Category Archives: Indonesia Blog

The 71st Commemoration of De Ruyter on Java Sea, 27 February 2013

The 2013 Commemoration of battle on Java Sea was the second commemoration  on the exact coordinate where De Ruyter  was sunk. On 2012 it was held on Express Bahari 1C, but on February 27th this year, it was undertaken on Anugrah 01.

De Ruyter 2013Anugrah 01 led by Capt Yunus departed at 18.00 on February 26 from Tanjung Perak Port Surabaya, and reached the sea location, 06 º00′ SW/112º EL, at 08.30 and the ceremony started at 09.00 to 09.45 am on February 27th 2013.  The ceremony was led by Mr. Intrias Herlistiarto and opened by speech from the group leader and also the chairman of Vereniging van Overlevenden & Nabestaanden (V.O.N), Mr. Joop Nahuijsen. Each participant of the ceremony gave speech. One of the speech was spoken by Mr.Nanang Purwono from JTV. He stated that he was impressed by the ceremony as it could bring friendship among nations, especially between Indonesia and The Netherlands, and he added that the Mr Joop Nahuijsen’s persistent attitute and respect to heroes and his father, Antonie Nahuijsen who was a Navy-telegraphist of De Ruyter,  should be a good example for young generations.

On 27 February 1942, the Allies and The Japanese were involved in a battle. The Dutch Indies suffered great lost as its three ships : De Ruyter, Kortenaer dan De Java,  sunk by The Japanese attack. Some hundreds of Dutch and Allies sailors died in this battle.

Mr Joop Nahuijsen  stated that V.O.N foundation was planning to build a monument for the Java Sea Battle on Bawean Island, the closest island to the sea location where De Ruyter sunk. He hoped that the monument could be used as commemoration place for The Java Sea Battle if the ceremony on sea location could not be held due to unfriendly weather.

Exclusive Photos of The Commemoration


Mr Yunus, The Captain of  Anugrah 01

The Coordinate of Sea Location

De Ruyter 2012

Surabaya Calendar Event 2013

MARCH 2013

The art Gallery of House of Sampoerna visualizes the living realities of Flores communities among the definitely large diversities of Indonesian Cultures throught photography. Relish the pulses of life of Flores Communities throught photos on 21-28 February 2013 at Jalan Taman Sampoerna No.6 Surabaya, call : 031 3539000.

A couple of art and culture ambassadors-at-large will be elected in an annual contest held on 23 March 2013 by the Provincial Government of East Java to represent this province. The finalists representing town and cities all over East Java Province will show up in East Java traditional costumes and expose their knowledge about cultures and tourism in East Java.

PAPER LANTERN FESTIVAL 30 March, Taman Prestasi – Kalimas
Enjoy the varieties of design of colorful and beautiful paper lantern displayed along the the kalimas river banks.

APRIL 2013

WEDDING EXHIBITION April, City Of Tommorow
Are you searching for information on wedding supports? Wedding Exhibition 2013 is one of exhibitions supplying complete wedding information. It will be held in April 2013 in City Of Tomorrow (CITO) Surabaya. Leading wedding vendors will participate in this exhibition and offers services in wedding invitation cards, venues, catering, photography, salons, bridal, gowns and coats as well as honey moon package.

Batik is an Indonesian masterpiece. The East Java Batik Fashion Show is held by City of Tomorrow (CITO) in order to appreciate the artworks of local designers in East Java in exploiting Batik into appealing fashion designs. It is a prestigious media for promoting the fashion designs of local designers in East Java.

MAY 2013

Shopping centers in Surabaya participzte to celebrate the 720th Anniverssary of Surabaya by collaborating with the City Government of Surabaya. Leading malls all over Surabaya offer discount rate up to 70% and other attractive packages for shopaholic.

SURABAYA FASHION PARADE 1-5 May, Tunjungan Plaza, 10.00-22.00
It is an annual parade. I will be held on 1-5 May 2013 in the Atrium of Tunjungan Plaza 3 by the Tunjungan Plaza Management in order to appreciate the artworks of local fashion designers in Surabaya. There are some categories of contest, inter alia: Surabaya Fashion Designers. Last year 100 designers participated in this event. It is estimated that the number will increase in 2013, since it is a prestigious media for promoting the fashion designs of local designers in Surabaya.

SURABAYA FASHION EXPO 3-5 May, Convention Hall TP 3
It is facilitated by Tunjungan Plaza to appreciate the artworks of local fashion designers in Surabaya. There are some categories in this expo.

LATE NIGHT SHOPPING 3-4 May, Tunjungan Plaza, 22.00-24.00
Cheap shopping promo at late night will be held again in Tunjungan Plaza 1 through 4, from 10.00 am – midnight, West Indonesian Time. Shopaholic will be spoiled with up to 70% discount rate. Those having prepared leisure time and ample budget for pursuing various needs should not miss this event.

CULTURAL PARADE AND FLOATS 5 May, Tugu Pahlawan – Taman Surya
It is an opening event for celebrating the 720th Anniversary of Surabaya. Various artistic and cultural attractions and floats will marched along the main streets in Surabaya, from Hero Monument (Tugu Pahlawan) to City Garden (Taman Surya) in Surabaya City Hall.

MUSIC FESTIVAL 4 May, Balai Pemuda
It is held in the Yard of Balai Pemuda Surabaya. Young musicians will complete in this festival and well-known bands will perform hight quality arrangements. Come and see it !

It is a national scale fair followed by approximately 100 crafters nurtured and reared by State Owned Companies in East Java and will be held in Grand City Convex to display various Batik motives and embroideries, both traditional and modern ones, from different areas all over East Java.

It is one of typical arts in East Java, especially in Surabaya. Unfortunately, it is lately diminishing. In attempt to revive and preserve this folk theatre that used to be popular in its era, it will be performed on 11 May 2013 in the Yard of Balai Pemuda Surabaya so that it remains exsiting and can be enjoyed by various groups in the society.

Don’t miss this attractive festival. Find and enjoy the attractions when seeing the contestants wearing definitely appealing costumes are preparing this typical food of Surabaya called ‘Rujak Uleg’. It is followed by 1.200 contestants that will simultaneously mixing the fruit salad spices and held along Jalan Kembang Jepun Surabaya.

Kite battle is one of the most popular games in Surabaya and its surroundings. In the battle, the kites will be flown with brisk breezes to lift them aloft. Each of the kite flyers by cutting the kite strings of the others in the air and bring down their kites. It will be held in Kenjeran Park Surabaya to celebrate 720th Anniversary of Surabaya City.

10 MUSEUM COLLABORATIVE EXHIBITION 31 May, 08.00-15.00, Tugu Pahlawan
It is held for celebrating the anniversary of international museum and Surabaya City. The managements of museums in Surabaya (Health Museum, Loka Jala Crana Museum, Rokok Sampoerna Museum, Tugu Pahlawan Museum) collaborate to hold the exhibition. Find and see collections and photos displayed by each of the museums. Don’t miss it. It is free of charge.

It is held along May 2013 to celebrate the 720th anniversary of Surabaya and support Surabaya Shopping Festival Progam. Various fashion product, such as garments, accessories, shoes, bags and some others are offered.

It is an annual traditional food festival exposing the culinary nuances in East Java held in Tunjungan Plaza Motor Parking Lot. As usual, it will offer more than 100 traditional culinary menus, such as : Tahu Tek-Tek, Mie Kluntung, Semanggi, Rujak Cingur, Rawon, Tahu Campur, Kikil, Pecel, Aneka Penyetan, Nasi Krawu, etc. to flash back the East Java oldies markets, the venues will be decorated with traditionally. Some traditional entertainments, such as : Ludruk, Campur Sari, Wayang Orang and Outdoor Firms are performed in this event.

SURABAYA GREAT EXPO 6-20 May, Gramedia Expo
Visit this expo in Gramedia Expo. Various high quality products of small and medium enterprises that have been exiting and penetrating both domestic and overseas markets are displayed in this event.

Surabaya is very popular with its culinary products. You can enjoy not only Western menus but also traditional pastries, baked goods, dainties and delicacies that at present can only be found in traditional markets in kampongs. In attempt to preserves these traditional menus in Surabaya

Monkey Dance called ‘Thandhak Bedhes or Lethek (in Central Java) or Topeng Monyet (in West Java) is one of art performances involving monkeys. The monkeys are trained in such away in order to entertain spectators. In order to preserve this this art performance, it will be held in Kenjeran Park. A quite number of Thandhak Bedhes owners from Surabaya and its surrounding will contest in this festival.

DUREN & DURIAN @ FOOD FESTIVAL May-Jully, Pakuwon City Surabaya
It is an annual festival held in Pakuwon City Surabaya for fully 3 month length of time to spoil East Java people, especially Surabaya, who enjoy durian. In this event one can enjoy it with a special prace starting from IDR. 10.000,- and various pastries and delicacies with Durian as its main ingredient, such as : Ketan Durian, Dawet Durian, Kolak Durian, Soes Durian, Pancake Durian, and many more. The fresh and airy gardens with varieties of decorative lamps and Kampong style benches, chairs and tables will make the dinning atmosphere in food Festival more enjoyable.

JUNE 2013

It is an original Indonesian art and serves as aefficacious communication media to understand essences of life. Obvisously , it delivers conceptions adoptable as valuable references for behaving and acting as reflected in a leather puppet show. It is surprising when it is performed on 1 June 2013 in the Audience Hall of Taman Budaya Jawa Timur, it will inspire anyone to adopt the good deeds practiced by the figures in the puppet show.

‘MUSLIMAH’ BEAUTY CONTEST June, City of Tomorrow
It is held by ‘Nurani’ Women Magazine in City of Tomorrow to elect a Moslem profile lady.

It is a National scale manufacturing product exhibition held in Grand City Convex. It displays various industrial machinery product, marine and shipping products, electric power product, oil and gas product, plastic, molding and packaging product, dye machineries, automated industrial products and logistic products. It is definitely worth visiting for anyone dealing with any of those industries.

564th DEATH ANNIVERSARY OF SUNAN AMPEL 25-27 June, Makam Sunan Ampel
A religious commemoration of the death of Sunan Ampel (one of holy men first bringing islam to Java) for 3 successive days in 3rd week of Sya’ban in Islamic Calendar. The commemoration is opened with a common Islamic recitation on Friday. Next, it will be followed with convoy on Saturday and closed with mass circumcision program on Sunday and Islamic music performances. It will be held in Sunan Ampel Great Mosque.

JAVA FURNITURE FAIR 2013 26-30 June, JX Expo
If you intend to renew your home furniture, it is a fair worth visiting as it offers high quality furniture products from various areas all over Java Island. It will give you attractive alternatives for meeting your furniture needs. Don’t miss it ! Visit in JX Expo.

East Pack Surabaya exhibits various superior packing industry product in Grand City Convex.
East Food Surabaya displays various food products and their variances, such as : processed foods alike in Grand City Convex.

JULY 2013

This cultural event is held annually by Citraland to expose the creations of selected Indonesian traditional and international artist community, in 2 strategic points in G-Walk area so that it can be easily accessed along the ways by the visitors of G-Walk Food Courts.

RAMADHAN PACKAGE July-August a Café House Of Sampoerna
To welcome the Ramadhan holy month, the House of Sampoerna Caffe offers Ramadhan Package for various menus for breaking fast for those fasting. The offered menus are suitable to enjoy for breaking fast in a Ramadhan nuance. Enjoy it during July-August 2013.

RAMADHAN FAIR July, City of Tomorrow
To celebrate the Ramadhan holy month, City of Tomorrow (CITO) holds Ramadhan Fair to display accessories and adornment associated with Ramadhan needs, such as : garments, food and drinks, etc.

A quite number of dancers will perform a typical dance of Surabaya called Remo dance in a Remo Dance Festival Surabaya. It is a part of series of Cross Cultural Festival 2013. In addition there will be a performance to play a pair of typical Japanese musical instrument called ‘Naruko’ in extremely colorfull costumes created by the contestants to reflect the blended Japanese and Surabaya cultures. Don’t miss it ! Find it in Surabaya City Hall.

CROSS CULTURE FESTIVAL 4-6 July, G-Walk Citraland
The beautiful diversities of Indonesian cultures and foreign ones are exhibited in an annual festival. Various mixtures of dances, musical compositions and costume design are well blended in a perfect harmony in a performance. It is held in some venues, such as G-WALK Citraland, Surabaya City Hall, and some others.


MUSIC CONCERT August, Balai Pemuda
It is a high quality music concert held in the Yard of Balai Pemuda Surabaya. Top bands and Surabaya young musicians will perform high quality compositions.

LATE NIGHT SALE August, City of Tomorrow
Cheap shopping promo at late night will be held in City of Tomorrow, from 10.00 am – midnight, West Indonesian Time. Shopaholic will be spoiled with up to 70% discount rate. Those having prepared leisure time and ample budget for pursuing various needs should not miss it !

It is played by humans as figures in plots of the puppet show. They wear costumes and accessories that are resemble with the ones found in leather puppets. The storylines presented are the same with ones found in the leather puppet show, such as : Ramayana and Mahabarata.


DECORATIVE KITE FESTIVAL September, City of Tomorrow
It will show the creations of contestant designing various shapes and sizes of colorfull and beautiful decorative kites, and certainly adorn the sky of Kenjeran Park with attractive scenes.

SURABAYA HOT SALE September, City of Tomorrow
Cheap shopping promo at late night will be held in City of Tomorrow (CITO). Shopaholic will be spoiled with up to 70% discount rate. Those having prepared leisure time and ample budget for pursuing various needs should not miss this event.

ART & CULTURE EXHIBITION 13-15 September, Taman Budaya Jawa Timur
In attempt to introduce the art and cultural, economic, and tourism potencies all over East Java. Taman Budaya Jawa Timur hold and exhibition of arts and cultures from regencies and cities all over East Java. It will present some art and cultural works, crafts and superior tourism potentials.

It is a photo exhibition in the art Gallery of House of Sampoerna to commemorate 1 (one) century of Sampoerna existence displaying series of documentary photos recording the history of Sampoerna.

It is a city tour originally concepted House of Sampoerna by to visit historical objects in Surabaya on foot, further explore the historical background of Surabaya and the valuable cultures in the visited objects and enjoy the beauty of heritage of architectural design and constructions as well as get closer interactions with the communites surrounding the visited objects.

THEATER PARADE 27-28 September, Taman Budaya Jawa Timur
To accommodate theatrical arts in East Java Province and Indonesia, Taman Budaya Jawa Timur hold a theatrical parade. A mixture of music, singing, acting, painting, dancing, and alike is packed in a theatre show.

FULL MOON FESTIVAL September, Ken Park
To commemorate the Chinese New Year on every 15th day of 8th month and thank to their god, the Chinese people celebrate a Full Moon Party. Various attractions and entertainments, such as : Moon Cake Party, Kim Sin Convoy, Barongsai Dance, Paper Lantern Fest and traditional dancing, will be presented. It will be held in the area of Sky Dome, Kenjeran Park Surabaya, where you can see the duplication of Temple of Heaven (Tan Tan) erected in Beijing, China.


LEATHER PUPPET SHOW 12 October, Taman Budaya Jawa Timur
It is an original Indonesian art and serves as efficacious communication media to understand essences of life. Obviously, it delivers conceptions adoptable as valuable references for behaving and acting as reflected in a leather puppet show. It is surprising when it is performed on 12 October 2013 in the Audience Hall of Taman Budaya Jawa Timur, will inspire anyone to adopt the good deeds practiced by the figures in the puppet show.

Sapi Sono attraction presents a couple of trained female cows to show their skills to demonstrate beautiful, pliant and soft movements. It will be held in Pamekasan Regency Stadium. Sapo Sono all over Madura will compete in beautiful, pliant and soft movements.

BULL RACE ALL OVER MADURA 20 October, Lap. Pamekasan
Speed, courage and beauty are definitely expressive three words for describing this Madurese tradition. The racers, either adults and kids, with the bulls they have trained and decorated with accessories compete bravely in hight speed with strong courage pacing the adrenaline of both racers and spectators. It will be held to race for President Trophy in Pamekasan Regency Stadium.

The culinary maniacs will be satisfied in this festival because it will be followed by a quite number or restaurants in Surabaya.

PROMO BBQ October, a café HOS
The program is held annualy with the concept of Al Fresco Dining, dinner at an open area under a sprinkling of stars with various options. various roasted menus with acoustic music accompaniment. held on October 2013 at the Cafe House of Sampoerna, Taman Sampoerna 6 Surabaya.


East Java culture parade will perfoming cultural works from regencies / cities, all over East Java Province. as a province administering the number of regencies and cities, the province is rich of various arts and cultures. Accordingly, the provincial  government will exploit the provincial cultures and uniqueness as tourism attractions. it is expected that this event will enhance the productivity, creativeness and professionalism of East Java artist.

EAST JAVA FAIR 3-13 October, Grand City Convex, JX Expo

This event displays various superior products from regencies and cities all Over East Java Province and some other regencies / cities in Indonesia. Some private enterprises also participate in this event.



Hundreds of old jeeps from Surabaya and other places, such as Jakarta, West Java, Solo and Yogyakarta will participate in Surabaya Jeep Carnival. in conjuction with the commemoration of Hero Day. The jeeps will go along the edge of Surabaya in Fund City Rally Carnival.

SYMPHONY FOR NATION 9 November, Taman Surya

A number of top artists from Jakarta wiil participated in the symphony that will be performed in the Yard of Surabaya City Hall. it is a part of the series of Hero Day celebration program.


If you plan to invest capitals in Surabaya, you are strongly recommended to attend it in Gramedia Expo Surabaya. You will access ample information on invesment opportunities and potentials as well as trades of various superior products in Indonesia.


‘Mocopat’ is a Javanese traditional song composed by Mangkunegara IV. It used to be sung to entertain the Kong’s guests. Accordingly, in attempt to preserve the Javanese arts and cultures, especially ‘Mocopat’ this festival is held and open to people at common.

SURABAYA STRUGGLE PARADE 10 November, Tugu Pahlawan – Taman Surya

The Hero Day recalls the Indonesian people, especially the one from Surabaya, to keep serving the nation. It is always impressively and merrily celebrated. This year, it is celebrated by holding SurabayaStuggle Parade that will be opened with an open folk music concert followed with some other art and cultural program, such as : Civics Schooling, Seminar on Heroism and Surabaya Fervor Drama.

SURABAYA OTOMOTIF EXPO 27Nov-01Dec, Grand City Convex

It will be held in Gramedia Expo, Surabaya and is dedicated for East Java people who are keen of the technological advancement and spectacular automotive programs.

5th INDIE CLOTHING EXPO 8-10 Nov, Grand City Convex

It will be held in Grand City Convex Surabaya, exclusively for women. It exhibits various female clothing needs. Various top indie brands will participate in this expo. It also performs movie competition, fashion show and top indie bands.

HIJAB – NURANI FESTIVAL Nov, City of Tomorrow

Witness the transformation of creations of tens of Moslem fashion designers from Surabaya in a Moslem Fashion Festival held in July in Tunjungan Plaza. It is the best event to visit by fashion lovers and bussiness people for enhancing creativeness in Moslem fashion designing and a valuable referral for Moslem fashion development in 2013.

KETOPRAK THEATRE SHOW 16 Nov, Taman Budaya Jawa Timur

It is a theatrical art from East Java. In a Ketoprak show, the plays are supplemented with Javanese song performed with Javanese instrument arrangements. The theme of the stories are usually about Javanese legend or histories. Taman Budaya Jawa Timur will perform it in collaboration with Ketoprak artist that used to be popular.


LATE NIGHT SALE Dec, City of Tomorrow

Cheap shopping promo at late night will beheld in City of Tomorrow, from 10.00 am – midnight, West Indonesian Time. Shopaholic will be spoiled with up to 70% discount rate. Those having prepared leisure time and ample budget for pursuing various needs should not miss it !

ART & CULTURE EXHIBITION 13-15 Dec, Taman Budaya Jawa Timur

In attempt to introduce the art and cultural, economic, and tourism potencies all over East Java, Taman Budaya Jawa Timur holds an exhibition of arts and cultural works,crafts and superior tourism potentials.

XMAST CONCERT Dec, City of Tomorrow

It will perform Christmas song and music compositions to celebrate the Christmas Day and entertain the visitors of City of Tomorrow Surabaya.

LEATHER PUPPET SHOW 7Dec, Taman Budaya Jawa Timur

It is an original Indonesian art and serves as aefficacious communication media to understand essences of life. Obviously, it delivers conceptions adoptable as valuable references for behaving and acting as reflected in a leather puppet show. It is surprising when it was performed on 02 Nov 2013 in the Audience Hall of Taman Budaya Jawa Timur, it inspired anyone to adopt and good deeds practiced by the figures in the puppet show.



Jacob van Helsdingen

Jacob P. van Helsdingen was a pilot died in his birthday. He was born in Surabaya and he has Indonesia-Dutch blood. He died in battle against Japanese jet which was more advanced. In that period, Japanese jet took over the air in the early of Pasific War. Born in 7 March 1907, and he was one of few Indo-Ducth men who was accepted in Koninklikje Militaire Academie in Breda, The Netherland in 1929. He was graduated in 1931 and he returned to Indonesia (was East Indies) as a lieutenant in KNIL. One year later he was placed in KNIL air force as Fokker CV pilot. He liked challenge and brave, and he did very brave manuevers. He was popular for his handsome face, also a playboy and loved to drive fast on Batavia and Soerabaia roads. The war broke in 1939 and in 1940, Holland was occupied by Germany. East Indies was in alert to face enemies in Pasific, The Japanese which was after South East and South Asia which were rich of natural resources. Van Helsdingen was mobilized on 1 July 1941 and promoted as Commander of Squadron 2, Group 5 Air Force, ML KNIL strengthened by Brewster Buffalo jet. This was his culmination of his carreer. Van Helsdingen’s squadron was positioned at Kallang air strip, SIngapore as part of ABDA-Com (American, British, Dutch and Australian Command) defensive circle to protect South East Asia from Japanese attack. Japanese attacked Singapore on 12 January 1942 by releasing bombers. In this war, van Helsdingen with his Buffalo jet could lock Japanese lightweight fighter Ki 27 Nates. His squadron also shot other three Ki-27. Japanese then released A6M Zero to guard the bombers.Zoro advance on 15 January made van Helsdingen’s squadron overwhelmed, as Zero was more advanced than Buffalo. Finally on 18 January, Squadron 2 was withdrawn to West Java and spreaded in Semplak, Andir (currently Husein Sastranegara airport) and Cililitan. Japanese then targetted East Indied. The first attacked was in Balikpapan which was rich of oil.Squadron 2 was sent to Kalimantan to strengthen Balikpapan, they based as confidential base Samarinda II, on 22 and 23 January 1942. Buffaloes of van Helsdingen squadrons guarded Martin B-10 bomber and as well attacking Japanese fleets at the off shore of Balikpapan. This assault could sink 2 Japanese ship and van Helsdingen could shoot Ki-27. For his success he was awarded with Knight Third Class from Militaire Willems Orde, which was a great achievement for Indo-Dutch soldier like him.

Unfortunately, the location of confidential base was spotted by Japanese and was attached. Kalimantan was down. The arrivals of squadrons Zero made van Heldsingen squadron’s  and other air units must got away to Java to get ready for the last defense. With the last Buffaloes left, the squadron of van Helsdingen stayed at Andir for Japanese attack which landed at Eretan wetan beach, Central Java and then spread with attack to all over Java. IN the critical months , the highest commander of KNIL had escaped to Australia, asking van Helsdingen to also went to Australia  and trained Dutch new air force. However van Helsdingen chose to stay in ANdir and support KNIL army which was critically forced to move to Bogor and threatened to back down to Bandung. 

On the 7th of March 1942, where van Helsdingen is exactly 35 years old, he chose 4 volunteer pilots to fly the four Buffalo as he was expected to fly to Australia. Yet on the last minutes, va Helsdingen changed his mind, and asking the married pilot to quit and went to Australia, while van Helsdingen himself was married already.Once news about KNIL was forced to moved to Lembang, van Helsdingen and 3 other pilots took off to Lembang.  The air there had been taken control by the Japanese. And he died in an air battle there. Jacob Pieter Van Helsdingen died in Lembang on  March 7th  1942, on his 35th birthday. 


Bung Tomo

Sutomo or Bung Tomo was born in Surabaya, East Java on 3 October 1920, he was born impung Blauran, in the heart of Surabaya. He was the son of Kartawan Tjiptowidjojo, a man from mediocre family. He worked as government officer, as private office staff, as an assistant in government tax office and as an employee in Dutch export-import office. He admitted to have a relationship with Pangeran Diponegoro. His mother was mix of central javanese, Sundanese and Madurese.

His father has multitasking. He worked as a cop and also as Sarekat Islam member, before he moved to Surabaya and became local distributor for Singer sewing machine. Sutomo was raised in a family which appreciated education. He spoke straight forward and full of spirit. He worked hard to fix situation. When he was 12, he should leave his school, MULO, and he worked various small works to get over depression period. He then finished HBS school by correspondence, yet he was never graduated formaly.

Sutomo then joined KBI (Indonesian Scout). And then he emphasized that scout philosophy and nationalism he received from the group and from his grandfather were to replace his formal education. In his 17, he was famous for second person in East Indies to reach Pandu Garuda in scout. Befor the Japanese Occupation in 1942, this level was only gained by 3 Indonesians.

Sutomo was a successfull journalist. He joined political and social groups. When he was chosen as member of Gerakan Rakyat Baru supported by The Japanese, no one slightly knew him. Yet this prepared him for his important role, when he became one of leaders in October and November 1945 to awake Surabaya people spirit who were attacked by NICA and the allies. Sutomo is remembered by his emotional speech through radio. Though Indonesia was lost in 10th November battle, yet the event is recorded as one of the most important events in Indonesian Independence history.

After Independence, Sutomo entered political carreer in 1950s, but he was not happy and later he disappeared from politics. In the end of Soekarno period and early Soeharto period which he supported turned to be critisized by him. While various important positions in governments had been occupied by him. He baceme Minister of Indonesian Veteran and Minister of Ad Interim Social in 1955-1956 in the cabinet of Prime Minister Burhanuddin Harahap.Bung Tomo was also in the House of Representatives in 1956-1959 as Partai Rakyat Indonesia representative. But in the early 1970s, he had different view with the New Order government, that he was arrested on 11 April 1978 for his critics. A year later he was released by Soeharto. His spirit was not destroyed by the prison yet, he was not interested anymore to be vocal.

He died on 7 October 1981 in Arafah when he went for pilgrimage to Mecca. Bung Tomo’s body was brought back to Indonesia and burried in Public Cemetery, not in heroes cemetery. Bung Tomo was announced legally as Indonesian hero on 10 November 2008.

Pramoedya Ananta Toer

Pramoedya was born in Blora, in the heart of Java, in 1925 as the oldest child in his family. His father was a teacher and his mother was rice seller. He studied in Radio School and then worked as typist for Japan newspaper in Jakarta during Japannese occupation in Indonesia.

After Indonesia independence struggle, he joined military group in Java and often placed in Jakarta. He wrote short story and books during his military carreer, and imprisoned by The Dutch in Jakarta in 1948 and 1949.

In the fifties, he lived in Holland as part of cultural exchange program, and after the returned he joined Lekra, a left wing organisation in Indonesia. His writing style in that perios is shown in his piece, Korupsi, fiction about intrix among officials who are trapped in corruption. This created frictions between him and the government of  Soekarno.

He learnt the torture to Indonesian Chinese and he had good relationship with writers in China. He published correspondence with those writers about Chinese Indonesian history, entitled as Hoakiau di Indonesia. He was a criticus who concerned about Java-centric government and other regions interests. In 1960s he was arrested by Soeharto regime for his Chinese communist vision. His books were banned and he was imprisoned without court in Nusakambangan and finally moved to islands on the eastern part of Indonesia.

He was arrested 3 times in the colonial period and once in the Old Order, and during the New Orded he was a political prisoner without court in 13 October 1965-July 1969, July 1969-16 August 1969 in Nusakambangan, August 1969-12 November 1979 in Buru Island, November – 21 December 1979 in Magelang.

He was prohobited to write in Pulau Buru, yer he arranged to write his popular series Bumi Manusia, semi-fiction novel about Indonesia history. The main character is Minke, alow  royal Javanese man as reflected by his experience. The first book was read by his fellow prisoner, and the rest were smuggled abroad to be collected by Australian writer and later were published in English and Indonesian.

Pram was released in 21 December 1979 and received not-guilty legal letter and was not involved in the 1965 coup, but still should under house arrest in Jakarta until 1992, and also city arrest and country arrest until 1999 and should report once a day to Kodim Jakarta Timur for 2 years. During that period, he wrote Gadis Pantai, a semi-fiction novel according to his grandmother’s experience. He also wrote Nyanyi Sunyi Seorang Bisu in 1995, a autobiography based on his letters which were not allowed to send and Arus Balik in 1995.

Ketika Pramoedya mendapatkan Ramon Magsasay Award, 1995, diberitakan sebanyak 26 tokoh sastra Indonesia menulis surat ‘protes’ ke yayasan Ramon Magsasay. Mereka tidak setuju, Pramoedya yang dituding sebagai “jubir sekaligus algojo Lekra paling galak, menghantam, menggasak, membantai dan mengganyang” di masa demokrasi terpimpin, tidak pantas diberikan hadiah dan menuntut pencabutan penghargaan yang dianugerahkan kepada Pramoedya.

Yet few days later, Taufik Ismail, revised the news. He said that he did not ask to withdraw the letter only remind people of who Pram was and people did not know Pram’s dark side in the past. He mentioned that Magsasay award was a carelessness. Mochtar Lubis even threatened  to return Magsasay Award awarded to him in 1958, if Pram would still be awarded the same award. Lubis said that HB Yasin would also return Magsasay Award, yet HB Yasin said different thing.

In various opinions on Media, artists who felt that they were suppressed by Pram asked him to admit and apology for what he did in the era of Demokrasi Terpimpin, as Pram was accused to suppress artists who disagreed with him.

Pram appraised his writings and speeces in pre 1965 were no more than polemics which could be followed by anyone. He regretted to be involved in various actions too far. He was even malingned when he was accused to burn books. He asked this matter to court if the materials were sufficent. If the materials were insufficient, he asked to bring it to open forum, yet he asked to answer and defend himself.

Since New Order, Pram had not gotten freedom to speak up, he had been attacked openly on newspapers.

Pram had written in numbers of colums and short articled critisized Indonesian government. He wrote Perawan Remaja dalam Cengkeraman Militer, a documentation written in sad style how Javanese women were in Japanese occupation. Those women were transported to Pulau Buru and experienced sexual abuse , and chose to live there instead of returning to Java. Pram made introduction when he was sent to Pulau Buru as political prisoner   in 1970s.

Many of his writings touched inter cultural themes, between the Dutch, Javanese royal, Javanese in general and Chinese. His writings were semi autobiography where he describes his experience.  He received Ramon Magsasay for Creative Communication Journalism, Literature and Arts in 1995.  He was also considered to get Nobel in literature. He won Fukuoka XI Asian Culture Award in 2000 and in 2004 he was awarded Norwegian Authors’ Union Award. He went to north America in 1999 and won an award from Michigan  University.

He wrote until he passed away, though he health was deteriorating by his age and smoking habbit. In 12 January 2006, he was ill for 2 weeks in his house in Bojong Gede, Bogor and finally moved to hiospital. Pram was reported to have diabetes, respiratory problem and his heart weakened.

On 6 February 2006, in Taman Ismail Marzuki was held an exhibition of Pram’s works, for his 81st birthday.


Legend of Rara Mendut and Pranacitra : Javanese Romeo and Juliet

Roro Mendut was a very beautiful lady who had strong will. Her beauty could make men’s hearts melt, from just common men to noble men or battle commander. One day Roro Mendut was kidnapped by Adipati Pragolo II, who reigned Pati and wanted to make her as one of his concubines. But before he could make her one, Roro Mendut was taken by commander of Mataram, Tumenggung Wiraguna who wanted to make her as his concubine as well. Here is the story of the legendary Roro Mendut,.

Long time ago, on the northern coast of Java, notably on the coast of pati, Central Java, there was a fishermen village, Teluk Cikal. The village was part of Pati Regency reigned by Adipati Pragolo II. Pati was one of regions conquered by Mataram Sultanate reigned by Sultan Agung.

IN Teluk Cikal village lived a girl, Roro Mendut. She was very beautiful. And she could straight forward-ly rejected men proposing her, as she had young man whom she loved, Pranacitra, the son of Nyai Singabarong, a rich trader.

Oneday, her beauty was heard by Adipati Pragolo II. And he wanted to make her as his concubine. He had asked her over and over again, but Rara Mendut kept rejecting him. He was disappointed and he sent few guards to kidnap her when she was drying fish nearby beach. She tried hard to escaped from the guards but she failed. They brought Roro Mendut to horse carriage and took her to palace. As future concubine, she should stay inside the palace (pingit = old Javanese tradition for girl over 12 years until her wedding day), and she was accompanied by Ni Semangka and her assistance Genduk Duku). When she was in pingit period, Pati Regency was having an upheaval. Sultan Agung accused Adipati Pragolo II as rebellion as he did not want to send tribute to Mataram. Sultan Agung attacked Pati, and led the assault himself. According to folktale, Sultan Agung could not hurt him as Adipati Pragolo wore armour of kere waja. Seeing this the umbrella holder of Sultan Agung , Ki Nayadarma, asked Sultan Agung to fight with Adipati Pragolo II. Sultan Agung allowed him and gave him Baru Klinting spear.

Ki Nayadarma fought with Adipati Pragolo II, but Adipati Pragolo II could avoid every attack from Nayadarma. When Adipati Pragolo was careless, KI Nayadarma stabbed Adipati Pragolo II with Baru Klinting spear, to part of body uncovered by armor. Adipati Pragolo II died.  All soldiers led by Tumenggung Witaguna seized Pati belonging, including Roro Mendut. Tumenggung Wiraguna was mesmerized by Rara Mendut beauty and he brought Rara Mendut to Mataram to be his concubine. Tumenggung Wiraguna persuaded her to be his concubine, but she rejected, even she said frankly that she had a lover already, Pranacitra. Her frankness made Tumenggung Wiraguna angry. He finally threatened that if she did not want to be his wife, she should pay tax to Mataram. Rara Mendut was not afraid of that threat. She preferred to pay tax than being Wiraguna’s concubine. Monitored by Mataram soldiers, Rara Mendut was allowed to sell cigarettes at market. Tumenggung Wiraguna agreed, and Rara Mendut could sell her cigarettes well, even people (men) crowded buying cigarettes that she had smoked. She was popular in the market for her cigarettes and for her beauty. Oneday, when she was selling cigarretes, she met Pranacitra who came for her. Pranacitra tried to find a way to get Rara Mendut out of Mataram. Rara Mendut told her meeting with Pranacitra to Princess Arumardi, one of Wiraguna’s concubine, hoping that she could help her to escape. Rara Mendut knew that Princess Arumardi did not agree Wiraguna would make another concubine. Princess Arumardi and Nyai Ageng (another Wiraguna’s concubine), planned a way to get Rara Mendut out of the palace. Rara Mendut and Pranacitra tried to return to their home village, Pati.

Unfortunately, Rara Mendut and Pranacitra escape was smelled by Wiraguna, and they were found by Wiraguna. Rara Mendut was taken to Mataram and quietly he ordered his men to kill Pranacitra. Pranacitra died and  wasburied in a small forest in Ceporan, Gandhu, 9 km east of Yogyakarta.

Wiraguna then asked Rara Mendut to be his concubine. But Rara Mendut rejected him again, finally he told her about the death of Pranacitra. Mendut did not believe that and said that she saw him yesterday. . Tumenggung Wiraguna then took her to Pranacitra’s grave. She cried at the grave of Pranacitra. Not far from the grave of Pranacitra, Rara Mendut threated Tumenggung Wiraguna that she would tell Sultan Agung about this. Tumenggung Wiraguna was angry and he drew Rara Mendut home. She struggled to get loose of Wiraguna, when she could released herself she drew Wiraguna’s keris, and ran to her lover’s grave. Wiraguna ran after her. Rara Mendut killed herself, and Wiraguna failed to stop her . She stabbed herself with keris and she fell to Pranacitra’s grave. Wiraguna was very sorry for his mistake. But his sorry was useless everything had happened. To amend his mistake, Wiraguna buried Rara Mendut at the same grave as Pranacitra. That was the story of Rara Mendut struggling for her dignity and loyalty.

Rara Mendut Tale from Pati, Central Java is still told as symbol of true love by Javanese. By YM Mangunwijaya, this story was written in trilogy, Rara Mendut, Gendukku, and Lusi Lindri. A Movie adapted from the novel was also made, directed by Ami Prijono with title Rara Mendut. In 2008, a trilogy novel was published in a compilation : Rara Mendut: Sebuah Trilogi.

The message of this tale is that wealth, position, could not guarantee to get true love. True love present from understanding and accepting each other as Pranacitra and Rara Mandut.

Surabaya Mangrove Conservation, Batik Mangrove

Surabaya as the second biggest city in Indonesia has a natural set for local peoples to enjoy ocean, mangrove, river, and flora and fauna. Mangrove conservation in Surabaya started by the awareness of locals. Muchson or Sony, is the pioneer of this conservation. He started to clean, observe , investigate and make effort to process mangrove fruit since 1998. He then tried to make something to eat over mangrove fruits, such as syrup, dodol, candies. Also Sony and his mangrove farmer association is cleaning the mangrove area from litters, and empowering mangrove for locals well being. From mangrove species, he had developed mangrove for flour, rice substutition, and cendol. And this man made effort of reforestation and cleaning mangrove with his own expenses.

Mangrove is also useful for natural batik color, kown as mangrove batik and the pioneer is Ms. Lulut. She employs waste from mangrove process by Mr Sony for this purpose. Almost every part of mangrove tree can be used as color material. She can make use of unripe Sonneratio caseolaris that can not be processed into syrup and processes it into natural  liquid shop. She also propagate green life to her neighborhood and become the leader of Environment Care Forum of Rungkut District. This forum invented composting antagonist bacteria that can process garbage into liquid manure, fasten composting,   and omits bad smell.

Liquid soap is made of mangrove Jijibus jujuba species, Aloe vera and lerak. As this is a natural soap, water waste can be used to water plants or flowers. Ms. Lulut has designed 44 batik design with motive of mangrove, leaves, flower, fruit and other sea animals such as fish, crab and shrimp. Every motive has its specific mangrove, with its latin name, local name or even additional name.

Tanjang putih motive, for example, used Bruguiera cylinelrica with additional Rhizophoraceae component. The design is tree from root, leaves and bud become the main motive surrounded by flowerd. This motive is intermittent with Rhizophoraceae flower motive.

Mange motive is from Aegicera floridum surrounded by flower of Myrsinaceae as decorations. Crab, fish, shrimp give this motive coastal design feel. To give Surabaya character that is straightforward, painting technique does not use canting only but partly painted with brush.

Red color is made of Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, red chilly and secang. To create yellow color, he used nyamplung, curcurma and gambir.

In Mangrove Wonorejo, though it is still preliminary stage, visitors can enjoy various of mangrove at the eastern coast of Surabaya. Administratively the eastern coast mangrove is located in Wonorejo village, Surabaya. Mangrove forest in Surabaya is the home of 147 birds species, the 12 species are protected species. There are 44 migrant birds from Australia heading to Europe transit there. Visitors can enjoy boat riding through river and then walk on jetty through mangroves.

Beside seeing mangrove, visitors can see coastal life. Locals live from salt water pond for fish. Cycling through fish ponds can be done as well, if you love cycling. Sometimes birds are swimming in the pond. The fishpond neighborhood is very quiet, unlike what people imagine about Surabaya, only sometimes one or two farmers working at ponds.

Find <a href=” ” >flights in Surabaya</a> for your stay.

Surabaya Mangrove Tour
Student Mangrove Program


Gunung Semeru : The Highest Peak in Java, East Java, Indonesia

Gunung Semeru

Gunung Semeru is the highest peak in Java (3676 m), stand out in Bromo Tengger National Park. From distance the summit of Mt Semeru looks perfectly like cone with smoke over, like showing that it is busy volcano.
Mt Semeru has been a very tempting for experienced trekker to climb to get to the top of Mahameru, the great mountain. Considered as sacred and honored as the father of Gunung Agung and Gunung batur in Bali by Balinese Hindu that Hindu people visit this mountain to pray.Climbing Gunung Semeru can be described as trekking through 17 KM of beautiful places. Here are spots on mt Semeru : Continue reading Gunung Semeru : The Highest Peak in Java, East Java, Indonesia