Friday, December 31, 2010

Selamat Tahun Baru!

Selamat Tahun Baru! 

It's 10 minutes before the top of the hour that marks the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 at the part of the world where I am when I'm writing this post. So, happy new year to all of you dear blogging friends and visitors. I wish you all a happy, healthy, prosperous, and peaceful year ahead.

I must admit that I'm not much of a new year's reveler. I don't like crowds and would usually spend the new year's eve quietly and privately at home with friends and family. I went out earlier this evening though just to see what it was like on the streets. And here are a couple of pictures I took of the crowds getting ready to welcome and celebrate the new year.

Trumpets and fireworks are the stuff they were looking for and what the street peddlers are offering as you can see in these pictures. Once again, Selamat Tahun Baru!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Sultan of Yogyakarta Palace

One of the highlights of our excursion to Yogyakarta was the Keraton Yogyakarta Hadiningrat (The Sultan of Yogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace), the official residence of the Sultan of Yogyakarta.

This palace was constructed in 1755 by the Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I (the first Sultan of Yogyakarta) a few months after the signing of The Treaty of Giyanti which divided the old Javanese Sultanate of Mataram into two separate kingdoms, namely Kasunanan Surakarta in the east and the Sultanate of Yogyakarta Hadiningrat in the west, and effectively ended the full sovereignty of Mataram. (The treaty effectively made the new kingdoms as the vassal states under the Dutch East India Company or Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie [VOC] in Dutch).

The palace has seven main complexes, namely Siti Hinggil Ler (the Northern Royal Reception Hall), Kamandhungan Ler (the Nothern Kamandhungan), Sri Manganti, Kedhaton, Kamagangan, Kamandhungan Kidul (The Southern Kamandhungan), and Siti Hinggil Kidul (the Southern Royal Reception Hall). Each of these complexes along with their geographical orientation has very deep philosophical and symbolic meanings that are too difficult to explain in this very short commentary. The whole palace ground was indeed considered sacred and full of mysticism and only a small part of it used to be acessible to the public. Only under the current sultan, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, has more of it been made accesssible to the public.

Anyway, here are some of the pictures that I took from the palace ground:

The intricate carved ornaments of the roof of Gedhong Kaca - one of the newest buildings in the palace ground dedicated as the Museum of the late Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX, an Indonesian national hero.

A gazebo in the palace garden used for the royal musicians and dancers to wait for their turn to perform in one of the halls.

A European style statue and stain glass ornaments at doorway of the Keputran (prince quarters).

One of the heirloom halls.

An abdi dalem (court rervant?) passing the gate into the main palace ground. All abdi dalem don't (are not allowed to) wear footwear on the palace ground. He's carrying a keris on his back.

Some abdi dalem sitting in front of their offices in the palace ground.

A senior abdi dalem reading the a babad (a book of historical accounts) in one of the main halls.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Old Way of Life

No, these are not old photographs. Photoscape (TM) helped me turn these photos that I took on the streets of Kota Gede on our Yogyakarta excursion a couple of weeks ago into antique-looking images.

Some old ways of life are still well-preserved in Yogyakarta, like the Andong buggy (see picture) which is still very much in use as a means of public transportation and the bicyle which is still quite a popular means of transportation, especially in the suburban areas.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Silversmith Town of Kota Gede

The first place that we visited in our excursion to Yogyakarta was the silversmith town of Kota Gede.

Kota Gede is the old capital of the Javanese Sultanate of Mataram and is said to be the largest silver handicraft center in Indonesia. Beautiful silver jewellery and handicrafts with intricate Javanese and other ethnic designs can be found here.

In the workshop located adjecent to one of the shops, we saw this woman silversmith working on a floral-design silver jewelery.

They even made this sailing ship made entirely from silver.

The facade of one of the shops. It's an old Javanese royal family house with intricate ethnic decorative style and a pair of dragons guarding its roof and gate. There are even some replicas of the sultanate guards at the door way (see photos below)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

USD Staircase

My students, some colleagues, and I went to Yogyakarta for a comparative study to Sanata Dharma Catholic University and excursion last week. Needless to say, I took a lot of interesting pictures from the trip. Here is the first one that I want to share with you: the staircase at the main administrative building of the university. From the top floor, the patterns produced by this staircase look very interesting.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

On Board Argo Parahiyangan

I'm on my way to Jakarta this morning. And this is the train I'm taking: the executive class of The Argo Parahiyangan.

There used to be two train services that connected Bandung and Jakarta: Parahiyangan and the Argo Gede. Early this year, however, the Parahiyangan service was discontinued and was attached to The Argo Gede. Hence the name 'Argo Parahiyangan'.

The Indonesian railway company (PT KAI) decided to merge the services because of the steep competition it was facing from shuttle bus services that could offer better fares and faster travel time between Bandung and Jakarta since the opening of Cipularang toll highway.

This is a mobile upload. My apology if the picture quality is not that good. I took the photo with my mobile phone's 2MP camera and uploaded it right after I took it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Glowing Leaves

It was an unusually sunny November day today. And this morning, on the parking lot of my office at Indonesia University of Education (UPI Bandung), I saw the sun light streaming through the super-sized leaves of the Katapang tree (terminalia catappa), making them glow in beautiful hues of green.

Katapang is a native tree of the southeast asian regions (except in the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan/Borneo where curiously the natural occurence is reportedly very rare).

The hot, tropical coastal areas are the natural habitat of the tree. However, it can also grow well in areas up to about 400 meters above sea level with rainfall of about 1,000–3,500 mm per year with 6 months dry season. Ketapang sheds its leaves twice a year.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sate Maranggi

Here's another culinary specialty that you may want to try if you visit Bandung and its vicinities: Sate Maranggi.

Sate Maranggi is a kind of satay that is originally from the area of Purwakarta, a regency about 80 kilometers north-north west of Bandung. It is typically made from goat meat or beef.

What's special about this sate is its "chunky" and tender meat and the sauce with which it is served. This sauce is made of kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), sugar cane vinegar, and green chili pepper and hence tastes refreshingly sweet, sour, and hot. In addition to the sauce, it is also served with slices of pineapple, shallots, and crushed fresh tomatoes.

I took these photos at Cibungur sate maranggi restaurant near the Sadang exit of Cipularang Toll Road at Purwakarta.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How Do You Like Your Hot Dog?

How do you like your hot dog?

Do you like it big or small? With a lot ketchup, mayonnaise, or mustard? With pickle, coleslaw, sauerkraut, onion, lettuce, tomato, cheese or chili peppers? And the bun, how do you like it to be?

I am not usually a fast food eater. But at the Bandung World Jazz Fest last week, this hot dog looked so tempting and I couldn't help myself to try it. And with the jazzy atmosphere around, it tasted yummy!

The stall that sold this hot dog is called Lekker. I think it's a local franchise.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Salad Bar

This is the salad bar of the Valley Restaurant that I was talking about the day before yesterday. The presentation looks nice, the selection okay, but the supply looks a bit poor. Probably they keep it that way to keep the supply fresh. They don't re-suply until an item in a bowl is running very low.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bandung World Jazz Festival 2010: Sound Through the Dimension

Here are some of the pictures that I took at Bandung World Jazz Festival 2010 which began today and will last till tomorrow at Sabuga.

Bandung World Jazz Festival is an annual event and this year's is the second. The first was held last year.

Fifty two jazz groups from Indonesia, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, and USA are performing in this year's festival which is themed "Sound Through Dimension".

The theme was chosen to reflect the uniquely diverse musical traditions of the participating groups and the collaborative projects that they are trying to forge to create mutual musical dialogs that are expected to produce new musical compositions, sensations, alteration, opinions, interpretations, and expressions.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Colorful Glasses

Colorful giant decorative glasses at The Valley, a restaurant at the top of the hills of the Dago area in the north of Bandung. I think they add a nice touch to the spacious and cozy interior.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Car on Fire

One of the advantages of having a camera with you all the time is that you will be ready for action whenever a situation occurs, like this one. On my way to work a few weeks ago, I saw a car caught on fire. I immediately stopped and took some pictures of it as some people were trying to help the owner of this car to extinguish the fire.

It was a terrible fire. Luckily the car did not explode and nobody got hurt.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Most Popular Malaysian in Indonesia

This baloon figure is that of Upin, one of the twin characters of a Malaysian animation movie Upin & Ipin. In Indonesia this movie is broadcast on two television stations: TVRI (Televisi Republik Indonesia) and TPI.

Upin and Ipin are probably the most popular and adored Malaysian in Indonesia.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Navajo-an Head Sky

The moment I saw this - on my way home one late afternoon and just a few seconds before I decided to stop my car and took the picture - it's the feather-adorning head of the Navajo Native American Indian that came into my imagination. You may have a different imagination about the image shaped by these clouds and the sun rays, but I think we can all agree that the shapes of clouds in the sky can indeed become a source of different imaginations and stories.

It's Friday and time for the Skywatch. Check other participating blogs by clicking on the link.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Krakatao Band

Of the many stage performances staged at Pasar Seni ITB 2010 (ITB Art Market 2010), the Krakatao Band's performance was probably the most awaited.

Krakatau Band has a unique concept of music that combines Indonesian ancient Gamelan tonal system called Slendro or Salendro (which is known in Karawitan traditional music of Sunda, Java, and Bali) as the basis and the Western diatonic musical elements to form an energetic jazzy-feel fusion.

Their performance here I should say was very electrifying and managed to spell the audience (myself included) to sit (some even stand) still, cheer, and sing with them ever under the heat of the early afternoon sun. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to upload the video I took because of the slow internet connection. But you can listen to the sample of their musical compositions in their website that I linked above.

Friday, October 15, 2010

NATO - Nature's Artistic Revelation

Neptune, the Roman mythological god of water and the sea, had hidden himself in the root of a huge teak tree. When the tree was cut down, he rose from under the ground, outraged and swearing, "Are you out of your mind!? What right have you got to uproot me like that and woke me up from my centuries of sleep?"

Now, that's the story I had in mind when I saw this sculpture that was minimally sculpted from a piece of the dead root of a teak tree.

NATO Art - the 'birthplace' this marvelous piece of sculpture - is an art workshop and museum that specilizes in creating, nay, revealing a piece of art that nature has intended to create. They sculpt figures and shapes following the contours and shapes that the original material - teak tree roots - inspires them to make. The one above is one of the many marvelous pieces they exhibited at Pasar Seni ITB last weekend.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Plastic Bag Dieting

Pasar Seni ITB 2010 (The 2010 ITB Art Market) event was also used by the students to campaign against the excessive use of plastic bags.

This plastic-bag man who carried a banner saying "Start Plastic-Bag Dieting Now!" and his partner Captain Bagoes - a green super hero who fights against excessive use of plastic bags - were a favorite among the visitors. Many of them wanted to have their photo taken with them because they looked unique and attractive in their costumes. I hope their attractive appearance and the photo ops would help spread the message of how pressing the issue of plastic bag pollution is to the city.

According to the banner carried by the plastic-bag man, about 600 - 700 cubic meters of plastic bag garbage is used and dumped in this city per day. That amount is equal to the weight of 100 elephants. If the average weight of an elephant is four tons, then the number is about 400 tons. That is a seriously threatening weight of pollution to the city considering that plastic is a non-biodegradable material. It takes hundreds and some even say thousands of years for plastic to be degraded by nature. So, the message is very urgently proper and pressing: limit the use of plastic bags NOW!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pasa and Salma, The Mascots

Here is Salma, one of the mascots of the Pasar Seni ITB 2010. Salma is a four-armed, two-footed, obese 'tosca' (torquoise?) green elephant. He or she (it's not clear what its sex is, but from its name, it might be a she) is described as an animal who is used to defecating and urinating in the place designated for it. However, it also often forgets to wash its hands afterwards. Like any obese animals, it often becomes an object of ridicule (or bullying) from its counterpart, Pasa (see the picture below). However, he is a blessed animal. With the blessing of Ganesha (the patron Diety of art and science in Hinduism, which also happens to be the emblem of Bandung Institute of Technology [ITB] - the venue and organizer of the Pasar Seni), it possesses wisdom and intelligence that make it a strong animal.

Salma is quite probably the metaphorical symbol of ITB.

Sorry for the blurry picture, but here is Pasa - Salma's counterpart and the other mascot of the 2010 Pasar Seni ITB:

Pasa is an agile pink horse who loves criticizing. He or she (again, it is not clear what its sex is, but from its name, it might be a he) is described as an animal who likes to spend the weekends by offering horse rides for urban children who are charged 'worrisome' fares for the horse-riding experience. Unlike Salma, it has the bad habit of defacating and urinating whereever it likes and considers the streets as a virtual toilet.

Pasa is quite probably the symbolic depiction of the pony horses that populate the streets around the ITB campus that are offered as a weekend fun ride for children visiting the nearby Bandung Zoo with their family.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pasar Seni ITB 2010

This mountain of bikes (instead of mountain bikes) is one of the installation art pieces displayed at the Pasar Seni ITB 2010 (the 2010 Bandung Institute of Technology Art Market) that was held today at ITB's campus ground.

Pasar Seni ITB (PS ITB) is one of the largest art market events in the country. It has been held every four years since 1972, and this year is its 10th, which is an auspicious number considering that it was held on the 10th of October 2010, was officially opened at 10:00 o'clock, and lasted only for 10 hours (that makes it 10 10 10 10 10 10 - what a binary number sequence!).

This year's PS ITB carries the theme "The Forgotten" and is attended by no fewer than 344 art 'houses' and communities, artists, education, and culinary stands plus representative delegates from Malaysia, the United States, and Germany.

The idea for this art market event was originally conceived to provide a marketplace where artists, art dealers, and the public at large can meet. In this way, it is hoped that the distance between art and its public will be narrowed. It is also expected to become a way means to promote Indonesia's creative industry and art.

In addition to the exhibitions and stands, the ITB Art Market also has great art performances.

Here is the Ganesha street that runs in southern end of ITB's main campus. Today the street was turned into Art Street. As you can see from the picture, the gate to this street is made entirely of twigs.

And here's another installation art piece I saw today. This one was installed at the center of the campus (and the art market ground).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Robust Ki Hyang

This is Ki Hyang, the local Sundanese name for albizia procera, that grows robustly outside our office at the Faculty of Language and Arts Education of the Indonesia University of Education. I love this tree for the green shades it provides and the lovely figure of branches it has.

Like most albizia family, Ki Hyang (or Ki Hiang) is is a large, fast-growing tree that is native to many Asian forests and savanna woodlands. This particular species, however, trives especially well in cooler and moister tropical climates like that of Bandung's.

Friday, October 8, 2010

More of Villa Isola

I took this photo yesterday afternoon from the UPI's Faculty of Language and Art building with my mobile device. It was exceptionally sunny after a lot of rainy days this year and the clouds looked interesting.

This is also my first posting from my mobile device. Let's see how it turns out. If it looks good, then I can probably post/report life from anywhere.

Have as good Friday everyone!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Kite Is Art

A kite is not just a play thing, it's an art.

It is believed that kite had existed in China in the 800 BC. However, some cave paintings found on Muna Island, near the island of Sulawesi in what is now Indonesia proved that it may have existed long before that.

The kites in these photos are some of the exhibits displayed by Art Kite Indonesia at the Bambu Nusantara Festival held in Bandung last weekend.

Monday, October 4, 2010


This boy is playing the karinding, a traditional Sundanese musical intrument made of bamboo.

The karinding is a percussion instrument. It is played by puting it in between the lips and shaking it with the fingers to produce a rhythmical vibration.

There are two types of karinding: those made of the midrib of kawung (arenga pinnata) palm leaves and those made of bamboo. The former is said to have originated from the southeast of West Javanese area of Tasikmalaya, and the latter from Cililin (an area in the southwest of Bandung) and Limbangan, Garut (about 65 kilometers to the southeast of Bandung). In terms of shape, they are also slightly different. The former is shorter and is said to have initially been made by men, while the latter is longer and made by women. Such attribution is thought to have something to do with the fact that the shorter one (the 'kawung', male, karinding) can easily be stowed in a man's tobacco walet and the longer one (the bamboo, female, karinding) can be slipped into a woman's hair (and thus also functions as a hairpin).

The karinding is not just a musical intrument. In the agrarian culture of the Sundanese people where rice growing and cultivation occupies a central importance, the low decibel sounds that it produces have traditionally been believed and proven to be a very effective means of pest control.

To see how it is played and hear its sounds, here is a You Tube video that I borrowed from TejoFilm:

The karinding exhibition and demo was part the 4th Bambu Nusantara World Music Festival that was held this weekend in Bandung.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


This is the entrace to Sabuga Hall, where the 2010, 4th Bambu Nusantara World Music Festival is held today and tomorrow.

Sabuga (Sasana Budaya Ganesha) or Ganesha Cultural Hall is the biggest and - some say - the best cultural and convention center in Bandung. The 22,000 square meter center is located on Babakan Siliwangi river valley near the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) campus and Bandung Zoological Park. According to its website, it has the following facilities:

A Convention Hall
A Function Hall
A Meeting Room
An Omni Theatre
A Science Gallery
A KidSmart (playground?)

and a parking space that can accommodate up to 750 cars.

Many important events have been held here. One of the most recent was SBY (Indonesia's incumbent president) declaration of presidential candidacy in 2009.

Friday, October 1, 2010

October 2010 Theme Day: Graffiti

This is a graffito on Perintis Kemerdekaan street near the hearquaters of Indonesian Railway Company (PT KAI) in Bandung.

This post is Bandung Daily Photo's participation in October 2010 Theme Day: Graffiti. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pony Ride

Around the Cilaki Park that I posted yesterday, you can see these horsemen/ponymen offering pony ride. For a small fare, you could ride these ponies around the park and its vicinities. Because these horses are small (that's why I call them ponies), usually only children ride them. The horsemen/ponymen would run alongside the horse/pony to keep the young rider from falling over.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cilaki Park

Cilaki Park (Taman Cilaki) is strategically located on Cilaki Street, near Gedung Sate (the historic West Java Gobernatorial office mansion), Museum Pos Indonesia (Indonesian Postal Museum), the Museum of Geology, and the Lapangan Gasibu (The Gasibu Square).

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bandung's 200th Anniversary Special Edition: Time Travel Video 1810 - 2010

Today, 25 September 2010, is the 200th anniversary of the city of Bandung. A lot events are currently taking place in the city to celebrate the auspicious day. Instead of reporting those events, however, today I'd like to take you back in time to see what life in the city was like in the old days with these three select videos. The first and second one are movies comparing the old Bandung and the city in 2008 (they have a nice music and song in Dutch). These videos are coutesy of mybandoeng at YouTube. The third video is a silent movie depicting a fragment of life in the city in the early 20th century, courtesy of at YouTube.

Please enjoy the time travel.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Tree of Thongs

A tree where thongs "grow" on Cihampelas street.

We call them "sandal jepit".