26 March 2009

Pontianak – West Kalimantan : Comeliness of Robok-robok

Lancang on Mempawah RiverThe pangeran ratu’s boat sailed quietly on the Mempawah river. That famous yellow lancang (fast sail boat) leave from Keraton Amantubillah. At the Mempawah mouth, a punggawa keraton peal azan from the top of the boat. That was a short impor quotation of Robok-robok ceremony, which held on march every year. (Punggawa = court official in Java shadow play)

Since morning, people have already stand by next to the Mempawah river, about 200 meters form the estuary. Some young couples came by motorcycles, some families came by private cars, some of those people came by bus and truck. Eventually, about 200 meters from the location is bog down. Throughout the street, there are so many merchantmen sell their products such as clothes, beverages, accessories, VCD, DVD and other things.

Even the weather so hot and ting, the sun shining so bright, it’s not loosen the people desirable to come in here. Their destination is only one, watch the robok-robok while shopping and enjoy the free entertainment. Some foreign tourists appear in the middle of thousand local people.

On the field, some invitation guess has already sat on the chairs roofed with big tent facing the river. Not for a long time then yellow boat carry Pangeran Ratu group from Amantubillah Pallace, DR Ir Martian Adijaya Kesuma Ibrahim, MSc move to the side of the Mempawah river about 20 meters from the guess chairs. When entering the Mempawah mouth, Pangeran Ratu was picked up by prince and some punggawa keraton using yellow lancing. Then, the prince do the offerings ritual, on the ocean to push away all disasters. Next, Pangeran Ratu and the queen consort visit upon the guess, while prince come back to the palace.

Robok-robok CeremonyThis year, robok-robok was celebrated different than last years. This year celebration was concentratable at the Mempawah river presented by King and Queen and some keraton in Indonesia. They become special guess. After the ceremonial opening Keraton National Art and C ulture II and West Kalimantan Festival of Malay Art and Culture IV, all guess were entertained with west Kalimantan dance, anging mamiri (from Bugis-South Sulawesi), Malay welcome dance and 6 girls dance.

After the Closing prayer, Kings, Queens and all guess invited by the queen to have lunch inside the Amantubillah palace. This lunch procession use saprahan tradition (eating together ala coastal area people). After that, some guess make a devotional visit to a sacred place to Ompu Daeng Manambon.

The meaning pf robok-robok tradition is a welcome mat of Ompu Daeng Manambon. Robok-robok was believed as united massage from all ethnic and religion in West Kalimantan. That massage was a legacy, left by Ompu Daeng Manambon when he establish Mempawah city. Another evidence of the harmony can be seen in the Ompu Daeng Manambon funeral complex. In that funeral, there are Dayak Black commander’s, Patih Humantir’s and Damarwulan’s (Java man), Lo Tai (Chinese man), and some other ethnic grave.

Robok-robok DanceJust like years before, the robok-robok celebration has become one of the national tourism agenda and a free charge entertainment for the local people. Many attraction were showed such as water motor, traditional dress and custom, qasidah, traditional song karaoke, hadrah, albarzanji, panjat pinang (banana tree climb contest), smack pillow, tarik tambang (pull rope contest), ping pong, volley ball, soccer, dugout contest, traditional dance, and other art attraction from Pontianak. These activities were held at the next of the Mempawah river from morning until night.

For some local people, Robok-robok is a blessing. They earn money by selling products and souvenirs around that location. Usually they start to sell a week before and after the robok-robok celebration.

18 March 2009

Krakatau - West Java : Challenge The Big Sunda Strait Wave

Krakatau MountainKrakatau Mountain which located at the Sunda strait can be seen from the boat at the Merak-Banten to Bakauheni, Lampung. After take a rest for a while at the Travellers Krakatoa Nirwana Resort, my friend form Jakarta and me go to Krakatau. We use wood boat with 30 passengers, then we leave Krakatoa Nirwana Resort dock in the morning.

Yundi Nayadilaga, Activity Manager Travelers Krakatoa Nirwana Resort the tour guide said, morning wave and wind on the ocean is friendly now. "Usually the wind change on noon". Even it still quite, it is advisable to always wear the orange buoy.

The boat that we use, carry passengers from Canti dock, a small dock at the Kalianda city to Sebesi island. This way also become one of alternative way to go to Krakatau. From Sebesi island, we can continue the journey using rental wood boat. But don’t forget, you have to have simaksi (license to enter the Conservation Area from Badan Konservasi Sumber Daya Alam (BKSDA) Bandar Lampung).

KrakatauIf the wave and the wind calm, the journey from Krakatau Mountain takes about 3 hours from Travelers Krakatoa Nirwana Resort or 2 hours if you leave from Canti dock. The journey could be faster if we use speed boat which offered by the resort. The price is Rp 3.5 million for 10 persons. It takes 2 hours from resort or 1.5 hours from the Canti dock. This packet also offer 7 hours adventure, include visit the Sebesi Island and Umang-umang island. Those islands has beautiful beach and you can swim in there.

Our boat speed up through Merak Belantung strait and bamboos to catch fishes. This become a very unique scenery. Out form the small strait, our boat entering the Lampung strait which is bigger than the strait before. Entering the Sunda strait, our boat start to shake. The ocean water splashes the boat.

Yundi said our journey is still save. The wave and the west wind which predicted hold until the end of February from Kalianda-Anak Krakatau still more gentle than if we depart from Anyer or Carita, Banten. "We not use the straight way, but we take the back street through the Sebesi island and Sebuku island. We can hide at the back of these islands. Besides, the scenery is beautiful too", said Yundi.

Krakatau MountainWhen we arrived at the east side of the mountain, we found no other boat. Whereas, on Saturday usually there are at least five boats from Kalianda or from Anyer. Black sand and pumice stone is beautiful, many miners take it. That mountain is result of three island volcanic activity Rakata, Sertung, and Panjang, Krakatau giant eruption scrap on 27th April 1883. When it blow up, more than 3,500 people died, plus with the earthquake and darkness that cover up this planet because of the volcanic dust. This volcanic activity still grow until know about four centimeter each year.

The blowing wind flied dust to our nose and mouth. You can smell strong sulfur here. After 30 minutes hiking we arrive at the hill. It’s look like a bulwark, we pass sand and rocks which are made from lava and ocean pine. We can hear birding combine with the sound of the wave and the wind.

17 March 2009

Samarinda - East Kalimantan : Discover Dayak Kenyah Village

Dayak VillageIf you heard Dayak tribe, you may think that the tribe was deep in the middle of kalimantan jungle which is hard to reach. But not for Dayak Kenyah tribe, you just go to the north of Samarinda, East Kalimantan, the exact location was in the Pampang village.

Dayak Kenyah village is not too hard to reach. You don’t have to climb or hike mountain or even travel through the jungle. This village only about 20 km from Samarinda and you can use motorcycle or car because the road is smooth.

Dayak DanceActually, Dayak tribe who live in the Pampang village is Dayak Kenyah sub-ethnic. Long time ago, this area was a jungle, but after Dayak Kenyah people (35 people) from Long Us village, immigrated, this are began to develop until now. Now, Pampang’s citizen is about 1,000 persons. Even, they got modern culture form outside the village, the citizen still hold their tradition.

Dayak sub-tribe in all of Kalimantan are about 19 sub-tribe. Each sub-tribe has their own leader (chieftain) and has different culture. Dayak Kenyah People in Pampang still hold their ancestor tradition, such as weave, carve, and make some handicraft. There is also Lamin (long house, the Dayak’s house). For tourists who want to buy some souvenir, they can but it from the seller who sell beads, wood statue, or key hanger around it.

Dayak DanceEvery holiday, Dayak people celebrate many traditional dance in Lamin, like Kancet Lasan dance, Kancet Punan Lettu, Kancet Nyelama Sakai, Hudog, Manyam, Pamung Tawai, Burung Enggang, and Leleng dance.

Every year they celebrate traditional ceremony, they called it Pelas or Alaq Tau. You’ve got to be struck if you see it. Pelas is a ceremony to thank to God after harvest moon which is celebrate every June, but the date is always change depend on the good day.

DayakThe ceremony begins with greeting from the chieftain then continue with attraction show and Dayak Kenyah’s traditional dance. Those dancers were kids and elders and often invited to show their dance in Indonesian embassy such as Japan, China, USA, German, Switzerland, and other countries.

Dayak Kenyah life is just like other people. They knew technology and many of Dayak Peoplethem work on non government company and government office. So, if you don’t have much time to see the original Dayak people, the Dayak tattoo, the Dayak long ear, Lamin and craved statue, you can go to Budaya Pampang village in Samarinda. To come to the Budaya Pampang village, you have to rent a taxi or you can use vehicle’s motor through Samarinda-Bontang high way. This culture village only 5 Km from the high way.

Here, you can see Lamin or Dayak tribe traditional house, traditional dance and Dayak Kenyah ceremony. Every Sunday you can see traditional ceremony. It starts from 2 pm. Try to be polite if you interact with them. If you take a picture of the Dayak Kenyah elders who have long ear, they will ask you to pay them about 20,000 – 50,000 rupiahs.

04 March 2009

Batik Danar Hadi Museum : Get Close With The Batik Craft

Batik Danar Hadi MuseumNot only collecting 10,000 sheets of ancient batik cloth original from Indonesia, The Batik Kuno Danar Hadi Museum also smell jasmine and ylang ylang flower. The using of this nature flower is turn out to be one way to keep the quality of the Batik so it’s still durable and long lasting. If using synthetic perfumery, the quality of the Batik cloth will be descend.

Management also forbid visitors touch the cloths or take a picture with blitz. "Man’s hand contain salt so it can damage the cloth while the blitz light from the camera can fade the color of the cloths," said Tuti, the public relation of Batik Danar Hadi Museum.

Ancient Batik Danar Hadi Museum has collections almost 10,000 sheets ancient batik cloth. But, not all of the collections were displayed in the museum, only about 700 sheets displayed. "Every seven to nine months we’ll change the other collection," Tuti explained.

This Museum has a theme "Batik : Ages influence and environment". According with the theme, the collection of batik cloth which displayed were categorized in several type. There are Dutch’s Batik, China’s Batik, Java’s Batik, hokokai, India’s Batik, Batik Kraton, batik sudagaran, batik petani, batik Indonesia, and batik Danar Hadi. Visitors not only see batik but also see the manufacturing of batik cloth : batik tulis (handwriting batik), batik cap (stamped batik) or batik printing at the back of the museum.

To make visitors easier to go around and get information about batik easily, This museum was completed with instruction, guidelines, tour guide and communication aid about history of batik cloth, the specific characteristic, and motive of the batik cloth which placed on every batik clothed which displayed.

BatikThe existence of Ancient Batik Danar Hadi Museum is dedicated to conserve batik and also to catch tourists as many as it can to come to Solo "We have orientation to tourism not for commercial. We will promote batik as the Indonesian original culture. We also have packets for heritage tour," said Diana Santoso as Managing Director House Danar Hadi.

Visitors can follow the packet trip which offered by this museum, such as packet tour for ancient batik and ancient Java architecture, nDalem Wuryaningrat and discussion about batik in the gallery. It costs about Rp 30,000 s/d Rp140,000 for a man. There is also workshop for making batik tulis (handwriting batik) one color, about 175,000 a man, handcraft packet (batik course) for 5 days, costs about Rp 500,000 up to Rp 840,000 a man.

First day was start with visiting the ancient batik museum and ancient Java architecture at nDalem Wuryaningrat. Then continue with discussion about batik which located in the gallery. Items of detail and theory about process manufacturing of Batik was given after lunch.

On the second day, participants will be given a theory about raw material, coloring agent, patterning, and then practice to make batik. Third day was start again with practicing how to make batik again then continue with how to dye (coletan). On the fourth day, participants will be given practice about menutup (closing process) then continue with dye and sunken process. And for the last day, participants are practicing to closing, yoga, sunken and end up with evaluation.

BatikHouse of Danar Hadi (HDH) officially launched by Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, on August 22nd 2008. HDH is One Stop of Batik adventure, you can get information about Indonesia batik and shopping especially products made from batik at the batik Danar Hadi showroom. Inside the HDH area, there is a historical building, Dalem Wuryaningratan. This place was belongs to KPH. Wuryaningrat regency, grandson of Pakubuwono IX, and son in law of King Surakarta I.SK.S Pakubuwono X. This building was established in 1890. HDH also facilitated with Sasana Mangunsuka building, contain Danar Hadi Batik Collection and stage for fashion show.

Not for long time again, HDH will built souvenir shop which sell handicraft and souvenirs from HDH and also HDH CAFÉ which serve many kind of Solo food and beverage.