Friday, July 31, 2009

Perfect Bodies in Perfect Outfits

I took this photo at Pasar Baru (literally: New Market) area.

Pasar Baru is a traditional and semi-mordern market with shops selling nearly all kinds of things: vegetables, fruits and flowers; kitchen utensils, foods; but above all it is well known for its fabric and ready-made clothings at wholesalers' and negotiable prices. Although the name is Pasar Baru (New Market), it is in fact one of the oldest market in the city. It is located at the city center near the Alun-Alun or the city square.

Would not those bodies look perfect in our current definition of a female's "perfect body"? Would not those outfits be just as perfect for those bodies?

They may indeed be ... We must also remember, however, that the definition of beauty and bodily perfection never stay the same at all times and in all places; and there is nothing natural about them. They are culturally-constructed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Street Scene: Ceramic Ware Vendor

A mobile street vendor selling hotel-quality ceramic wares at Jalan Riau (Riau Street, also called L.R.E. Martadinata Street), Bandung.

Jalan Riau is well known for its factory outlets (distros) and boutiques. It can get quite crowded with shoppers on weekends and holidays.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Skywatch Friday: Point North

This is the view of Bandung's point north as seen from The Pasupati flyover bridge at the center of the city. The mountain on your left hand side of the picture is Mt. Burangrang (2057 meters/about 6748 feet) and to the right is Mt. Tangkuban Perahu - "the capsized boat mountain" - (2084 meters/about 6837 feet).

Please also visit this week's participants of Skywatch Friday meme here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Photos of Indonesian Presidential Election: The Balloting Day

Today is the balloting day for the Indonesian Presidential Election. It's the second time Indonesians directly elect their president. (The first was in 2004. Before that, the president was elected by Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat or The People's Consultative Assembly.)

Here are some of the photos I took at the balloting station where I cast my vote today.

The balloting day was declared as a public holiday. Balloting stations throughout the country were opened at 08:00 A.M. local time (Indonesia has three time zones: GMT +7, +8, and +9) and closed at 01:00 P.M., at which time the votes began to be counted.

Voting is done by putting a check mark on the number, photo, or the name of pair of the presidential and vice presidential candidates that one chooses.

The top photos shows a Balloting Committee member showing a disqualified vote during the counting. The card was disqualified because the voter had written a word in addition to the check mark.

The tally results at the balloting station where I voted show that the incumbent president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his running mate Boediono(SBY - Boediono) was leading with 240 votes. The other two pairs of candidates, Megawati-Prabowo (Megapro) and Jusuf Kalla-Wiranto (JK - Win) were trailing behind with 43 votes respectively.

Monday, July 6, 2009

White Rhinoceros

This white single-horn rhinoceros sculpture is placed at the fountain pond located at the southern part of the Bandung City Hall Park.

Badak (the Sundanese word for rhinoceros) is an important animal in the Sundanese culture. A native animal of the land where the Sundanese people live, badak has long held a strong cultural significance in their lives. The word badak and its synomyms are used to name a lot of things, literally and figuratively. Here are some examples:

    ngabadak (v) - to open a field
    heuay badak (n) - a kitchen chimney
    badak heuay (n) - (literally: yawning rhino) a traditional Sundanese house architectural style in which the roof is open like that of a yawning rhino
    babadak (n) - a bamboo structure that is used to dam a river or put at a river bank to prevent landslide.
    ngaladog (v) - (ladog = badak = rhino) to roam far

Many places in West Java (the Sundanese land) are also named after this animal, for example cibadak (rhino water), rancabadak or rawabadak (rhino swamp), paguyangan badak (rhino bathing place), etc.

The single-horn Sundanese or Javan rhino (rhinoceros sondaicus) has mostly vanished in most part of the Sundanese land. Currently only about 50 are left in the wild. They are protected at the Ujung Kulon National Park at the western tip of Java Island. Not long ago, however, this animal used to roam free in many parts of the island. According to the surviving notes of Europeans visiting the area, for example, this animal could still be found in what now becomes the city of Bandung up until the end of the 18th century CE.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Taman Balai Kota Bandung (Bandung City Hall Park)

This is the center piece of Bandung City Hall Park. Designed by Dr. R. Teuser, the park is one of the oldest in the city. It was built in 1885 and was named Pieterpark in honor of an Asisten Residen (the title for the city's administrator before it became a municipality in 1906) Pieter Sijthoff.

In the old days, the park was also often called Kebon Raja (The King's Garden) because it was located just across the street from, Sakola Raja (Dutch: Kweekschool, or The King's School).

In 1950, the park's name was changed to Taman Merdeka (the Independence Park), and on December 4, 1996, the park's name was again changed to Taman Dewi Sartika in honor of a Bandung-native national heroine Dewi Sartika whose statue has since been placed there.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Theme Day: Kosong

Kosong is an Indonesian word for empty, which happens to be this month's theme at CDPB (City Daily Photo Blog).

Photographically, I think it is impossible to visualize emptiness, for even in an empty space, there must be something, a few things, visible or invisible. In a photograph, one of those things is the frame.

So, visualizing emptiness is about interpretations. And this is mine. An empty bench in an office waiting room. Is it a good sign (that every visitor has been served timely that one one has to wait)? Or a bad one (that nobody wants to deal with that office)?

Happy Theme Day, everyone!

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants