Jakarta has its first annual international event of literary festival and it’s held at Taman Ismail Marzuki, Cikini, just a few minutes walk from our place. The event is initiated by the Literary Committee of Jakarta Arts Council (JAC) and intend to promote Indonesian literature in international literary platforms. JILF 2019 was opened Tuesday night (20 August 2019), which is took place in Teater Besar (big theater) and will end on Saturday, 24th of August, 2019. There is also a book bazaar on the Plaza Teater Besar by Patjar Merah.
JILF 2019 promotes "Pagar" (Fence) as the central theme to reflect the boundaries of a world that is getting dissolved. A fence that functions as a protector as well as a divider between the outside world and the serenity of the house is something that must be crossed if we want to get to know and be known by others. [Ref: https://tirto.id/festival-sastra-jilf-2019-kenalkan-karya-dari-negeri-selatan-egGj]
In colonial era, Indonesia has lots of literatures but didn’t get published by Balai Pustaka at that time because many of them didn’t use Indonesian language properly. As a colonial political tool designed to regulate the people’s reading material, Balai Pustaka was responsible to provide “good literature”. Anything the colonial government felt uncomfortable with, they discriminating those literatures by labelling “wild reading matter”/ Bacaan Liar, it has to be exterminated. Now, in JILF, in Teater Kecil to be precisely, you can enjoy those Bacaan Liar.
Below is a display of our classic literatures with its original cover.
From the previous post in September, The Menteng District part 1 we learned the history of Menteng back in the colonial era, where the Dutch designed Menteng as the first garden city ‘tuinstad’ in Indonesia (formerly known as Dutch East Indies). Menteng was developed second after Kota Tua, where Jakarta or shall we say, Batavia back then, was covered by trees. Nowadays, because of its long period of time existence, Menteng has tall big trees and colonial buildings or houses where it is pleasantly to live in.
Menteng district is divided into 5 administrative villages or in our term, kelurahan (pronounce: keh-loo-raa-haan) : Menteng, Pegangsaan, Cikini, Kebon Sirih, Gondangdia.
Our guest house, Shraya Residence, is located right in the middle of jalan Surabaya, kelurahan Menteng of Menteng district (Kecamatan Menteng) just opposite the antique market. Jalan Surabaya is famous of its antique market on the left side of the street. It was originally started from some flea merchants came from pasar rumput (a traditional market from Manggarai area) back in 1960s selling home appliances on the side walk of jalan Surabaya. Among the goods, they sell antiques which turned out to be a popular item that people looked for. Since then, the merchants sell more antiques that attract more people and antique collector. In 1974 the government started to re-arranged the flea shops into a semi-permanent shop to be more presentable for tourist.
Jalan Cilacap, just next to jalan Surabaya, is where the colonial building (built in 1923) turned in to a beautiful hotel, The Hermitage. We wrote about The Hermitage in our previous post, you can read about it at http://www.shrayaresidence.com/shraya-kulture/colonial-building-turned-into-a-hotel .
If you walk further from jalan Surabaya to jalan Diponegoro direction, just before a red light, there's an intersection if you turn right into jalan Pasuruan, it will lead you to jalan Teuku Cik Ditiro. There, you can find coffeeshop, restaurants, hospitals, money changer, ATMs.
A particular restaurant called Bunga Rampai is a very lovely place. Beautiful as in architectural, interior, and the food. We also wrote about this restaurant in previous post. Click this link: http://www.shrayaresidence.com/shraya-kulture/lovely-restaurant-in-our-neighborhood-bunga-rampai to read all about it.
If you go straight from jalan Teuku Cik Ditiro (it is a one way street) to jalan RP Soeroso, you will entering Gondangdia area. Three restaurants in Gondangdia that have been there for 20 years or perhaps more. They are: Paramount, Trio, and Mie (noodle) Gondangdia. Paramount is a Chinese restaurant that often have wedding receptions famous for their Nanking chicken and crab soup. Trio is serving delicious black pepper beef, and other Chinese dishes. Mie Gondangdia is famous for its Ayam goreng mentega and puyunghai.
Cikini area is side by side with Gondangdia. Cikini has more commercial places than Gondangdia. You need anything, you name it, you can find it in Cikini. From eateries, bakeries, laundry shop, office or printing necessities, pharmacies, grocery stores, supermarket, jewelry shop, flower market, banks, office buildings, hotels, apartments, movie theaters, an art auditorium, until an Olympic sized swimming pool. Some eateries in Cikini area was already reviewed in our previous post, you can find it at http://www.shrayaresidence.com/shraya-kulture/eateries-in-jalan-cikini-raya . And.. an update of this previous post, a restaurant called Java Bleu already closed. Such a pity.
The hidden gem in Cikini area, I must say, it is the house of Raden Saleh. Raden Saleh was an aristocratic Javanese with an Arabic blood and became so famous because he was a briliant painter. His house is the only colonial building built not by the Dutch. Please read about his fabulous house at http://www.shrayaresidence.com/shraya-kulture/house-of-raden-saleh
Below are some of Raden Saleh's paintings and his house.
In Cikini you will find a gold center. It is a jewelry shop building, where in the basement you can find the traditional market that originally was located on that spot since as long as I can remember. I still remember accompanying my grandmother going to pasar Cikini to buy fruits, meats, anything. Even perfume shop.
If you just walk straight on Cikini Raya, and at the end of the street, on your left, you will find a movie theater with an Art Deco design, called Metropole XXI. Of course back then, it still called Metropole 21. The XXI means the theater already renovated with the new standard from the 21 cinema company. Even until this day, they still renovating for the food area. I just love the architecture, makes you feel that watching a movie with style.
Museum Joang 45
In kelurahan Kebon Sirih, we have a museum that has an important role toward our Independence day. It is Museum Joang 45 and located in jalan Menteng Raya no. 31. Just before jalan Cikini Raya. This old building was a hotel (Hotel Schomper) built in 1938 by a Dutch businessman named LC Schomper. The hotel was meant for senior Dutch official, foreign businessmen, and local officials. When the Japanese invaded Indonesia, hotel Schomper controlled by Indonesian youth and used as dormitories and nationalism education for young men who fight for Indonesia’s independence. The name was replaced into Menteng 31 building. In 1973 the government was doing some renovation and in 1974 it was inaugurated by President Suharto and Jakarta Governor Ali Sadikin as Museum Joang 45 or we all call it as Gedung Joang 45.
On the back of the main building, there is an open area where they keep three cars of Soekarno and Hatta.
Menteng is an old neighborhood with residence that have been living in this district from generation to generation. We love our tall trees, narrow streets, old buildings, along with all its ugliness. Understanding the history of this city, it is saddened when you watch old buildings or houses abandoned until it crumble or demolished just so people could build a tall, prestigious concrete that doesn't goes along with the city's design. Usually they are a new resident in Menteng and didn't really understand the meaning of garden city and the beauty of a graceful heritage building. -SK-
As a colonial (antique) building aficionado and live in Jakarta, you must have known about this particular house with a Neo-Gothic architecture located in Cikini area and wasn’t built by the Dutch. Although this building is not open for public, people knows who the owner was. He was a famous painter back in his era, his amazing creations become a collection in Presidential palace by our first president, Soekarno. Yes, he is Raden Saleh Syarif Bustaman (1811-1880). Raden Saleh is an aristocratic Javanese with an Arabic blood, and was born in Semarang.
Raden Saleh’s house, nowadays known as Cikini Hospital (RS. PGI Cikini), is not open for public. Currently, it is been used for hospital directors office. I am very fortunate, and happened to know one of the staff who works there and gave me access to go in. As I sway around, enjoying the moment, feeding my hunger of curiosity, and of course eternalize the image every corner of his beautiful house through my camera lens. I could feel that Raden Saleh was a man that have big appreciation toward art through his house (or ornament detail) that he designed by himself or his (few) art collection that are still displayed in his house.
Below are the pictures of his house from the collection of Tropen Museum.
...and below are the pictures of his exterior house that I took.
It seems that Raden Saleh took his inspiration for his (Cikini) house from Schloss Callenberg near Coburg (Bavaria) and Reinhardsbrunn near Gotha (Thuringia).
There is a chapel that was built in 1906 behind his house by the Dutch. At that time the residence has become part of Koningin Emma Ziekenhuis (since 1898), which later on became Cikini Hospital.
Raden Saleh’s house in Cikini once stood in an extensive garden. In 1864 he donated 10 hectares of his land to the ‘Society for Plants and Animals’. It was developed into an amusement park and zoo, which in 1966 was transferred to Ragunan, and the area of the old zoo was changed into Taman Ismail Marzuki.
The SMP Negeri I Jakarta and Cikini Swimming pool were also once belonged to Saleh’s premises too.
Another building that was also his property, is a mosque on the Ciliwung river bank in jalan Raden Saleh (present). Al - Makmur mosque was built in 1923/1924.
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