Category Archives: Indonesia Blog

PICTURES: Sukasada Water Castle , Bali, Indonesia

Taman Ujung Sukasada is beautiful garden with two big pools and castle in the middle of it.  It was built in the 1901 for people to cast away their black magic. However then it was used as the resting place for king of Karangasem, The indigenous construction was destructed by Mt Agung eruption in 1963  and then in 2000 it was rebuilt again. 

The Third Ceremony of Java Sea Battle Commemoration on Sea Location

2014 De Ruyter Commemoration

On February 27th 2014, the ceremony to commemorate battle in Java Sea is undertaken again. This is the 3rd sea-location ceremony where Hr. Ms. De Ruyter, one of Dutch Indies ships, sank with its crews including the commander, Admiral Karel Doorman.  The sea location,  06’00’ S.W/ 112’05’ EL, is located 60 KM away from Bawean Island.

On  February  27th 1942, the Allies and The Japanese were involved in a battle in Java Sea.  The Dutch Indies suffered great lost as its three ships : De Ruyter, Kortenaer dan De Java,  sunk by The Japanese attack. More than 900 of Dutch and Allies sailors died in this battle. Each year this date is commemorated with ceremony by the Dutch in Kembang Kuning cemetary.

This year, as in 2012, the ceremony is held on Bahari Express 1 C. The ceremony is held for one hour from 15.00 to 16.00. It is opened by Mr. Joop Nahuijsen, the Chairman of V.O.N, the second son of Mr. Antonie Nahuijsen, the navy telegraphist of Hr. Ms. De Ruyter. Afterwards there are speech by other persons on board such as:  Mr. Karel Jacob Ottens, Mr.Nanang Purwono (rep of journalist), Ms. Muzayana (rep. Bawean Island).

Mr. Karel Ottens from The Netherlands says that the history could encourage peace among nations. History is very precious to remember the struggle of our ancestors.

Mr. Nanang Purwono who has been joining the ceremony for 3 years respectively conveyed that this event brings peace message. And he hopes that this event could encourage tourism in Bawean Island.

The ceremony then continued by throwing flower wrath to Java Sea where Hr. Ms. De Ruyter sank.

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Agrobusiness in East Java, Indonesia

East Java has many agriculture potentials. Fine below list. Inform us if you need further information for trip there.
1) Potato
2) Grape
Located in Probolinggo there is a vineyard managed by Indonesian Research and Development Body. The history of grape in this area started in 1989 when Hj Mohammad Ali from Mangunhardjo village went back home from his pilgrimage to Mecca and brough grape seed back home. The vine was planted as ornamental plants and then flourished as economically valuable plant. In 1935, an advocacy company, Maatschappelijk Voor Werklozen Bedrijf, was formed. This body then managed 2 hectares vineyard in Kebonsari and 0.25 hectares in Sukabumi. This company evolved well and brought in grape seeds from Australia, France, and Italy. The grapes were good quality and produced in large amount that they were exported to Holland.

Currently there ware few hybridization kinds in Probolinggo, such as kardinal, kediri super, prabu bestari. The demand is 1 tons each harvest but they produce 2 kwintal.

3) Pomelo
Pomelo or Citrus maxima is an important commodity in Magetan, East Java, Indonesia. There are 4 districts grow this fruit: Bendo, Takeran, Sukomoro and Kawedanan. Not all land in the districts can grow pomelo. The pomelo peel can be used as candy. The hoem industry of pomelo candy can be seen in Duwet Village, Bendo District. The plantation is located about 30 minutes from magetan city center.

4) Apple

5) Strawberry
6) Rice Paddy
7) Rambutan
8) Manggo
9) Starfruit
10) Dragon Fruit
11) Orchid
12) Watermelon

Yesteryear Candy which is still loved until today, Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia

Not only syrup and soya bean factory from colonial period can be found in Surabaya. There is a yesteryear candy factory which still exist in Surabaya. The location is inside small isle on the north of Surabaya. Pabrik Kembang Gula Canada, was erected on may 20th 1956. A metal plate on the wall showed the history of this family industry which is now third generation runs it. The founder of the factory was Ho Sek Po and then continued by his predecessor, Mr Adi Hermanto. This factory has two main products : Vanille Nougat and Coconut Candy. The process was learned autodeductly  by the founder and handed down from generation to generation.

Nougat derives from Dutch means peanut. Peanut grinded and then cooked as caramel. The inside is various from pistachio, almond, hazelnut, and dry fruits. The texures are verious as well, ranges from rough to soft depends on the ingredient. Its color can be various too. White nougat is made of eggwhite and the brown one is made of sugar caramel. In order to avoid sticky on cramel, the it was grinded again that peanut will be broken to smaller grain, this traditional candy called Nougat is originally from France.

Generally, there are two kinds of nougats: White and Brown. The white nougats is made of eggwhite which is mixed while the brown nougat (French : Nougatine) is made of sugar caramel and has rough texture and dry. Italian called nougat with Torrone while Spanish call it Turron.

Nougat made in Canada uses natural ingredients such as sugar, peanut, eggwhite, water, margarine, vanilla, and milk. The factory still uses the same receipe as the first generation and they do not use essens or preservative.

The coconut candy is still made traditionally as it is still small industry until today. In the past, eveything was processed and done manually, yet now few has used dynamo. The factory operational hours is everyday from 7.00 to 17.00. The candy is made of cocout, as its name. Old coconut is peeled and then shredded using machine, and then the shredded coconut is squeezed to get thick coconut water. Coconut water then cooked with sugar until its ready to mold.  The women workers then wrap the candy which is already molded and everyday they can wrap until 1 tons candy.

Pulau Ajaib: Bizarre Island, Bangkalan, Madura, East Java, Indonesia

This rocky island is about 50 meters long, and it is called as Pulau Ajaib or Bizarre island as it appears miraculously nearby Labuhan Village, Bangkalan, Madura, East Java. This rocky island is believed to be a sign of disaster.

According to locals, before the extreme weather in Java sea, the new island which consitutes of only several of huge rocks and smaller rocks did not exist. The rocks appeared in January 2013.

Though this Island is believed to be a disaster sign by locals, yet now this has been a new spot for local tourists.

Arabica Coffee Vs Robusta Coffee

Arabica and robusta are two species’s of coffee. The main difference are the conditions of the where they grow and also economically difference.
Arabica has more various tastes, from sweet and soft to strong and sharp one. Before roasted the smell is like blueberry, and after roasted it smells like fruit and sweet. While Robusta has neutral to strong tastes variation and considered as the taste of wheat. Robusta’ bean before roasted has nuts aroma. Unfortunately it is so rare hi quality robusta in market. Arabica beans is more expensive.

Arabica coffee
Arabica grows on the altitude of 700-1700 m asl and ranges of temperature 16-20 °C, with dry climate for 3 months consecutively. Arabica is sensitive to leaf rust desease Hemileia vastatrix (HV), especially when drown in elevation less than 700 m asl.
Coffee from Brazil and Ethiopia dominate 70 % of the world coffee. arabica has more variety, depends on the country, climate and soil. We can find coffee of Toraja, Mandailing, Columbia, Brazil and etc. And each of arabica has different taste.
Arabica coffee characteristics:
-The aroma has similar aroma of mix flower and fruit. Grow in mild to cold area. It has sour taste unlike Robusta. It has thick taste when sipped. The taste is more mild and soft. Arabica is known as bitter.
Arabica tree characeristics:
More difficult to nurture, tend to grow in high land (1000m – 2000m), less amount of beans, it taked 9 months from flower to fruit process, it has fruits in colder termepature.

Robusta Coffee
Robusta coffe is the heredity of few coffee species’, especially Coffea canephora. It grows well on 400-700 m asl, and temperature range 21-24 ° C with 3-4 months dry months consecutively and 3-4 times rains. Fruit quality is lower than Arabica and Liberica. It dominated 30% world market. This coffee can be found outside Columbia such as Indonesia and The Philippines. Just like Arabica, the soil, climate, and packing process are different from country to another. The taste is different too among the country.
Here are the characteristic of robusta coffee
-Taste is more chocolate
-The aroma is unique and sweet
-The color is so various depends on the processing method
-The texture is rougher than Arabica.

Characteristics of Robusta coffee
-susceptible to insects
-it grows on lower land (700 m asl)
-It produces more coffee bean
-It takes 10-11 months flower to fruit process
-It bears fruits on warmer temperature.

Jagad Karana Hindu Temple, Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia

This Hindu Temple is located between Gresik-Surabaya, precisely located at Jalan Ikan Lumba lumba No1, Perak Barat, Surabaya. The location is quite, suitable to pray. Once you enter the complex, there are flowers creating certain nuance united with dark color of the temple.

The temple complex is 7.703 square meters. There are various area in the complex such as: Mandala Utama (the main building), Mandala Madya (Middle building) and Mandala Nista. In Mandala Utama, here are padmasana, pepelik, penglurah, ganesha statue, bale pawedan, bale pesantian, kori agung and penyengker. IN Mandala Madya there are  beji, bale gong, bale sebaguna, bale pewaregan, candi bentar, bale pesanekan, penyengker, and office of  PHDI Jawa Timur. And in Mandala Nista there are Bale Manusa yadnya, Pasraman, Dewi Saraswati statue , and other facilities such as bathroom, toilet, parking area and office of banjar Surabaya.

This temple was built in 1968 and a year  after on Saturday 29 November 1969, this temple was officially opened by the Head of Kodamar V Maritime Comodore R Sahiran. That day was also Sarasvati day to commemorize Dewi Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge.

About 1987, this temple was restorated and later officially opened by Mr Wahono, the governor if East Java in 20 Sept 1987, and made inscription:

Karya Agung Lenteg Linggih
Pura Agung Jagat Karana
Saniscara Umanis Watugunung
tang . ping 3 sasih kapat 1909 C
Bale manusya yadnya

It was renovated again in 2003, for 2 years, that the main building  has 2 pepelik, 2 apit lawang and bale pesantian.

In Surabaya this temple is used as the center of Hindu activities. In Silence Day, there are various ritual held here such as nancep karya, melasti, tawur panca sata, ngembak geni.

In Melasti rutial, it starts from the temple and the  head to the coast , 3 km from the temple carrying ritual tools. Offerings, banners, and umbrellas were carried as well. They wear their special costumes accompanied with any instrumets they carry. The also put offering to the sea as the symbol of purification.

Tak hanya diikuti oleh umat Hindu dari Surabaya, pada upacara Melasti ini biasanya juga diikuti oleh umat Hindu dari daerah sekitarnya seperti Sidoarjo, Lamongan dan Gresik. Karena itu jumlahnya bisa mencapai ribuan orang. Dengan mengenakan pakaian berwarna putih, mereka berjalan kaki dan membawa berbagai peralatan.

In Tawur ritual, which is held one day before the Silence day, the Hindus parade ogoh ogoh effigies and this is also carried to Surabaya city area.

The rituals usually are held in these days: Kuningan, Galungan, Nyepi (Silence Day), Saraswati, Saka new year, Saturday night and full moon.

Gili Island, Gresik, East Java, Indonesia

Gili Island is one of 13 islands owned Gresik. With an area of approximately 2017 hectares, the island is filled with 400 houses with a population of 1280 inhabitants. The main livelihood of the population here as fishing.
To reach this island travelers must take a boat from the village of Sidogedungbatu.

Gili is actually the name of a local village. Eight RT in Gili entry Sidogedungbatu Village area under Sub Sangkapura, Gresik regency, located about 125 kilometers from the Port of Gresik. The island has sea products like lobsters, groupers, pearl, and sea cucumber has a nature that is still clean, hill located in the west still looks green, there is no illegal logging and mangrove forests are still awake. Sea water so clear we could see making the sea floor with the naked eye
The Island is still  unspoiled by electricity. The diesel engine is the only power here. There are 3 diesel engine that only turns starting at 6 pm until 10 pm. You can go round the island easily by walking.

The sea around the island of Gili abundant coral reefs with colorful fish. As background potential of this object is:
1. Beautiful beach is a tourist attraction that is very attractive to many tourists to visit the unique character of each beach.
2. Object location is just 10 KM from Port Sangkapura Bawean as the entrance to the island of Bawean make this object may be an option for tourists to visit based on the distance
3. Texture fine sand beaches safe enough for bare feet tourists.
4. Noko existence of which is uninhabited desert island that can be used as a sunbathing area for foreign tourists without having much contact with people Bawean.

Sea transport links between the island of Gili Island Bawean, served from Labuan beach, near Pamona Sidogedungbatu. It took over 30 minutes to cruise by rising Kelotok (fishing boat). Every day there are 2 boats serving transportation purposes Bawean Island -Gili Island

KETOPRAK PART 3: The Javanese Ketoprak

Pak Randimo is the elder of Ketoprak community of Taman Balekambang Surakarta. He has been 50 years becoming actor of srandul (old fashioned ketoprak to modern ketoprak. In his early career he played in ketoprak srandul for 3 years in the last 1950ies. He had experienced being ketoprak tobong (emergency stage) actor in Taman Hiburan Rakyat, nearby Pojok Beteng Wetan Yogyakarta and then itinerant on the city fringe.

Srandul is a traditional drama performed at night and enlightened by oil torch made of cut papaya. The instruments were 2 angklung and two terbang. In that period there were very few women walked on the street, that all srandul actors were males. The female characters were played by males. According to Randimo, srandul emerged first and then ketoprak lesung, and this had been very popular in Gunungkidul and Prambanan.

As make up was very expensive, Randimo used langes (black smoke from oil lamp) to thicken his eye brows. To reddened his lips, he used teak leaf, yet he said that for half month the color couldnot be removed.

Randimo said that in the past artists were more honoured than lecturer. His srandul troupe and later became tobong ketoprak went from village to village. In the past ketoprak was not performed for money, they just know if they played they would get food, he said.

Randimo is a tailor for traditional or ketoprak costume, yet at night he plays in ketoprak show at Taman Balekambang. As an elder, he is also responsible to create a story and acts as director in his community. Shortly, he is the ‘dalang’ of ketoprak in Balekambang which plays every Saturday night. He has been in Taman Balekambang since 1961.

Taman Balekambang was established by KGPAA Mangkunegara VII in 1921. Yet, the troupe entertained public in about 1950, using emergency stage. Taman Balekambang is a pool garden which is dedicated to king’s princesses, GRAy Partini and GRAy Partinah. Later this place has created comedian which involved in Srimulat. Currently a theater building  erected in 1980s becomes the arena of kletoprak atrists.

Historians believe that the ketoprak embryo had emerged on the second half of the 19th Century in Kasunanan Surakarta. According to local, ketoprak was initially grew in Plesungan Village, a village in Surakarta with toponimi lesung. Their instruments were lesung and the packed in a circle of audience and instituted as folklore. Later, this show used keprak which adopting the sound of lesung.Lesung can be found in agrarian society. It is used by farmers to pond paddy, corn, casava and many more.

It seems there is a relation between ketoprak and ‘prak…prak…prak’ created by lesung. Yet, some assume that ketoprak term is related to soud of kethuk pr keprak brought by dalang in floklore show.

15 km east of Surakarta, there is a ketoprak stage called as Pelok. Polok show is about the daily life of batik workers in laweyan Surakarta in the beginnning of 20th Century. They fill their break time with jokes, singing and dancing, they also add farmers’ life. They used bamboe to dry batik to create sound accompanying their singing and dancing.

Batik and Keraton (palace)have very close relation, that batik workers can play ketoprak in kepatihan. There is a jackfruit tree which was cut and made lesung to accompany the show.

KRT Wreksodiningrat, an official and a historian of Kasunanan Surakarta who has great service to the notation of Javanese karawitan, gathered artists of ketoprak lesung to play in jis pendapa in 1908. He support this new art.  That ws when emerged ketoprak lesung wiwitan framed in story and managed well.

Until today there is no written record about the history of ketoprak, as ther are records which are still questionable.

In 1920s, Kasunanan Surakarta was in good spirit in arts. Wreksodiningrat was not the only official supporting arts in the palace. In 1911 Pakubuwono X blessed Wayang Orang Sriwedari which takes place in a garden formerly known as Kebon Raja.