Story of Bukittinggi
Bukittinggi (Indonesian for “high hill”) is the second biggest city in West Sumatra, Indonesia. Bukittinggi formerly known as Fort de Kock and was once dubbed as Parijs van Sumatera besides of Medan. The city has been the capital of Indonesia during the Emergency Government of the Republic of Indonesia (PDRI). Before became the capital of PDRI, the city has become the center of government, both at the time of the Dutch East Indies or the Japanese colonial period.
Bukittinggi is also known as a tourist city in West Sumatera. It is siblings (sister city) with Seremban in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. Visited tourist spot is the Jam Gadang, a clock tower located in the heart of the city as well as a symbol for the city.
The city was known as Fort de Kock in colonial times in reference to the Dutch outpost established here in 1825 during the Padri War. The fort was founded by Captain Bauer at the top of Jirek hill and later named after the then Lieutenant Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, Hendrik Merkus de Kock. The first road connecting the region with the west coast was built between 1833 and 1841 via the Anai Gorge, easing troop movements, cutting the costs of transportation and providing an economic stimulus for the agricultural economy. In 1856 a teacher-training college (Kweekschool) was founded in the city, the first in Sumatra, as part of a policy to provide education opportunities to the indigenous population. A rail line connecting the city with Payakumbuh and Padang was constructed between 1891 and 1894.
The city was officially renamed Bukittinggi in 1949, replacing its colonial name. From 1950 until 1957, Bukittinggi was the capital city of a province called Central Sumatra, which encompassed West Sumatra, Riau and Jambi. In February 1958, during a revolt in Sumatra against the Indonesian government, rebels proclaimed the Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Indonesia (PRRI) in Bukittinggi. The Indonesian government had recaptured the town by May the same year.
Story of Balikpapan
Balikpapan is a seaport city on the east coast of the island of Borneo, in the Indonesian province of East Kalimantan. Two harbors, Semayang and Kariangau (a ferry harbour), and Sultan Aji Muhamad Sulaiman airport are the main transportation ports to the city. The city has a population of 639,031, making it the second-largest city in East Kalimantan, after Samarinda.
Before the oil boom of the early 1900s, Balikpapan was an isolated Bugis fishing village. Balikpapan’s toponym (balik = “behind” and papan = “plank”) is from a folk story in which a local king threw his newborn daughter into the sea to protect her from his enemies. The baby was tied beneath some planks that were discovered by a fisherman.
Story of Jakarta
The first mention of Jakarta in the historical records was during the 4th century; at this time it was a Hindu settlement and port. Since this time, the city had been variously claimed by the Indianized kingdom of Tarumanegara, the Hindu Kingdom of Sunda, the Muslim Sultanate of Banten, the Dutch East Indies, the Empire of Japan and finally, Indonesia.
Jakarta has been known under several names: Sunda Kelapa, during the Kingdom of Sunda period; Jayakarta, Djajakarta or Jacatra, during the short period of the Banten Sultanate; Batavia, under the Dutch colonial empire; and Djakarta, or Jakarta, during the Japanese occupation and the modern period.
Story of Medan
Medan started as a village called Kampung Medan (Medan Village). Kampung Medan was founded by Guru Patimpus around the 1590s. Because Kampung Medan sits on Tanah Deli (Land of Deli), Kampung Medan is also referred as Medan-Deli. The original location of Kampung Medan is an area where the Deli River meets the Babura River.
Based on the diary of the Portuguese merchant in early 16th century, it stated that the name of Medan was actually derived from Medina which is the holiest city in Saudi Arabia after Mecca. However, other sources indicated that the name of Medan actually came from Indian Hindi language word “Maidan” meaning “ground” or “land”(like in Pragati Maidan in Delhi). One of the Karo-Indonesia dictionary written by Darwin Prinst SH published in 2002 wrote that Medan could also be defined as “recover” or “be better”.
The first inhabitants of Medan came from the Malays of the Malay Peninsula, the Mandailings from the Mandailing Natal Regency and the Karonese who originated from the Karo Highlands. It was not until the Sultan of Aceh, Sultan Iskandar Muda, sent his warlord, Gocah Pahlawan Laksamana Khoja Bintan, to be the Sultanate of Aceh’s representative in Tanah Deli, that the Sultanate of Deli started to grow. This growth stimulated growth in both the population and culture of Medan. In the second year reign of Sultan Deli (between 1669–1698), there was a cavalry battle in Medan.
Medan did not experience significant development until the 1860s, when the Dutch colonialists began clearing the land for tobacco plantations. Medan quickly became a center of government and commercial activity, dominating development of Indonesia’s western region.
The Dutch governed Tanah Deli from 1658, after Sultan Ismail, ruler of the Siak Sultanate, yielded some of his once-ruled land, Deli, Langkat, and Serdang. In 1915 Medan officially became the capital of North Sumatra Province, and officially a city in 1918.
Currently much of Medans historic architecture from the colonial era is rapidly being demolished to make way for modern buildings (malls, garages, etc.).
Story of Cirebon
Cirebon (formerly referred to as Cheribon in English) is a port city on the north coast of the Indonesian island of Java. It is located in the province of West Java near the provincial border with Central Java, approximately 297 km east of Jakarta, at 6°43′S108°34′E. The urban core of Cirebon is very small in extent, however, its dense suburbs sprawl into the surrounding regency; the official metropolitan area encompasses this regency as well as the city, and covers an area of 1,025.82 km2, with a 2010 Census population of 2,366,340.
The seat of a former Sultanate, the city’s West and Central Java border location have seen its history influenced by both Sundanese and Javanese culture as well as Chinese.
Being on the border of “Sunda” (i.e., West Java) and “Jawa” (i.e., Central Java), many of Cirebon’s residents speak a dialect that is a mix of Sundanese and Javanese, and it is thought that the word “cirebon” derives from the Javanese word, caruban, meaning “mixed”, a reference to the city’s mix of Sundanese, Javanese, Chinese, and Arabic cultural elements. Alternatively, it could be derived from the Sundanese words of “Ci” (water or river) and “Rebon” (“shrimp”). (Indeed the main production of the city is fishery including shrimps.
Aside from fishery, its harbour, Tanjung Emas, on the Java Sea has been a major hub for timber from Borneo. A small landing site “Penggung” also serves the TNI-AU. The city lies on Jalur Pantura (Pantai Utara Jawa), a major road on the northern coast of Java that stretches from Anyer, passes through Jakarta, and ends at Surabaya.