Text and pictures by Eki Qushay Akhwan
There are currently six cities that are formally linked as Bandung's sisters: Braunschweig (Germany), Forth Worth, Texas (USA), Suwon (South Korea), Hamamatsu (Japan), Cebu (The Philippines), and Bari (Italy).
Braunschweig was the first city to sign sister city cooperation agreement with Bandung. The MOU for this cooperation was signed on May 24, 1960 by Braunschweig's city director Hans Gunther Weber, Mayor Martha Fuchs, and the Indonesian ambassador to West Germany Dr. Zairin Zain. The document was later ammended and signed by Bandung's Mayor R. Priatnakusumah and Braunschweig's envoy Prof Dr George Eckert on June 2, 1960 in Bandung.
The second city to sign sister city cooperation agreement with Bandung was Forth Worth, Texas. The MOU for this cooperation was signed by Bandung's Mayor Ateng Wahyudi and Forth Worth's Mayor Bob Bolen on April 2, 1990. The sister city cooperation agreement was signed against the backdrop of an already existing cooperation between two aircraft industries located in both cities, i.e. Indonesia's PT IPTN (Nusantara Aircraft Industries, Ltd.) and Forth Worth's BELL Helicopter Industries.
Sister city agreement with the city of Suwon, South Korea, was signed on August 27, 1997. Suwon is the third city to have such an agreement with Bandung. Sister city agreements with the other three cities were signed only recently (two in 2005 at the occasion of 50th anniversary of Asian-African/Bandung Conference, and one in 2007.
To mark the cooperations with its sister cities, the people and the municipal government of Bandung have erected commemorative monuments, the photos of three of which I post today.
Sister city link/cooperation is a form of citizen to citizen diplomacy. This movement got its historic footing in September 1956 when President Dwight Eisenhower held a Conference on Citizen Diplomacy at the White House. You can read more about the history of Sister City Movement here.
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants