malaka as His Sarekat Rakyat School  who become the role model of the school broke the rules of the indigenous people educational system under the Dutch. He thought that the educational system, especially that applied to the low-class people, were discriminated, its only purposed to  formed the lower-class worker. In the Inlandsch School (Indigenous School) or  in the Volksch School (People’s School, in Javanese known as Ongko Loro, related to the period that only takes for two years) its only emphasized to the counting and reading ability. Only the rich inlander (Indonesian people) could afford the well-education school, like the son of regents, government employee, landowner, etc. Thus, Tan Malaka established its Sarekat Rakyat School, that inspired from the Dutch and Russian. According to the historian, Harry A Poeze, Tan Malaka once reads an articles about the communist school curriculum, and another inspiration is that his experience when He works in Deli Tobacco Plantantion, that the knowledge to be learned, is must based on the local genius. 

In a brochure entitled SI Semarang and Onderwijs published on 1921, Tan Malaka explained the reason and purpose of this Sarekat Rakyat School. First, the need for education and science skills such as numeracy, writing, geography, and language. Secondly, the organization education and politics. Those were required to developing  a strong personality, self-confidence, self-esteem, and social sensitivity. The last points he wrotes, the education must evoked the sense of humanity. 

The first day of the "Tan School", there are fifty students came to register. The school then held a ceremony for its new students together with their parents who attended the SI (Sarekat Islam) board of Semarang. After the inauguration procession, the students wearing the red shorts, marches with singing “The Internationale”. The attendances applauded. It just the starting point to the Sarekat Rakyat School to become greater. New students continued to arrive, up to 200 students applied. Dozens of people were also applied to be the teacher.

The Sarekat Rakyat School in Semarang, taken on 1917.
(source: Menjadi Indonesia)
In the Balai Muslimin, during the morning, its functioned as school, The Sarekat Rakyat School . then on afternoon, Tan Malaka held a course for the teachers. The establishment of a news kind of “Volks School” in Semarang soon spread to the other areas. Some big cities in Java established a school similar with the Sarekat Rakyat School in their own region. In Bandung for examples, its gain a short times after those in Semarang to established a branch of Sarekat Rakyat School.

Nowadays, the Balai Muslimin was totaly abandoned. The damaged of its roof were getting worst, on the left side its collapsed already. During the hard rain, its often getting flood, endangered the floor tile. Sooner or later, if there's no immediate conservations efforts, it will be destroyed and gone forever.

Source: Tempo edisi khusus, Peniup Suling bagi Anak Kuli, 2008

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Bank of Taiwan, The Japanese Empire Wealth over Asia

A postcard depicted The Bank of Taiwan Building in Surabaya in Kembang Jepun, on the corner of Songgoyudan Street (left) and Slompretan Street (right). (date unknown - Source: Leiden University Library) 
The First Sino-Japanese War broke out between Qing Dynasty China and Japan in 1894 following a dispute over the sovereignty of Korea. Following its defeat, China ceded the islands of Taiwan and Penghu to Japan in the Treaty of Shimonoseki, signed on April 17, 1895.  One of the most notable features of Japanese rule in Taiwan was the "top-down" nature of social change. While local activism certainly played a role, most of the social, economic, and cultural changes during this period were driven by technocrats in the colonial government. With the Japanese Government as the primary driving force, as well as new immigrants from the Japanese Home Islands, Taiwanese society was sharply divided between the rulers and the ruled. The properity of Japan Empire were significantly growth in the late of 19th century, thus its colony were developed as well as the Japan itself. In order to maintain the currency used  in the colony, the Japanese Rule in Taiwan began to developed a local bank.  

The Bank of Taiwan office, in Jurnatan, on the west side
of the Jurnatan Central Station and the Bank of Taiwan logo's.
(Source: Krisna Wariyan and Wikipedia)
The Bank of Taiwan was established as Taiwan's central bank in 1899 by Taiwan's Japanese government. The bank's creation was authorized in 1897 by the Bank Act of Taiwan which encouraged Japanese enterprises, such as the Mitsubishi and Mitsui Groups, to invest in Taiwan. The money invested in the Taiwan Bank came directly from the Japanese government. The Taiwan Bank was the second largest Japanese bank in Southeast Asia.  The bank branches itself were created in other parts of Asia as the empire expanded, including areas in China and Southeast Asia. In Dutch-Indie, the bank firstly established in Surabaya in 1915, then followed by Semarang then Batavia, in the next few years. The branch of Bank of Taiwan in Semarang was in Jurnatan, by the side of Indische Motor Club office. Curently, the huilding was demolished and changed into Jurnatan business complex. The Architect firms of Karsten, Lutjens & Toussaint is the designer of this fancy building. One more, the Karsten's masterpiece, unfortunatelly the building was demolished around 1970's.

Since the Japanese seized the Dutch-Indies, the banking regulation were all taken over by the Japanese. Soon the Japanese Bank like Bank of Taiwan, and then Yokohama Specie Bank have a big roles taken over the banking system from the Nederlands Bank. A large number of Japanese companies were encouraged to launch into business in the Dutch-Indies, this also made those Japanese Bank gained a great chance to developed , but this did not last long. In March 1942  The Southern Development Bank was founded by Japanese Government. The Japanese Government urge to established the central bank in their occupied areas which would be empowered to issue banknotes. In fact, the SDB utilized both the YSB and the Taiwan Bank to establish its representations and branches, which means in fact that its business actually conducted through these banks. That’s why, the roles of Yokohama Specie Bank and the Bank of Taiwan reduced, those were become of mere bit players in the financial world in Dutch-Indies .

After the war is over and the Dutch-Indies turn into Republik Indonesia, the fortune didn’t improved. In the late of 50’s decades, while the Dutch-owned banks were all nationalized, under the spirit of inciting nationalism and independence and through Government Regulation No. 2 of 1959, other foreign banks (non-Dutch) were all liquidated, as well as Bank of Taiwan. Indonesia’s foreign and domestic political policies as well as the nationalization move by the Indonesian government sparked foreign customers to close their bank accounts and return to their home countries. A number of foreign individuals and companies shifted their banking activities to Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI). As a result, the amount of funds extended by the foreign banks dropped sharply. The extending of development and trading credits was finally taken over by the national banks. The nationalizing of the Dutch banks was a preliminary step of the national banks’ existence in the Indonesia’s economy.

History of Bank Indonesia : Banking Period from 1953-1959
Indonesia and the War Myths and Realities (KITLV)

An Heritage Mosque in Jomblang, Masjid Jami Al Amanah

Masjid Al Amanah, but its well known as Masjid Jami Djomblang means The Great Mosque of Djomblang, once its became the biggest mosque in Jomblang neigborhood, Semarang. (source: Locale Techniek, 1937)
Its already June! Yeah the time is runnig out for the 8th Semester students like me, everytime is “when I’ll graduated” in my mind, hell yeah! Its really happened mates, but okay gotta no worries about that, the life is beautifull outside right? 

The front terrace of Masjid Jami Jomblang (The Great Mosque of Jomblang).
The plaque commemorating mosque construction
were located in the left side of the leftmost doors.
A good movie, ntitled Sang Kiai were just released (see the trailers here) . A good kinda historical-based movie I guess, cant wait to watch it soon. According to its official websites, the films recounts the life of KH. Hasyim Asy’ari, a prominent Islamic figure from Pesantren Tebu Ireng, Jombang . He also the central figures in the Nadhlatul Ulama organization, the biggest Islamic based organization in Indonesia, founded on 1926. Here in the films Sang Kiai, the plots were the story of KH. Hasyim Asy’ari as the central figures in the foundation of Indonesia Independence. He was the role models during the Japanese occupation and the Revolution for Independence from 1942-1947 in determining the direction and the mass mobilization of the moslem . With his Jihad fatwa , KH. Hasyim urge and persuade the peoples to fight on the side of Republic Indonesia against the invaders.

The Masjid Jami Djomblang in 2013, seems the structure
of the roofs has been changed.
Talking about this film which most of its settings were located in Semarang, its remind me about one’s of the Nadhlatul Ulama mosque in Jomblang. A couple weeks ago, when visiting my friends house in Jomblang, I found this mosque while I wanna pray on Ashar time. Seen from the plaque, this mosque will celebrate its 80th anniversary this December, 2013. On plaque its written,
Peringatan berdirinya masjid di Jomblang yang diperjaban bermula pada hari ahad kliwon 12 djumadil awal 1352 tahun hijriah atau 3 September 1933, selesai pada penghabisan bulan syaban 1332 tahun hijriah atau desember 1933, dari daya upaya djamaah Nadhlatul Ulama cabang  semarang bagian tamirul masjid 
The commemoration of the construction of this Mosque  in Jomblang, started in 12 Kliwon Jumadil Akhir , 1352 Hijri or September 3rd 1933, and finished on the ends of Syaban 1332 Hijri or December 1933, from the effort of the Semarangs Nadhlatul Ulama congregation. The official name of the mosque itself is Masjid Jami' Al Amanah.  Masjid is Indonesian word for mosque, actually its taken from arabic language, as well as Jami' which mean great. So according to the name, this supposed to be one's of the main mosque in the neigborhood. Al Amanah means "The Trust", but also has a broader Islamic meaning. It is the moral responsibility of fulfilling one's obligations due to Allah and fulfilling one's obligations due to Allah's discipline disciples.

Due to this Mosque was belong to Nadhlatul Ulama organization, so it’s a compulsory for the committee to celebrate the anniversary the construction of this mosque that also well known as Masjid Jami' Jomblang by held watching together Sang Kiai films, their ancestor and their notable figures. In my opinion ;)  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

HYGEIA, "De Groote" Mineral Water from Semarang

Inside the Hygeia Factory, still could be seen in the background the stained glass window pattern, now was entirely dissapeared. In the top-right corner were the trademarks of Hygeia. (source: tropenmuseum)
If we take a walk to the fish market in Jurnatan, nearly end on the alley we would found an old building which abandoned with an inscription adorned on the walls, PABERIK HYGEIA. I believe, not so many people know, this is a factory of highly-innovative product that is very useful for the development of Indonesia in the scope of both chemistry and healthcare. Long time ago before Mr. Tirto Utomo with his bottled-water products, which now dominate the market developed in 1974, in Semarang, its built the factory of Hygeia, with their products is soda-water and mineral water. This company were developed by H F Tillema, one's of the great innovators during the colonial period.

The current condition of Hygeia Factory in Jurnatan now its used as the
cooking oil warehouse. The building were badly abandoned. 
Born as Hendrik Freerk Tillema, he spent his chilhood in Echten, a village in the Friesland, Netherlands. He was born July 5, 1870. his father, Sikke Tillema is a school principal. When Hendrik was seven years old his mother died. In 1896 at the age of 25 he went to the East Indies and tried his lucky in the city of Semarang. In Semarang, he worked in Samarangsche Apotheek, owned by R. Klaasesz en Co. According to the contract, he received a salary of 200 guilders monthly for the first year. In 1899 he was able to buy the company. he retains the name Klaasesz en Co.. In the age of barely 30, he became the sole owner and leader in the company.

Pharmacist jobs, such as weighing and preparing chemicals substance was his daily activity, thus once he got so bored about his job. In his first year as a boss, he was trying to find something new. When he read an articles on Het Pharmaceutisch Weekblad, he found that millions of soda bottles imported into Java island annualy. He got an idea,  if he is able to sell a hundred thousand bottles of soda, he'll gained such significant revenue.

Then it start, in a few years Samarangsche-Apotheek had an subsidiaries to made a bottled-water then its developed into a hypermodern soda factory. Tillema being so strict related to the hygiene thingy. He knows that pure drinking water is very important for health. At first, he failed to mixed the oxygen with the pure water until he remembered the lessons during his high school about the laws of nature, "Salt could dissolved quickly in the warm water while the gas in the cold water". Then he realized it, he brings tons of ice cubes but then he found that it was too expensive. Finally, he wrap the problems with ordered tons of water with the temperature of 5 degrees Celsius from the ice factory. Its gained success and soon his soda factory growth significantly.

Dr. H F Tillema, circa 1935 (source:KITLV)
In 1901 he built the first factory in Semarang where his workers purify and fill the water into the bottles on the conveyor belt, a most modern system on that time. People called his product as a blank water, and this have an attracted etiquette in the bottle, that is a picture of a black cat with a tail that waved leapfrog letters HYGEIA! The new brand for the Tillema bottled-waters. Hygeia (or actually Hygieia) is the daughter of Asklepios, the Greek god of health protection that now become the brand of the Tillema bottled-waters.

In 1901 he succeeded to sell 500.000 bottles of Hygeia. Also, in early of December 1901, he married Anna Sophia Weehuizen, a 24-year-old teacher. Anna was born and growth in Java, from a family with ten children. His father died at a young age. However, as her mother suggest her, he became one of the girls who continue her education until high school grade. Later, after marriage she became an advisor for the Hygeia marketing and publication. Ten months after their marriage, Anna gave birth to her first child. Two years later the second child was born. Tillema was loved to be circled by his family, so that he took his wife's family members to work in his company.

The Hygeia Ads, here its started with
the words De Groote mineralwater
fabriek te Semarang is wel de Hygeia
fabriek (eng: De Groote mineral factory
in Semarang is the Hygeia factory).
(source: OASE documentation)
While the Coca-Cola company in the early of 20th century have a good advertising patterns, Tillema also used the same way by adopting what the Coca-Cola done. He shared an ashtrays with Hygeia brand printed on it.. In the potential intersection in Semarang, he hung a billboard that interested the peoples to bought his botled-water, Hygeia. The photos of the streets where he placed the billboard itself were printed into postcard and shared freely with the phrase on the postcard, "Hygeia Lemonade is incredible!". When the Gementee (eng: town council) asked him to revoke all of his billboard, he switch the publicity  with using balloon reads Hygeia, that hovered in the sky of Semarang.

In the 20th century, the photography starts to developed, almost everybody pay an interest on it, likewise  Tillema. He made an album about several photos of Semarang scenery and on the backside of the book he put Hygeia brand, also the price list of his products. He spent 50.000 Guilders for advertisement annualy and soon he will enjoyed the results. Hygeia product both the carbonated lemonade drinks and the mineral water were very popular throughout the East-Indies. At that time the price of the product is 25 Guilders, and six empty bottles, can be exchanged for a full six bottles for only 75 Guilders. 

On 1910, Tillema became one's of Het Gemeenteraad (eng: City Council) of Semarang. Because of his services, Het Gemeenteraad van Semarang perpetuate the name Tillema on a park in the Candi Baru region. The park who situated near the official house of De Javasche Bank agent and in front of Ereveld Candi were named Tillema Plein or Tillema Park. Currently we recognize the park as Gajahmungkur Park, because of its situated in Gajahmungkur regency.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Semarangsche Spaarbank, The First Saving Bank in Dutch-Indies

The current condition of Semarangsche Spaarbank office buildings in Jalan Kepodang 2-4, Semarang 
In 1887, Semarangsche Spaarbank inaugurated their new office buildings which designed by G.L. Verver, an Enginer an also a Mathematics teacher in Hogere Burger School (HBS) of Semarang. The buildings of old H.B.S. Semarang then used as Sekolah Menegah Atas (SMA) Negeri 3 Semarang after independence of Indonesia till today, an high school that equivalent with H.B.S levels actualy. The construction of the building were handled by  F.L. Mahlerwein  as the contractor and costs 10.440 gulden. It takes five months for F.L. Mahlerwein to completed the construction. The Semarangsche Spaarbank office that located in Hogendoorpstraat, present day Jalan Kepodang was mentioned in De Locomotief newspaper in 1887 that the office of Semarangsche Spaarbank consider as most beautiful buildings in town! 

Semarangsche Spaarbank itself were a saving bank which initiated by The Vrijmetselarij (Freemasonry) a well-known fraternity organization to help the people with financial problem and keep them out of hands of the loan sharks. This kind of saving bank was the first to be established in Nederlans-Indie, present day of Indonesia as its mentioned in sites "De spaarbank te Semarang is de oudste van alle spaarbanken in Nederland-Indie". 

Semarangsche Spaarbank in 1910. (source: Leiden University Library)
Semarang among the earliest cities in Dutch-Indies to be established the Freemasonry organization. The organization seems to spread quickly around the world, together with the spirit of French Revolution, Liberte, Egalite, and Fraternite. Freemasonry despite its popularity among the conspiracy theory enthusiast, actualy only a common fraternity organization which have an aim to connecting people and hand-in-hand to overcomes social problems without considering any race, religion institutions, and political backgrounds. The place of freemasonry gathering called lodge, and Semarang established its lodge in 1789 named La Constanta et Fidele, means faithfuly forever. 

After the independence of Indonesia, Semarangsche Spaarbank continues its operation.  In 1952, their office have major renovation, and its  looks like to welcoming their 100 years anniversary in 1953. Semarangsche Spaarbank is difference from Postpaarbank, which is nationalized and became Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN). But the fate of the Semarangsche Spaarbank is just the same, following the high tension between the government of Indonesia and Netherlands toward the West Papua issues, the Semarangsche Spaarbank also nationalized by the Indonesian Government. The building itself then owned by CIMB Niaga Bank, and once became the headquarters of this bank for Semarang branchs. But then its moved and the building neglected till todays. The office of Semarangsche Spaarbank that once mentioned to be the most beautiful building in Semarang, today seems in the opposite sides of that.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Ikatan Motor Indonesia (IMI) and its Relation with Semarang

De Koninklijke Ned. Indische Motor Club around and the badges of this association.
(photos source: Krisna Wariyan | badges: livaauctioneers)
Next months, on May 2-4th 2013, in Semarang will be held a gathering of the bikers from all around Indonesia here in the event called Tugu Muda Bike Week. Such a big events because I heard that more than a thousand bikers would participate here. The organizer of this event is the bikers community well known as Ikatan Motor Besar Indonesia (IMBI). The IMBI were part of the Indonesia Automotive Association well known as Ikatan Motor Indonesia (IMI). IMI itself were nationalization from Indonesische Motor Club (IMC) during the Dutch Indies era, and the headquarters are in Semarang!

On March 27th, 1906, here established Javasche Motor Club (JMC) in Semarang. The JMC headquarters itself located in Bodjong, nowadays is  Jalan Pemuda and used by Bank Mandiri as cafeteria. Then in 1912, there’s a lot of aspiration to  reorganize the Java Engine Club and to found an association for the whole of Java. The first step in this direction was obtained by connecting the Java Engine Club and the Semarang Automobile Club. The Secretariat of the Java Engine Club was transferred to Semarang from Surabaya after the merger accomplished. In the end 1912 finally its established De Koninklijke Nederladsch Indie Motor Club (KNIMC) and took the headquarters in the west side of Jurnatan Station, Semarang. Thanks for Semarang Photo Archives for makes me easily trace back the location through their map on wikimapia.

After the transfer of souvereignity, KNIMC also taken over by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and become Indonesische Motor Club (IMC). In 1950 the name changed to Ikatan Motor Indonesia (IMI) until now. Following the centralization policy, the headquarters moved into Jakarta. Until 1968, IMI occupies several rooms of the Office of the City of Exim Bank before its finally got a place in the right wing of Tennis Stadium, in Senayan Sport Complex, Jakarta.

The former headquarters in Semarang itself? Its demolished around 1986 together with the demolization of Jurnatan Station and Bank of Taiwan building. For me it’s once of the biggest loss related to the historical heritage, and for those who following Tugu Muda Bike Week 2013, they must know that here in Semarang, formerly was the main headquarters  of the KNIMC. Maybe, based from the history, the headquarters could be back to here, considering the Jakarta situation were uncomfortable anymore because of this high density problems. Well who knows? ;)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Lasem, and The Story of Tan Sin Ko

Me and anothers participant from Semarang, in front of Klenteng Gie Yong Bio, a confucians shrines often mentioned as the "Heroes Shrines", built on 1780 as the rememmberance to the victims of 1740-1743 resistance against VOC. (photos by: Pak Agus Budi S)
Hello World!

Now I gotta shared something that I got yesterday while I was following a trip invited by Mr. Tjahjono Rahardjo, one’s of the Perkumpulan Sobokartti Committee towards Lasem! Lasem, yap the city that become the living proof of Budaya Peranakan, an acculturation between Chinese and Javanese culture, those were implemented on the style of the building, on the pattern on Batik cloth, on the wayang (Javanese puppet show) story , and so on. Together with people’s that coming from different background likes musician, writer, journalist, lecturer, and so on who were have a big attention towards the cultural and heritage preservation, together we went to Lasem, with the main objectives to preserved the burial site’s of Tan Sin Ko, or better known among Lasem people’s as Singseh.

Who is Tan Sin Ko actually? Even me don’t know exactly who is he, and why we must preserved his burial sites, and even when I arrived on the sites, I wondering, why must He’s buried alone, far from the city ? Then when I heard the explanation from Mr. Daradjadi, the author of Geger Pecinan books I got the explanation.

On the October, 1740 there’s a chinese riots over Batavia (Jakarta) which resulted the chinese massacre by VOC which become the Dutch authority in Indonesia. Tan sin Ko, participated the insurgent under the command of Khe Panjang, continued the resistance against VOC. Lack of the armament and strategy, this was finaly succeed to be expelled from Batavia, and the Khe Panjang troops were pursued into the east. On the middle of 1741, the Khe Panjang  troops entered the Kartasura, the capital city of Mataram Sultanate. Here He got the honors as Kapitan Sepanjang due to His courage to led a resistance against VOC.Here his troops was given a name as Laskar Kuning (eng: Yellow Troops) related to the skin of the Chinese people who were “yellow”.

 The map of Samarang, dated 1741, with the position of
VOC army and the enemy fugitives. In the top left corner
written, Chief commander and commanded by Gerrit Mom
(source: Het Genootschap voor het Nationaal Archief)
The Mataram Sultanate under Pakubuwono II had an ambition to released from the VOC authority. He wanted to counter the VOC power and gained the power over the land which granted to VOC by his predecessor, Amangkurat II as the grant for assist Him to suppress the Trunojoyo’s insurgencies. But the Pakubuwono II saw no chance, despite the military power of Mataram army were not too strong yet, the Mataram sultanate were bounded by the treaty of Jepara in 1677. The story goes with Pakubuwono II decision to declared war against VOC , with the Khe Panjang troops as the ally. Here Tan Sin Ko, were appointed as the commander of Laskar Kuning. On August 1st 1742 the VOC base on Kartasura were attacked, resulted the died of Capt. Van Plasen. Soon the conflict spread over the Mataram rules, even its reached Lasem and Gresik.  The VOC sent the reinforcement from Batavia, and slowly its succeed surpressed the resistance. The main loose of the Mataram and Khe Panjang Troops were happened on a battle at Kaligawe, Semarang.

The VOC forced Pakubuwono II to choose for apologizing to the VOC thus the Mataram throne will be continued in his hand, or getting executed. The Pakubuwono II choose to back as VOC ally and betrayed the Khe Panjang troops. This decision opposed by his regent, Notokusumo who still fighting side by side with Khe Panjang. Later he took as prisoner and exiled into die into Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The Pakubuwono II with VOC actually doesn’t have much support from Mataram peoples. The regent over the Mataram rules continued the insurgencies. Then in the middle of 1742’s a meeting between Tan Sin Ko, Martapura Regent, Mangunoneng Regent and Khe Panjang was held. They declared the oath of loyalty and  appointed RM Garendi as the Sultan of Mataram with the honors as Amangkurat V who also known as Sunan Kuning. Soon the resistance started, the Kartasura falls inti the insurgent, and Pakubuwono II escaped to Ponorogo. After takin Kartasura,  Tan Sin Ko paired with RM Said, who known as Pangeran Sambernyawa later he become founder of Mangkunegara Duchy. The conflict were spread greater than before. The Tan Sin Ko with his Laskar Kuning together with RM Said decided to take the VOC base on Jepara under Capt. Geritt Mom, but unfortunately they defeated by VOC troops. Tan Sin Ko were retreated to Lasem while RM Said back to Kartasura. The bad luck comes into Tan Sin Ko in Lasem.  The VOC captured  and beheaded him. His body were buried in the forestall area, far from the Lasem city.

Like’s Tan Sin Ko, anothers insurgents were succeed to surpressed one by one. The Khe Panjang were disappeared while he retreated, no one knows exactly where he is. The Amangkurat V captured and exiled into Ceylon. RM Said continued the resistance until the reign of Pakubuwono III, until the treaty of Salatiga on 1757, where he gained privileged to rules a duchy who now known as Mangkunegara.

Tan Sin Ko graves at Desa Narukan, Lasem, while the
Chinese people held Ceng Beng ceremony. The Tombstone
were stolen during reformation riots, on 1998.
(photos by: Pak Tjahjono R)
That was the biggest resistance ever happened against the rules of VOC who ended its reign on 1799. For me its also the proof of the Chinese-Javanese cooperation, who were never as so big as this, because after this VOC applied the wijkenstelsel policy, which separated the residences in the city based on the races. Nowadays condition where between Indo-Chinese people or so-called Tionghoa and the natives were easy to provokes, getting hatred, getting suspicious, this story was must to be delivered, and realized that we are as one entity, as the people of Indonesia. Thus, Its felt so sentimental for me while that day, in front of Tan Sin Ko graves, peoples, from the different races and backgrounds, singing Indonesia Raya, our national anthem together.

Source: Perang Sepanjang 1740 – 1743, Tionghoa- Jawa lawan VOC | author : Daradjadi

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Jurnatan Heritage Site in Memoriam

On the leftside were aerial photos of Jurnatan Central Station, the Bank of Taiwan, and KNIMC. On the right side were the current condition, all of them were changed into shopping complex. (source: Wikimapia and Google Earth)
The development of a civilization can’t separated by the story from the past. That’s the importance of learning history, therefore the needs of acknowledgement of history plus the preservation of historical sites is the duties for those who were becoming a “successor” of a civilization. Here in Semarang, lack of the awareness truly jeopardized these, especially for the historical sites preservations efforts. But I think, its not only in Semarang but all over the world which belongs to development countries. It’s a common problems there, where’s the preservation efforts which related faced with the economics problems like,” how we could use it to fulfilling the daily needs?”. Commonly, they takes the short ways, to demolished it then changed into something that could give the high return in a short time. To built a residences or a business complex above it because of the needs are so high.

Jurnatan Centraal Station in 1927, the centre of tram services all around
Semarang. This station belongs to Samarang Joana Stoomtram-Maatschappij.
(Source: KITLV)
I’m gonna shared one’s of the biggest loss in Semarang, related to the Historical sites. It’s in the Jurnatan where once there’s a Jurnatan Station, Bank of Taiwan and Indische Motor Club building stood in this more than 10 acres large area, but now, no one’s survive. A business complex built above this area in the last decades of 80’s. The Jurnatan Station that owned by Semarang-Joana Stoomtram Maatschapijj are the biggest building here. This was the centre of City Tram services in Semarang which started in 1889.  The Tram services were closed under the Japanese occupation, and the Station converted into City Terminal in 1974, with still maintaining some parts of the station like the unique platform that decorated by stained glass decoration still preserved.  Around 1986, its completely demolished to built a newly business complex called Jurnatan Business Center. Here is the list of the notable buildings that lost in the area of Jurnatan.

1. Jurnatan Centraal Station, the Railways Station owned by Semarang Joana Stoomtram Maatschappij that served the line between Semarang until the North-Coast City (Indonesia: Pantai Utara or simply known as Pantura) like Demak, Kudus, Rembang, Pati, etc, also served the City Tram services in Semarang.
2. Insulinde Bike Factory.
3. Bank of Taiwan Office
4. Koninklijke Nederlands Indie Motor Club (KNIMC) Headquarters
5. Wurttembergische Kazerne
6. Centraal Gevangenis
7. Semarang Wees- en Boedelkamer (Weeskamer)

Wat Jammer! Just try to observed the aerial photos of these area were totally awesome and doesn’t make sense, how such that big area with the enormous buliding on it were demolished. Changed into such a unartistic building used as a business complex. Due to the low quality structure, currently most of the block on that sites were abandoned. Still felt so curious about the reason behind it anyway behind the destruction of this sites. but this was a proof that once u’ve false deciding something, it wouldn’t hard to changed its back, think twice before! ;)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Story Behind Tangsi Mrican

The aerial photos of  Vrije Emigratie (VEDA) in Lamper Tengah, SemarangThe building itself now become the properti of Angkatan Darat (Indonesian Army) and used as housing complex and well knowed as Tangsi Mrican(source: Royal Tropical Institute) 

The Small Hall, located in the center of the
complex, current condition (above) and
in the past (below) showing the activity of
depositing money and delivering packages
by emigrants
(source: Royal Tropical Institute)
Hello world! Long time no posts, and things are getting so vulnerable to ill in this pancaroba season, a transition from wet season to dry season. Well on early of January, I’ve visited a place that during my Junior High School, every sport activity, I was passed through the area but haven’t know yet if the area has a important historical value, despite the building itself are in the old forms. Its Tangsi Mrican, a military housing complex that recently I’ve just realized that in the past it’s a transit camp for the plantantion labour from all over Java before they were sent to the various location in Sumatera called Vrije Emigratie (V.E.D.A) that owned by Algemeene Vereeniging voor Ruberplanters ter Oostkust van Sumatera (A.V.R.O.S), one’s of the leading  plantantion company in Sumatera Island. It has role as a mediator of labor among about 150 plantation companies that consist of private domestic ownership, private foreign ownership, and the state ownership. The major commodities are rubber, cacao, sugar, and palm oil. An indexes that containing the digitalized document about the site was founded in Royal Tropical Institute sites, thanks anyway for mas Khrisna Wariyan for the sites! Anyway on the introduction, its written

Een in Oktober 1927 door den Chef der Vrije Emigratie te Semarang samengstelde brochure over de Vrije Emigratie werd door de Deli Plantersvereeniging uitgeven als Medeeling No. 17 Teneide omtrent de Vrije Emigratie, sedert 1928 een gezamenlijke instelling van de Deli Plantersvereeniging (D.P.V) en de Algemeene Vereeniging voor Ruberplanters ter Oostkust van Sumatera (A.V.R.O.S), haar organitasatie en werkwijze belangsellenden in een kart bestek te kunnen voorlichten, beslaten wij over te gaan tot een nieuwe bewerking van bovenbedoelde publicatie, doch in beknopter vorm en verlucht door een aantal afbeeklinger Moge dit werjke medewerken om meerde bekendheid te gevea aan het instituut der Vrije Emigratie (V.E.D.A)
Medan, 1 December 1929

Het Bestuur der Vrije Emigratie
van D.P.V en A.V.R.O.S

This Inleiding on the journals, principally explaining that in order to creates a good administration and education for the labours, related to the orientation in the destination and also the kind of new method, so its decided to built the Vrije Emigratie (V.E.D.A) in Semarang, to achieved all of the objectives above. According to mas Mahandis Yoananta, a National Geographic reporters the AVROS, preferred  to recruited the labor from Java and China. Why Javanese and Chinese? Because local labor was in short supply and native Malay was not interested work in the plantation company. The words Vrije Emigratie  (eng: Free emigration) means recruitment that based on links between Laukehs (old countrymen who had worked in the plantation) and Sinkehs (new comers) in the same village. VEDA had branches in Purwokerto, Purworejo, and Madiun, later in Meester Cornelis (Batavia) and Surabaya and sub-branches everywhere in Java. Following the nationalization of foreign company during the Banteng Program, the AVROS also nationalized by the government of Indonesia, and since 1967, the premises of AVROS is property of The BKS-PPS (Badan Kerja Sama Perusahaan Perkebunan Sumatera).

The Front parts of VEDA, the left photos showing the arrival of the
returnees by VEDA bus from the harbour of Semarang
(source: Royal Tropical Institute)
The VEDA building itself now are become the property of Angkatan Darat (Indonesian Army) and used as the camp for the army personnel. The forms was still not changes a lot, but a lots of replenishment occurred, and some were destruct the original construction. The main hall, the biggest one’s in the back section, were torned down, and being built new housing complex, only the small hall remains. Visiting the VEDA building, were remembered me about the story from my friends who comes from Pematang Siantar, North Sumatera. He told me that a lot of Javanese lived in his city, and a lot of Javanese settlement were existed over there, majority, they were a plantation workers. Its true then from my friends story and this is, the VEDA building are the proof of the emigration flow of Javanese people to the plantation in the North Sumatera region. This was the proof why there’s so many Javanese in North Sumatera region. But, nobody knows and nobody cares about it. Its only an old building that kept silent from the story inside it for years.

P.S.  Another photos, kindly check lopenSMG fanpage album here , thanks for the pict Mbak Tami and Lovink!