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FREE No. 3 Sept

for Tourists and Expats


Down to the light at Goa Jomblang The restaurant of the month Underground Jogja Javanese wisdom Jogja & Me Interview with a decision maker Also inside : • What’s up in September • Practical Information


• Basics of Indonesian language

Map of Yogyakarta

Looking for anything in Yogyakarta ?


General Information Monthly magazine Editorial Editor in Chief : Sukamdani .S. Contributors : Patrick Vanhoebrouck Egbert Wits Vasiliki Ralli Copies : 5 000 Produced by PT Cerise Jl Suryodiningratan Griya Surio Asri 2 No. A2 - Yogyakarta Tel. +62 274 372 971 -

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After the hidden temples, the beach and the volcano, today, we explore the underground. Jogja is surrounded by so many caves, each one more fantastic than the other. Among those treasures, there is one which is quite unbelievable. Let’s go down to the light at Goa Jomblang!

The Editor

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Summary • • • • • • • • • •

Destination of the month : Down to the light at Goa Jomblang. 5 The restaurant of the month : TheSawah in Kasongan. 9 Underground Jogja : Street art in Jogja. 11 Javanese wisdom. 13 Jogja & Me - Why people make Jogja their home ? Episode II. 17 Interview with a decision maker : Luppa Deddy Rumejkso. 18 What’s up in September in Yogyakarta. 21 Practical information. 21 Basics of indonesian language. 21 Map of Yogyakarta. 23

Destination of the Month Down to the light at Goa Jomblang The region of Gunung Kidul is well known for its numerous holes, which make it look like the so-called cheese Gruyere. Goa Jomblang might be the perfect example and the most fascinating. Everything starts with a road trip towards Wonosari. From Yogyakarta, nothing really difficult, the road is well maintained in this region. Then things start to get more complicated when you have to start driving on a rocky way. With a car, you will have to expect joyride; with a motorbike be prepared for a dance. Good enough this way is not very long. Once you have reached the destination the show can start. First, a gaping hole with a diameter of around 60 meters will look like out of place in this dry and red-brown coloured landscape. It is really difficult to see the bottom of the hole without taking the risk of getting closer to its edge. This gives an impression of an endless hole that will surprise you with its incredible periphery. You can then start the way down. After being equipped by local guides, here you are, hanging with a rope without having a chance of touching anything, neither branches nor walls. You are in the middle of a sheer drop for the next 60 meters. Reaching down you have this unusual feeling

of a microcosm around you. As if a virgin and confined territory was welcoming you. Down there, vegetation is quite dense and completely surrounds you. Enjoy the walk. After a 100-meter walk in this atmosphere, a way down brings you in the heart of the rock. A dark and huge roof makes you go deep into the underground. A 20-meter high tunnel brings you into a complete darkness.

of your eyes, such as those you could have ever imagined in a movie. The noise from the river increases the impression of being in a very singular place. While streaming on the wall, water has created 2 big white limestone concretions, in sharp contrast with the darkness of the ground. Once again Java is offering you one of its greatest treasures. Magical, fantastic, unique… JM

Once your eyes get used to darkness, you will just see enough to secure your steps and go on walking into the unknown. But up to where? Then starts the magic. After a 200-meter unsteady walk, you will at least see light. A gap dotted with vegetation, let the sun appear to light up another hole. From the complete darkness to the light. The apparent sunlight goes through some trees in the middle of the hole. An underground river brings the necessary mist for a wonderful prism. You have a fantastic show in front

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Borobudur Temple Prambanan Temple Dieng Plateau Merapi treck Goa Jomblang Eco tour, Cycling tour...

Restaurant of the Month

TheSawah in Kasongan This time our Restaurant of the Month is not a restaurant! That might sound strange, but it is true. Owners Phillip & Wim welcome guests as if they were house friends: in their elegant and cosy tropical home near Kasongan they pamper them with an excellent lunch or dinner. So their motto is ‘the Sawah – not a restaurant, but a place to eat’. A lot is possible. Just two rules to apply: • every guest will be served the same set dinner, chosen at the time of booking • and such booking must be made well in advance so that the small staff have time to buy the fresh ingredients and prepare everything well. For same day dinners call or email not later than 12am noon, for lunches preferably the day before. Well ranked in, theSawah is an experiment. The owners have the dream to turn their spacious garden into a well-appointed theSawah Home Hotel with 6 comfortable rooms and a pool. But as long as they did not find (small) investors, they decided to test their hospitality capabilities in serving food only, in order to see if they could offer future hotel guests the option to dine in their Home Hotel as well. The best-selling menu is the Indonesian one, with

an elaborate ‘rijsttafel’ (rice sampler) with 7/8 authentic Javanese dishes as the centerpiece. But since Phillip loves to cook and to experiment, he also explored the world’s cuisines and composed 30 different country menus: from Hungary to Hawaii, from Mexico to Malaysia, from Israel to India. The calendar on their website shows which 3 countries feature every week, but the guests are always free to choose a different menu. Apart from excellent food – with fresh ingredients and imported meat - a warm and friendly personal approach of the hosts contributes to the success of theSawah. They attempt to make it a remarkable dining experience rather than just having a meal. Part of the program is always a tour around the house for those who like it, by the end of the dinner. The price for such experience is quite moderate: IDR 150.000/pax including a welcome drink, a starter, a main dish, a dessert, fresh juice or soft drink, water - and to finish: coffee or tea or the local herbal tea ‘wedang uwo’. Alcoholic drinks are extra. Phillip & Wim will be pleased to host you for a romantic tropical evening, a lunch, a birthday party, a business meeting, a workshop or a buffet. Their second motto is: ‘If we can do it, we will do it’. For information & bookings: tel. 0817-464833 (Phillip) – 0817-4119452 (Wim). JM

Underground Jogja Street Art in Jogja Most of the descriptions of Jogja are focused on its rich cultural heritage, but beyond city’s unique cultural attractions a visitor has to walk down the streets to get a real feeling of what’s happening in the city today. Then it is inevitable for someone not to notice the abundance of street art. Street art in Jogja ranges from graffiti and stencil works to murals. The graffities here can have the form of New York style- tagging but also the newer type of stencil (which is currently flourishing on the international graffiti scene). Globally in the urban environment graffiti has been developed as a reflection of complex socio-economic and cultural factors. The types and styles of graffiti are extremely diversed: spanning political protest, skilled artistic endeavor and territorial or identity tagging. All these styles and types are present on the gray walls of Jogja. Graffiti also represents a subculture whereby young people individually or in groups feel excluded from mainstream social participation and unable to find meaningful engagement within their communities. This usually reflects issues such as commercialisation of space and access to public spaces. In the case of Jogja’s public spaces, besides the North and South square (Alun-Alun Utara and Alun-Alun Selatan) which already exist since the

establishment of the Palace (Kraton) there is no place in the city specifically designed as public space. Additionally the city is dominated by commercial advertisements and memorial monuments. On the other hand, Jogja is definitely a place where artists, of different fields and from various Indonesian cities, are living. Cultural events (traditional ceremonies but also modern or contemporary performances, art exhibitions etc.) appear to be part of people’s daily life. The artistic potential of the inhabitants as far as it concerned visual arts was not reflected on the city itself. But on August of 2002 something new emerged: a young group of artists under the name of “Apotik Komik” (“Comic Pharmacy”) organised a citymural project which was called “Projek Mural Kota Sama-Sama” (“City Mural Project ‘’Together’’ ”). They proposed the project to the mayor of the city Herry Zudianto. The result was the approval and the support of the project. In that exact point happened in Jogja the same thing that had already happened in a lot of big cities in Europe: adaptation to the law. In contrast to their previous yearnings for the subversive possibilities of spray-painting graffiti on surfaces around the city without permission,

that time those artists were granted the permission as well as the support from various organisations (Jogja Heritage Society, Pusat Studi Lingungan Hidup of Gajah Mada University etc). Thus the mural project held on involving 17 artists, at several strategic locations in the city: at the flyover with its concrete columns on Jl. Sutomo, at the empty walls on Jl. Perwakilan and Jl. Beskialan (around Malioboro area) etc. Actually it was a very good beginning. The entire murals were completed in 2 months. Following up the success of the first project, the next year (2003) Apotik Komik initiated a second one. This time they invited a group of 6 artists from San Francisco. The second project was entitled “Projek Mural Kota “Sama-Sama (together) - You ‘re Welcomed”. This new project was more focused on the interaction of the foreign artists with the local community. Thus murals started to spout in the street corners, alleys, “kampung” and schools. The mural activities were flourishing in the city so some media noted it was a “mural boom”

and “Yogya: the City of Murals”. Of course other mural projects followed those two, for example: the Inter-Location Project (ILP). ILP was formed during 2010 as “an independent organisation focused on building an arts bridge between the city of Yogyakarta and Melbourne (Australia)”. During October and November of 2011 they organised the “ASIIK (awesome) CITY” festival which aimed to “invigorate and strengthen cross cultural community alternative networks via a series of artistic events and collaborations”. These events included community murals but also performances, a group exhibition and various workshops. The Indonesian artists who participated were: Bayu Widodo, El Kampretto and “LOVE HATE LOVE” (murals and graffities made from them can still be found on the city walls). Maybe the history of Jogja’s street art seems short in the above description and actually a lot of facts are missing, but my intention was just to underline how vibrant, colorful and full of promises for the city of Jogja is the street art community. VR

Javanese Wisdom


“ Abiding in the realm of calmness ”

Wonosari caves The province of Yogyakarta is an area containing an amazing variety of sites displaying an intrinsic natural beauty to the eye of the environmentally and spiritually curious visitor. In the Menoreh Hills of Kulonprogo District yet even more so in the Gunungkidul plateau east of Yogyakarta, one can find a multitude of interesting caves and underground geological wonders. The Gunungkidul plateau indeed can be likened to a geological gruyère cheese for it displays a high density of holes in its terrain. Many of these caves also house groundwater streams and springs. From a nature lover’s perspective the caves in this area offer many speleological highlights where intriguing stalagmite and stalactite formations are found. Some also contain archeological artifacts and other ancient human legacies. In Javanese history and culture, caves have often played an important role of housing elusive rebellious freedom fighters and dissident mystical teachers. During the Javanese inter-kingdoms wars or the Dutch Colonial occupation, the Gunungkidul plateau was often seen as a safe and isolated refuge for such characters. There, in remote and unfamiliar terrain full of secret caves, these famous heroes gathered their armies and prepared strategic counter-attacks on perceived dominant enemies. Water as a key to life was available sometimes in wondrous ways, making it possible to survive many months in absolute safety. Easily accessible examples of such sacred caves are

Goa Rancang Kencono (see picture below) 7 km southeast of Playen city in Gunungkidul district with its adjoining waterfall Sri Gethuk where visitors can have a refreshing swim. South of Imogiri town, Goa Cerme and Goa Lowo Nogosari are two other fascinating samples of such caves. Further eastward the areas of Semanu and Karangmojo are known for their several caves (raft the stream through Goa Kalisuci). Separately in the Menoreh hills west of Yogyakarta lies the famous grotto of Goa Kiskendo with legends related to the Wayang epos. All of these caves have jurukunci (guardians) who can tell you the stories related to them. Apart from their protective and material worth, caves moreover were and are still regarded by many Javanese people following the path of Kejawen religion as places of high spiritual potency. Many caves to this day are considered to be ideal places for ritual fasting. It is important to stress that for the Javanese mystics, all kinds of corporeal instincts have to be mastered. By engaging in mystical endeavors - for example praying, meditation (semedhi), fasting (puasa), and retreating to mountains and into caves (tapa brata) - humans make an effort to overcome their corporeal nature in order to free their inner-self in their quest for reunification with the macrocosm, establishing ultimate order. For mystics and fighters alike, this criteria was considered essential to the success of any desired achievements, be it spiritual enlightenment or gaining power for victorious battles.

caves is rarely detached from a belief that specific spirits of ancestors or fantastic animal-like creatures inhabit and rule these caves. Correct ritual and mental attitudes and practices will allow one to receive blessings from the almighty Omniscient Gusti through these invisible gatekeepers. In Kejawen vocabulary, these spirits are often known under the name pepunden or elder. A condition of resolved mental serenity is required though for those wishing to achieve these boons, to subdue afflictive emotions or thoughts which may be overwhelming at times. In the 19th century Prince Mangkunegara IV, in his book Wedhatama(Exalted Wisdom) wrote a pertinent paragraph related to what mystics search for or one could say their ultimate spiritual quest when they retreat to such caves:

A familiar Javanese analogy likens the yogi in the cave to an unborn baby in the womb, whereby the mother unconditionally transfers vital growth energy to the baby through the placenta. The baby in turn is synchronized with the sounds and feelings of the mother’s heart and mind. In very much the same way will Ibu Pertiwi(Mother Nature) care for us humans who are open to receive her vital energy and protection. The gift of water by Mother Nature in such naturally dry and forbidding places is conceptually integrated within this unique Kejawen philosophy, resulting in the beliefs by locals of the latent sacredness of their neighboring underground springs and streams. The philosophical interpretation of such sacred

• • • • • • •

Tan samar pamurni Suksma Sinukmaya winahya in ngasepi Sinimpen telenging kalbu Pambukane warana Tarlen saking liyep layap ing aluyut Pindha pesating supena Sumu suping rasa jati

“The mind increases in clarity when one abides into the realm of calmness, then appears to the meditator the removal of the veil which separates one’s perceived identity with his true Self, by determined single-minded concentration one will attain dreamlike the unity between mortal self and the higher One…he will then and there recognize the liberating emptiness of self.” Moko Pramusanto and Patrick Vanhoebrouck

restaurant - travel - guesthouse fair trade shop - yoga studio indonesian and world kitchen friday night jazz alternative tours and courses contemporary art exhibitions fair trade shop | yoga classes open daily from 7.30 am

jalan prawirotaman 30, jogjakarta, java, indonesia ph +62 274 38 65 57 |

Jogja & Me: Why people make Jogja their Home? Episode II: Mella Jaarsma from The Netherlands In 1983 Mella Jaarsma came to Yogyakarta for the first time. Although mainly visiting her expat father working in Jakarta, she was highly motivated to engage with the Indonesian arts scene. “I was studying at the ‘Minerva’ Fine Art Academy at the time, and was interested in shadows. I wanted to learn more about them by researching the significance of shadows in Indonesia’s diverse culture. Through my research I encountered this idea of shadow as a ‘medium’, and intermediate between the material and immaterial world.” One thing lead to another and Mella returned to Indonesia in 1984 to study visual arts at the Arts Institute of Jakarta (IKJ). After six months in Jakarta she eventually moved to Yogyakarta, where she continued her studies at the ISI arts institute. “The arts scene in Indonesia felt incredibly alive. It was not like in The Netherlands where artists worked individually in their own atelier, creating their own work. In Yogyakarta everybody was working together, new art works were discussed collectively; some students even slept inside the school. I was lucky to be part of this generation of critical, yet free spirits. Some of them have become established artists like Heri Dono, Eddie Hara and Dadang Christanto.” It was in the eighties, in between Yogyakarta’s free spirits and continuously gathering artists that Mella fell in love with her future husband and fellow artist Nindityo Adipurnomo. After marrying in The Netherlands they came back to Yogyakarta in 1988 and started Cemeti Art House. For almost 25 years now, this Yogyakarta based art house/ gallery has been actively promoting and stimulating practices in the contemporary Indonesian art scene, both nationally and internationally. A successful international artist herself, Mella often has to travel, but Yogyakarta has definitely become her home. “It feels good to come home to Yogyakarta.

I would not want to live in a place where everything around me is overly relaxed, or all too easy. I have been through so much here: political disasters, the fall of Soeharto, natural disasters, economic turmoil, but all these things have shaped who I am. I feel sharp, very alive, you have to be a fighter in order to survive as a foreigner in Indonesia.” Still today, after 28 years of living in Yogyakarta, Mella does not want to surrender to the idea that she has truly emigrated. “Especially during the first years it was sometimes quite an isolating experience. Calling was very expensive, there was no internet, and I really had to save money to travel back to The Netherlands once every three years. I still want to have this feeling that at any given time I can pick up all my things and leave; start again somewhere else.” But you are still in Yogyakarta? “So much is possible here and there is a lot happening. If you want to see it and open yourself up, Yogyakarta is a rich place.” Mella’s advise for visitors is to throw away all suspicion. Listen to the people talking to you in the bus or on the streets. Let the kindness of Yogyakarta’s inhabitants be your guide. “Anyone can intuitively feel if someone is just trying to sell something or not. If you follow the people you will discover things impossible to find anywhere else.” Following the path along the Code river would be a good start. “It’s a beautiful path, running through little alleys and lovely neighborhoods. Simply walking down it is an abundant experience.” Kindness as your guidebook, a river as a compass, Yogyakarta’s simply irresistible. EW

Interview with a decision maker Name: Luppa Deddy Rumejkso

Title: General Manager Company: The dunia santai & Satu Dunia Activity: Tour & Travel, rental motorbike & book shop Nationality : Indonesian Address of the head office: Jl.Prawirotaman 1, Prawirotaman Jogjakarta, +6281 392 678 888 e-mail :

JM: You are definitely involved today in the tourism facilities. Can you tell us when it began, and how it’s turning out? I started in 2007 after I came back from Japan. First I bought my own bike. Then a friend told me that there was a tourist who wanted to rent my bike for a couple of days. So I rented the bike out to the tourist. The next day another tourist asked me if he could also rent a bike. I had no more bikes, so I “bought” the bike for him. And from there I decided to make a business renting out motorbikes. I put up an office but my motorbikes were always rented there was “no job” for me and my staff. Than I put second hand books for sale in my office....the idea being that when the clients return the bike they can also buy, swap, or even sell books. The books sell quite well, so I decided to make a second office in Sosrowijayan street(gang 1). Subsequently tourists renting the bikes also asked me about activities to do around Yogya, so I’d share lots of information to them. This gave me the idea to open my third office as a travel agency. JM: How many motorbikes did you start with, and how many are available for the people today? I started with only 1 bike and now I have 40 motorbikes available. JM: Who are your main customers?

Mostly students and tourists. JM: What are the destinations available? We provide all logistics to visit most known places such as Borobudur, Prambanan as well, as further away spots like the Dieng Plateau. We also propose activities around such as Cave-tubing. Today, we want to set up outbound connections from Jogja. My first original tour package is the “KARIMUNJAWA JAVA PARADISE” tour, an all-inclusive package from Jogja. The tour lasts 4 days 3 nights. JM: Until now lots of places around Jogja are totally hidden or unknown. Is it hard to set up for a new destination? Jogjakarta is a perfect destination for the tourist actually, we still have so many interesting places to see and to discover like beaches, caves, cultural sites. Jogja indeed has a huge potential, but before selling new trips, we need to secure the logistic. It can require time. JM: What are the hardest difficulties when you want to propose a new destination? Our main problem is guiding people to these places. And we have minimum human resources and a minimum of transportation. It is hard to get employees stable enough to ensure the trips. Speaking basic levels English should also be an imperative by example. Number of trustable drivers is limited.

JM: In your opinion, how will Jogja look like in a few years? I think Jogja will look better for tourism especially when the airport move to the West of Jogja. This should supply a lot more tourists, especially if they open new destinations abroad, such as Thailand. JM: Do you personally guide groups? Yes, I guide some of the trips that I’m offering for tourists such as the Karimunjawa tour, cycling trips, and some other tours. It’s important for me to keep the contact with the people. I am convinced this can also make the difference. JM: Why did you choose to set up businesses in

Jogja, instead of Bali for example? WHY ? I’m a local from Jogja and I’m very proud of it. And I really would like to make the tourist stay longer in Jogja, and not only because of temples, yet inviting them to many other places and things to do in Jogja. That’s why I keep searching for interesting activities, places in and around Jogja that eventually I can “sell” to the tourist. JM: Do you plan to extend your activities to other locations? If yes, where? YES ! First destination after is....... KARIMUNJAWA Islands. JM

What’s up in September September: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 13, 15, 18, 19, 20, 22, 25, 26, 27, 29 Ramayana Ballet performance at Prambanan Taman wisata - Prambanan Cultural performance managed to combine the diversity of Javanese art in forms of dance, drama and music. September: 9 Tour de Merapi Lapangan Pemda Sleman It is a motor rally in the district of Sleman. Starts at 7am. September: 12 Jazz Langgeng Art Foundation Serambi Jazz with Dewa Budjana September: 12 XXL Exhibition Sangkring Art Space XXL Exhibition - State of Indonesian Art

Basics of Indonesian language 1: Satu 2: Dua 3: Tiga 4: Empat 5: Lima 6: Enam 7: Tujuh 8: Delapan 9: Sembilan 10: Sepuluh 100: Seratus 1 000: Seribu 1 000 000: Sejuta Beach: Pantai Town: Kota Montain: Gunung Street: Jalan

Car: Mobil Pedicab: Becak Plane: Pesawat Train: Kereta api Cold: Dingin Hot: Panas Rest room: Kamar kecil Hospital: Rumah sakit Key : Kunci Phone credit: Pulsa Room: Kamar Towel: Handuk Money: Uang Right: Kanan Left: Kiri Forward: Terus Backward: Kembali

September: 13 until 27 Emergency Code Sangkring Art Space Exhibition EMERGENCY CODE September: 22 until 29 Wayang Potehi Nusantara Sangkring Art Space Festival Wayang Potehi Nusantara Every Saturday Wayang Kulit Sultan Palace A dalang (wayang player) plays puppet made from buffalo’s leather behind a white screenJavanese traditional outfit.

If you have an event you’d like to promote in Jogja Mag for October, send us details at : Practical information Police: 110 Ambulance: 118 Fire brigad: 113 Emergency: 112 Immigration office: 0274 - 487 165 International Hospital: 0274 - 446 3535 Kota Yogyakarta Hospital: 0274 - 371 195 Red cross: 0274 - 379 212 Tourism information: 0274 - 513 543 Tugu train station: 0274 - 589 685 Airport: 0274 - 484 261 Jas taxi: 0274 - 373 737 Asa taxi: 0274 - 545 545 Sadewa taxi: 0274 - 376 107 Indrakelana taxi: 0274 - 564 572 Money changer: 0274 - 561 155 Yogyakarta city government: 0274 - 562 811

Jogja Mag September 2012 edition  

Even if Yogyakarta is already known as a touristic city, people usually visit Borobudur and Prambanan, than go elsewhere in Indonesia. Those...

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