Storytelling with puppets
Wayang Kulit in Central Java is probably one of the oldest continuous traditions of storytelling in the world, and certainly among the most highly developed.
Wayang is well integrated in Javanese society, and it is considered to be a highlight of Javanese culture.
Baluran, the miniafrica of Asia
Java is Indonesias densest populated area with around 130 million inhabitants, despite this, for the timebeing at least, there are countryside and even wildernessareas of witch i sadly had the time to visit only one, the most acsessible of them, Baluran nationalpark. It is called the Africa of Indonesia, a well chosen name. It looks very mutch like the east african savannas, complete with akasia, but minus giraffs. The park is guarded by a beautifull mounthain, it’s an extinct volcano.The easiest time to see wildlife are the dry season when the annimals concentrate. In the nights and evenings the darkness around the camp at Bekol are filled with the sound from big annimals like barking deer. You are ensured to see several species drinking at the manmade waterhole at the camp around sunset. When i entered the tower on the hill behind the camp the following morniong i didn’t only see the big herbivors grassing before the heat drives them into the shades, but also a pack of asiatic wilddogs running at full speed towards someting unseen in the forest. Later i met peacoks, colourfull phesants and other colourfull smaller birds on the plains. Then some monkeys foraging in the bush. I used some time on them, and eventually they allowed me to sit almost just beside them. While baluran isn’t the worlds most spectacular nationalpark, it is still possible to have exiting mornings and late afternoons here. But come prepared. Food and drinks must be brought along, the cafe/shop at the camp may not be open at all. To get there, you need transport from the entrancepost, it is just beside the mainroad from Banyuwangi.
>> one of the main destinations in indonesia <<
"yang mana jawa itu? = where's java to be exact?"
can not telp but smile, everytime my fellows in the office asking me, "mau pulang ke jawa?" [where are you going, to java?]
what exactly jawa or java is? since they're asking me in jakarta -- which is part of java island, pulau jawa? :) are they confuse or something mad across in their mind that jakarta is another island of java. well, so far can be described as; the name java, literally addressed to places and people -- out of jakarta as the capital of indonesia. and in the other side, the term "orang jawa" can be used to them who live in central java or east java. so how about people in west java? known as sundanese.
but the real explaination about java is not so confusing like that. for me, the exotic name of java just simple:
- one of the mainland in indonesia archipelago and the heart of the government of the republic of indonesia
- capital city known as jakarta at special region [daerah khusus ibukota] jakarta raya
- stands from several provinces, such as: west java [bandung as the provincial capital], east java [surabaya], central java [semarang], daerah istimewa jogjakarta [special region of jogjakarta], daerah khusus jakarta raya [as the capital of indonesia] and banten.
"jasmine garland from my beloved island"
java mainland, from west to east. from national park ujung kulon [west java] to national park meru betiri, banyuwangi [east java] from the ancient ruins of cirebon palace [west java], ngayogyakarta hadiningrat [jogja] to majapahit palaces [east java] ... all of them standing together like the jasmines in a garland.
i adore all of them, and make it difficult to tell "which one i like most". every places has their own unique destination. from the ancient era, colonial to the modern life. and also brings their own heritages and legends.
but for a conclusion, if i can write several highlights here they are:
- banten: the old castle of kaibon and devil's rock harbour [karanghantu] and masjid agung banten
- cirebon: kasepuhan and kanoman palaces
- surakarta: kasunanan palace
- jogjakarta: sultan palace, water castle tamansari and sumur gumuling
- muntilan/magelang: borobudur temple
- jogjakarta: prambanan temple, cebongan and ratuboko temples
- semarang: gedongsongo temple
- dieng plateau: dieng temple
- mojokerto: majapahit temples
* colonial sites
- semarang: gereja blenduk, lawang sewu and candi hills
- surabaya: kembang jepun, kebon rojo, kalimas and tanjung perak
- jakarta: oud batavia, menteng and medan merdeka
- bandung: braga and wastukancana
* national park, mountain, beaches and nature life
- west java: 'green canyon' [oopsss, sounds so close with grand canyon :D] and kampung naga and gunung gede-pangrango and halimun national park
- banten: krakatoa, ujung kulon, pulau dua, anyer, carita, baduy
- central java: gunung merapi, menoreh hill, gunung sumbing and sindoro, flower market salatiga, wonosobo, rawa pening
- east java: bromo-tengger-semeru, baluran, ijen, meru betiri, grajagan a.k.a g-land, tawangmangu, madakaripura, watu ulo, ngliyep
* islands [around java mainland]
- pulau seribu
"kawruh basa jawi :)"
about lingo, in java there are several local lingos and dialect can be learned and it's so interesting. for examples:
- west java: sundanese or bahasa sunda, cirebonan [mixed sundanese and jawa 'kuwe']
- west - central mixed: using at several places in the 'borderline' of west and central, such as cirebon, pamanukan, purwakarta, tegal, etc
- central java: basa jawi, stands from: ngoko, madya, inggil. normally used at surakarta and ngajogjakarta
- east java [seems more complex than others!]: surabayan, malangan, osing [banyuwangi], madurese, etc
and not to be surprised, even in the same island, one and the others can be pretty different in characters, intonation and meaning. for examples:
- 4 [four] can be said as papat [jawa ngoko], sekawan [jawi inggil], ganep [sundanese], ampat [madurese]
- you can be said as elu [betawians], kowe [jawa ngoko], panjenengan [jawi inggil], sira [cirebonan]
- i can be said as guwe [betawians], dalem [jawi inggil], kula [jawa madya], ingsun [cirebonan]
Imogiri, a gateway to heaven
"An empty entrance"
One day after I join the twins Yona-Yoga competed their race in Jogjakarta, we go to Imogiri. Hendri --Indonesian road racer ace was guide us to visit this beautiful cemetery.
We reach there before the night fall also sunset. The empty entrance mirroring us about a peaceful place in heaven. And only God knows; our truth, false or everyone we love :)
"The main gate of Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX"
Mataram Kings are laying here, behind the closed carved doors. Every king has their own patterns of doors.
And even Jogjakarta and Solo have different kings (with their own otonomy areas too), kings of Jogja open a cemetery to commemorate the kings of Solo in Imogiri.
Mostly kings of Jogja has roots of Mangkunegaran, meanwhile the kings of Solo comes from Pakualaman. So the title of Jogja's kings; Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono .... and from Solo's; Sri Pakualam ....
"Still in the front of a Mataram king cemetery"
"A souvenir from Turkey"
In this place, we can pray and asking about many things of the Mataram empire. And as a big kingdom, Mataram has good relationship with other empires in Asia in the past centuries. The souvenirs from several Asia countries also put in the cemetery. Like here; it's a big beautiful jar from Turkey.