Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kemilau Nusantara Fest 2009

Festival Kemilau Nusantara 2009 (literally: the glitter of the Indonesian archipelago fest 2009) was opened today by the governor of West Java Province Ahmad Heryawan (the man in the middle in the inset photo) this morning.

The festival is an annual event whose purpose are, among others, to showcase the Indonesian rich cultural heritage and to promote tourism. This year the representatives of 14 (out of total 33) Indonesian provinces and 18 cities and regencies in West Java take part in the festival.

To encourage quality documentation of the event, a photo contest was also held. A large number of photographers took part in the contest. I was one of them. For this reason, I will not be able to post my best shots because entries must have never been published prior to submission and judgement.

The top photo here is of some dancers waiting for the opening ceremony at the back stage. I'll post some more photos and stories about the fest tomorrow.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Colors in the sky

Slowly but surely rainy season is setting in. Some days the sky is just dark and grey. But that doesn't mean that there are no colors anywhere. In fact, there will be a lot of colors in the city in the next three months as we are gearing up for the Helarfest. More than 70 events and festivities hosted by more than 30 creative communities are going to take place here from this month till the end of December. Sunny or rainy, it's always a perfect time to visit Bandung - and this week's skywatcher blogs.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Covered in Snow

On that car, it's not the real snow, of course. We live in the tropic, and the only real snow we have here is the eternal snow glacier at the top of Jayawijaya mountain on the Indonesian province of Papua (see inset picture courtesy of the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism).

"Snow" is a term used for the snow-like soapy foam sprayed from a special machine called foam injector that is used in a car wash like the one in the top photo. Snow wash, as it is called here, is very popular.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Blame it on the referee!

The fans of a football or soccer team (or any sport teams for that matter) sometimes can't bear the fact that their team loses a game to its opponent every now and then. Whenever that happens, they need to find somebody or something they can blame so that they don't have to lose their collective ego or pride. It's almost always a convenient excuse to blame it on the wheather, the stadium, the coach, the management, a lousy player, or whatever, but never the team itself as a body, even if they believe teamwork is of utmost importance in a team sport.

For this PERSIB (Bandung Indonesian Football Association) fanatic and many others like him who call themselves "bobotoh" (a Sundanese word meaning keen supporter or fan), it's the referee. Hence the writing on the back of this helmet "Wasit Goblog!" (stupid referee!). Not very sportsman/woman-like, but hey ... that takes the burn away from their beloved team when it loses a game.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


It's not easy to do stage photography if you can't get close to the stage or don't have the right equipment. But I was happy doing this one with my pocket camera (my other cameras being out of batteries) and from a position that's not close enough to get good photographs. The music was simply great and electrifying. So even when I could not get decent pictures of this group's stage performance, I was just happy being there to listen to their music.

This is Sambasunda performing at last week's Bambu Nusantara World Music Festival. Sambasunda is a Bandung-based group of creative contemporary musicians whose unique musical compositions and performances have won them a number of worldwide acclaims. Their music is modern but deeply rooted in the rich varieties of Indonesian traditional musical traditions.

The group was established in 1990 with the name PRAWA. In 1997, the name was changed to CBMW. The current name - Samba Sunda - was adopted in 1998 when they launched their first album "Rhythmical Sundanese People" of which "Sambasunda" was one of the songs.

Contrary to what many people think about the name, Sambasunda has nothing to do with the Latin music of Samba. Sambasunda is a combination of "samba", a Cirebonese dialect word that means a pre-puberty teenager, and Sunda, the name of an Indonesian ethnic unit, the native population of the western part of the Java island.

I'll upload the video of their performance later at my other blog Bandung Daily Video.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Double Climbing Boards

A pair of climbing boards against the sunset sky at the Faculty of Sports and Health Education campus of the Indonesia University of Education, Bandung. This is Bandung Daily Photo's participation at this week's Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Street Painter

A street painter at Jalan Asia Afrika near Kantor Pos Besar Bandung (Bandung Main Post Office).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bambu Nusantara World Music Festival (Part 2): GANIATI

Bambu Nusantara World Music Festival did not only stage traditional performace art forms but also contemporary ones like this group who call themselves the GANIATI (Garing Mania Sampai Mati).

Ganiati is a community of students of the Indonesia University of Education (UPI) who are into what may be called as "experimental" contemporary performance art forms. The group was established in 2001 by a number of sophomore students of the Fine Art Department of UPI.

According to their Friendster account (they don't have a website or blog), Ganiati was established with the purpose of "spreading the viruses of peace and the "garing" (literally: dry, but colloquially also means "weird" or "weirdness") and making everybody healthier with laughter and gymnastic exercises".

You may find their statement of purpose a bit incongruous. Indeed, incongruity seems to be [an essential] part of their identity as a group and their art. You only need to look at the bottom photo to see this. Here a man is dressed in girl's gown but wearing a bamboo helmet of their own creation that looks somewhat futuristic by design. If this does not satisfy your curiousity, you may also check my video of their performance at my video blog.

Ganiati is probably one of the art phenomena that can be categorized as postmodern, a condition (?) or age (?) where no subject has any rational means "to evaluate a preference in relation to judgements of truth, morality, aesthetic experience or objectivity." (Postmodernism)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bambu Nusantara World Music Festival (Part 1): Balinese Jegog

This past weekend (Saturday and Sunday, October 17 & 18), Bandung again became the host of the Bambu Nusantara World Music Festival . 60 bamboo music groups from Indonesia and overseas were invited and performed at this annual festival held jointly by the Indonesian Department of Tourism and Culture, Bandung creative communities, and private sponsors. This year's festival is the third. The first was held in Jakarta in 2007, the second at SABUGA (Ganesha Cultural Convention Center) Bandung last year, and this year it's held in Bandung's Paris Van Java.

This year's Bambu Nusantara Festival is held as part of the Helarfest. As some of you may remember from last year, the Helarfest is a series of events showcasing the emerging creative culture in the city of Bandung. More information about it is available at the Helarfest 2009 website.

In addition to providing a forum for Indonesian bamboo artists to meet and showcase their works, this festival also aims at improving public awareness of the role of bamboo in arts, culture, and environment. Therefore, in addition to music and art performances, it also staged seminars and conducted bamboo planting in areas around the venue.

It was impossible for me to follow all the activities in this two-day packed event. But beginning today I'm going to share with you whatever photos, and videos of festival that I could manage to make.

And here's the first one: Jegog Bali (Balinese Jegog bamboo gamelan ensemble). To see what the performance is like and listen to the music, please check out this post at Bandung Daily Video.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Magnificent Trees #2 (A Skywatch Post)

I often feel awed by big trees. Standing at their base and looking up, we can't help but realize how small we are compared to them. Not only are they big in size, they also play a big role in nurturing lives and keep our planet livable.

Unfortunately, many of us don't care much about them. Because of our greed, many of them are already gone. Many more are on their way to extinction. We have fewer and fewer giants that can protect us from extinction.

Many big trees and forested land around Bandung are fast depleting. The need for land for farming, housing, and industries in this one of the fastest growing (about 3.5 percent per year including 2.5 percent immigrants) and the densest urban areas in the Indonesia (155 people per hectare) has become a serius environmental threat to the Bandung basin and its surrounding mountains where the city is located.

The trees in this picture are those that are protected in the Taman Hutan Raya (Great Forest Park) Ir. H. Djuanda in the north of Dago area, Bandung. This 590 hectare nature reserve has some interesting flora and founa and two waterfalls, namely Curug Dago (Dago Waterfall) and Curug Ciomas (Ciomas Waterfall). I'm going to show them at some later posts.

For now, happy skywatch Friday, everyone. Please do visit other skywatchers' post here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mobile Broadcasting Unit

There are 32 FM radio stations in Bandung (nearly 50 if you include those in the Greater Bandung area that includes Cimahi, Bandung Regency, West Bandung Regency). Many of them have mobile broadcasting unit like this to broadcast live from places around the city. Some of these radio stations - especially those with teenage market segment - even have regular live broadcast from shopping malls and other popular hang out places to engage their audience. I snapped this photo at Ciwalk sometime ago. Sorry, the picture is a bit shaky. But I keep it for the sake of reporting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mihrab of The Al Ukhuwah

This is the mihrab of the Al Ukhuwah Mosque whose chandelier I posted yesterday. As you can see in this picture, this mosque has wooden floor and light-structure roof.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Al Ukhuwah Chandelier

This is the chandelier at Mesjid Raya Al Ukhuwah (the Al Ukhuwah Grand Mosque) on Jalan Wastukancana No. 27.

Like many other mosques in Indonesia, the architecture of this mosque combines the Islamic elements with those of local culture, in this case the Sundanese culture. In this picture, the Sundanese element is represented by the ornamental motifs behind (above) the chandelier.

This post is Bandung Daily Photo's participation in My World Tuesday weekly meme and ABC Wednesday (this week's letter is M, which in this post stands for mosque or masjid, the place where this chandelier is placed). Please visit other participating blogs by clicking the links.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Dutch Windmill at Holland Bakery

Although the windmill is not particularly Dutch, no other countries have been associated more closely with it than the Netherlands. I think this is probably one of the reasons why Holland Bakery uses the windmill icon as its company logo and for its store architecture to go with its name. Holland, as some of you may have known, is the territories in the western part of the Netherlands, the country which is often also incorrectly called as Holland.

Holland Bakery is not Dutch company, by the way. It's Indonesian. It was first established in Jakarta in 1978 and now has its headquarters in Bandung. It has many branches in many big cities in Indonesia. I like Holland Bakery's bread. I think it's one of the best in the country.

The windmill in this photo is of its store on the corner of Jalan Merdeka and Jalan L.R.E. Martadinata (Jalan Riau) near BIP (Bandung Indah Plaza).

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Convenience Cart

This is a snack and beverage vendor (convenience cart) at the southern part of Stasion Bandung (Bandung main railway station).

Friday, October 9, 2009

Tahu Gejrot

This is a tahu gejrot seller.

Tahu gejrot is a kind of food. It is originally from Cirebon, a city and regency about 130 kilometers to the northeast of Bandung.

It is made of fried tofu, sliced, and a souce made of garlic, challots, cabe rawit chilli pepper, sweet soy souce and other ingredients.

This is how it is served, on a small clay plate like this. It's best eaten when it's hot. Yummy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tribute to Prince Uwee

This is Prince Uwee, our cat. He turned one today.

This is one of the things he enjoys doing: sitting and contemplating under the potted guava tree in our backyard when it's sunny, searching for an inspiration. He wouldn't do it for long, usually, because he'd usually fall asleep soon. Perhaps he gets his inspiration when he's asleep. He surely gets smarter and wiser everytime he does this.

This was Uwee when he was only a few weeks old and just opened his eyes. Cute, isn't he?

Happy birthday, Prince Uwee. Thanks for giving us so much laughter and happiness. We love you.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Forbidden Street Conversation

This snapshop snapshot showing some of our citizens' street behavior is part of my street documentation series.

I took the photo at Ledeng area in the north of Bandung a couple of days ago.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Urban Jumble

Billboards advertising donuts, an 18 hours cafe, beer, and LCD TV juxtaposed with electric and telephone poles and cables, all in a hodgepodge ... What do they have in common? What do they create?

Taken on Jalan Setiabudhi in the north of Bandung.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Warung Tegal (Warteg)

Warung Tegal or Warteg can literally be translated as Tegal Kiosk. Warung is an Indonesian word of Javanese origin for kiosk or shop, and Tegal is the name of a city and regency in the north-western coast of the Province of Central Java.

As a term, however, Warung Tegal (warteg) refers to an eating place that provides a variety of inexpensive food of rice and its side dishes. It's named Warug Tegal because this kind of restaurants originally comes from Tegal and are owned and operated by people from that area.

Warung Tegal can be found almost anywhere in the country, especially in big cities. This one is on Jalan Dr. Setiabudhi in the north of Bandung. It's very popular among students and low income workers.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mourning for The West Sumatra Earth Quake Victims

As some of you may already know, a 7.6 on Richter Scale earthquake hit West Sumatra on Wednesday, September 30th, 2009. At least 788 people have been reported killed, thousands more are still trapped under the rubbles of destroyed buildings. Indonesians from other parts of the country have organized and conducted fund raising and relief efforts for the victims of the quake. Generous solidarity has also been shown by our friends from many parts of the world. All out rescue and relief efforts are continuing.

If you would like to help, donation for the relief efforts of the 2009 Sumatra Earthquake can be made through Indonesian Red Cross/Crescent or Red Cross/Crescent in your respective countries or any other relevant agencies near you.

Thank you. God bless you.

The Voice of Free Speech

Last week, I walked to the Department of Fine Art studio building of the Indonesia University of Education, which is located just next to the Faculty of Language and Arts building where I work. There were quite a few things that attracted my attention. One of them was this poster that contains a sharp criticism to the the government and capitalism.

Here is what the poster says (my translation):
(On the picture)
Your leaders cannot save you. THEY CAN ONLY TERRORIZE YOU.

(The text)
Terrorism: Terror committed systematically, in the form of violence or intimidation, with the purpose of creataing fear. A technique used by the government to manipulate the views of the people with the goal of running an agenda.

And so on and so forth ...
The fear of terror is worse than terror itself. (Anonymous)

This poster is published by ...

Eleven years ago, we would not have been able to see this kind of posters anywhere. If any, the freedom of speech we had was very limited. It was unthinkable to criticize the government as directly and sharply as this. But all this changed in 1998 with the advent of Gerakan Reformasi (Reform Movement). Since then our Constitution has been amended four times, new democratic institutions instituted, and freedom of speech guaranteed.

But is the freedom of speech always good? Supposedly it is. But it all depends on what you believe in and how it is exercised.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saripetojo Ice Factory

This is Saripetojo ice factory on Jalan Kebun Sirih No. 18.

Saripetojo is the ice industry division of PT. Agronesia, a company owned by the Provincial Government of West Java. It operates two ice factories in Bandung and several other cities in West Java such as Cirebon, Sukabumi, and Bogor.

In addition to ice industry, PT. Agronesia - Saripetojo's parent company - also has other divisions, namely BMC (Bandoengscbe Melk Centrale/Bandung Milk Center) which is in the business of food and beverage processing and restaurant, and PT Inkaba which is in the business of rubber engineering and production for military and civilian uses.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Batik: An Indonesian Cultural Heritage for The World

I have previously posted this picture before with a different story under Patterns and Colors of Batik Cirebon (Cirebonese Batik). I'm posting it again today to celebrate the official recognition by UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) today that batik is an Indonesian cultural heritage. Batik is the third indigenous Indonesian cultural heritage to receive such a recognition after keris and wayang.

Although batik can be found in many parts of the world, nowhere else has the art of batik making been developed to such a high level and practiced with such an enthusiasm like in the Indonesian archipelago. "Documents" and batik patterns inscribed on stone temples dated as far back as the 8th century CE and those written and inscribed on lontar palm leaves dated as far back as the 17th century CE provide undeniable evidence that batik is Indonesian. In addition to this, there are more types, patterns, and genres of batik in Indonesia than anywhere else in the world.

Despite the fact that batik is Indonesian, the path to UNESCO recognition was not an easy one. It began in the year 2000 when Malaysia began to lay claim to batik as its own indigenous cultural heritage. Indonesian batik artisants and producers were furious about this, and after a concerted effort of research, documentation, and seminars, they submitted, on September 4, 2008, the data to counter Malaysia's claim to the UNESCO to be reviewed.

In February 2009, the data were reviewed and verified by an international committee under UNESCO.

On September 28, 2009, UNESCO officially recognized batik as an Indonesian intangible cultural heritage to the world.

Today, October 2, 2009, the recognition was officially delivered to the Indonesian delegates at the closing of the UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee Convention in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Road Accident

There was a road accident at the Padaleunyi toll road on my way to work yesterday morning. I don't know what actually happened and if there were any casualties. But the traffic was quite snarled for a few kilometers. I took several photos from my car window as I moved slowly passed it. This is one of them.