Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Baronese Van Hoevel, Emancipation Activist from Semarang

The Committee of Koloniale Tetoonstelling 1914 in Semarang, taken from the Gedenkbook of Koloniale Tetoonstelling.
Mevr. E Byleveld Baronese van Hoevel, was the only women in the committee, standing in the back, dead center.
My mobile Phone rang on that silent noon,  strangers talks in English and I felt very upset. She explain that She just arrived in Semarang and got my phone number from my Blog. Her name was Ellen van Os, coming from Netherlands to seek an information about Her great-grandma and also Her relatives that buried here, in Semarang. Her Great-Grandma was a victims during Japanese occupation, died in Interneringskamp (eng: internment camp) somewhere in Semarang. Then we set a meeting on Ereveld Kalibanteng, where most of the victims during the Japanese occupation as well during Indonesia Revolution buried.

The grave of Mevr. E.H. Bijleveld
Baronese van Hoevel in Ereveld
Kalibanteng, Semarang.
This was my first time coming to Ereveld, or literally it means “field of honour”. A cemeteries managed by Oorlogsgraven Stichting (OGS) to give a respect for those victims during the Japanese occupation and also during the Indonesia Revolution period. Its not easy to visiting here as the Indonesian, because of its already belongs to the land of Netherlands. Yap, besides their Embassy and Consulates, this Ereveld that also existed in Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya, its belongs to the Kingdom of Netherlands extra teritories. Thus, there I found the portrait of Prins Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, not my President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, LoL!

I met Ellen and also Olivier, they come here in Semarang for the first time, after got holidays in Bali several days. We explore through the gravestone lines in Ereveld to found the Ellen Great-Grandma tombs. Then She show us where is it, then She start to explain how is Her Great-Grandma is, something that I couldnt believed! Her Great-Grandma was one’s of the committee of Koloniale Tetoonstelling 1914 in Semarang, the only women in the committee! Wow, what an odd! Because of I have Her Great-Grandma photos in my files about this Koloniale Tetoonsttelling.

An open class in the De Vrouw pavilions. The picture depicting
 Van Hoevel giving Her lectures.

Her name was E. H. Baronese van Hoevel, a word “Baronese” showed that She comes from the noble families. Ellen told me, if van Hoevel have a good relation with Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and once He visiting va Hoevel residences somewhere in Sulawesi. Van Hoevel have a lots of collection of shell, and its displayed on a several cupboard. This were really impressed Franz Ferdinand, thus He wanna bought it, and Franz Ferdinand owned one of that cupboard filled with Van Hoevel collection of Shell. Nowadays, that cupboard being displayed in Museum and one another is on the Ellens house.  Couple months later after Franz Ferdinand visiting Van Hoevel in Sulawesi, He died in Sarajevo, killed by a Serbian extrimist, and the World War I begun.

Van Hoevel was also belongs to the Women Emancipation movement. She initiated the Pavilions for women named De Vrouw during the Koloniale Tetoonstelling, displayed the several activities belongs to woman emancipation. But during the Japanese occupation, everythings got changed. Van Hoevel sent into Internment camp, just like another Eurasians on that time. Also together with Her grand-daughter. She Died there, likely caused of the bad condition in the Camp, but another sad stories coming from Her grand-daughter. When we examines Her tomb, several tomb have a same date of death, then Ellen told me, “Could be, She has been executed”. For what? Both of us dont know but once again, there’s something that u couldnt immagines happend during the war.

“Hun Geest Heeft Overwonen”
Their Spirit Have Overcome
We’ll always remembered them

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Renew Old Memories in Purworejo (part 1)

Sop Senerek, the Javanese version of Dutch cuisines, the Bruine Bonen Soep. Typically Kedu Residents cuisines who consist of Temanggung, Magelang, Purworejo, Kebumen and surround it.
Hello World!

This week were getting so awesome for me! Yap, just because of its really-really full of adventures. Since my friends Wisnu Pratama got his Kuliah Kerja Nyata (kinda form of community service activities by students in the rural areas) or simply called as KKN  that located in Salaman, Magelang and its near my birthplace city, Purworejo, so I quickly made an appointment with Him in order to accompany me visiting this city. I really excited to go there now, due to I must have "me-time" over there, not like my previous experience. Have my own vehicles, have my own destination to renew my Old memories that already left there for 19 years, so here we go!

“Deze weg is daargesteld onder het bestuur
der Residen van Bagelen Ionkh JGOS Don Schmidt
Auf Altenstadt En R De Filletaz Bousqet En
onder mederwerking van Raden Adipati Tjokronegoro
Regent van Purworejo In de jaren 1845-1850”.
Start at 10.30 am, the bus arrived at Magelang and Wisnu picked me up, then we got our breakfast with the famous Magelang culinary, Sop Senerek Karesidenan, the stall is near the former office of Karesidenan (eng: Resident) Kedu. Its named after senerek, the red beans. Serving in the forms of soup, containing meat/offal, potato, carrot, spinach and of course, rice. This is the example of the acculturations between the local culture and the europeans. Its looks like typical Dutch cuisine, bruine bonen soep, a soup who also named after the bruine bonen, the brown beans. Hmm...yummy, start from this breakfast, its already renew my old memories, because of this Sop Senerek were typically a cuisine in the Kedu region, who consist of Magelang and another cities in the south of this city, also Purworejo.

On 11.00 am, our bikes already down to the Magelang-Purworejo main highway. I love every part of it, because of its offering the enormous scenery, a combination of valley, mountainous and rural area. Then we stoped in Tugu Bener, a monument to commemorate the construction of the highway between Magelang and Purworejo which took a place between 1845-1850. This monument condition seems like never been restored nor preserved. I guess, not so many people knows about the story behind this monument. Taking several photos and the journey continued. After 45 minutes of riding, we arrived in the city of Purworejo.

"Indlansche en Afrikaansche Troepen"
a picture depicting the native (left) and
African (right) mercenaries om KNIL
Not so many changes happend in this city. Even in my memories, several building and several places, just like in their condition during my childhood. This small cities, is rich with the history, just like my stories before here, at least i could mention two of the things that people here must be proud of their city, there's the biggest Aloon-aloon and Bedug in central java is located. here 

Here in Purworejo, once there's a kampoong that populated by african descendants, mainly from Elmina, Ghana that recruited as mercenaries for the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army or simply known as KNIL. This people so-called Zwarte Hollanders, the Black Dutchmen, the Javanese recognize them as Londo Ireng literally also means Black Dutchmen. Between 1831 and 1872, over three thousand Africans were recruited, this recruitment was in fact an emergency measure, as the Dutch army lost thousands of European soldiers and a much larger number of "native" soldiers in the Java War against Pangeran Diponegoro between 1825-1830. Following the independence of Indonesia, many of this african descendants flew back to Netherlands or to Africa, few of them choose to stay in Indonesia, one of their settlements were in Purworejo. 

The street inside the Kampoong even named as Gang African (eng: African Alley) to commemorate this. Located near RSUD Purworejo (city central hospital), here still a lot of houses typically 30-40's tropica architectures could be founded. But now, you couldnt find any Zwarte Hollanders anymore here. I found one's of the residents and said the last remains of this was already passed away in 2008. She only have one child, still looks alike an afro's people, but unfortunatelly, he's suffering for mental disorder even frequently He stay until fall asleep in Kerkhof (Dutch Graveyard) Purworejo, for unknown reason. We try to find Him in Kerkhof but found nothing. 

An old Gardu Listrik/ Tranformator Huis in front of
Gang African. inzet: the noticemen in Three Languages. 
Uniquely, near the Gang African, We met the Tranformator Huis (eng: Transformator House) or here in we call it as Gardu Listrik, that still in complete condition. Here in Purworejo, we could find a noticemen in three languages, Dutch, Indonesian and Javanese to prevent the people from the electricity danger. This noticemen made of Tin and you couldnt find any of these in Semarang, because it must be already taken by the collectors. I wish this noticemen will always there, please God save them from both the collectors and vandalist ;) 

(To be Continued)