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Dieng plateau Rare species of street food Underground Jogja - Tattoo Revival Javanese wisdom Jogja & Me Interview with a decision maker Also inside : • What’s up in November • Practical information
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• Dieng plateau. 5 • Rare species of street food: Tape. 8 • Underground Jogja : Tattoo revival. 11 • Javanese wisdom. 13 • Jogja & Me - Episode IV. 16 • Interview with Ferry Ardyanto. 18 • What’s up in November in Yogyakarta. 21 • Practical information. 21 • Map of Yogyakarta. 23
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Edito This time, we go a bit further away from Yogyakarta to the majestic caldera of Dieng plateau introduces you to another Java. High up in the fresh air, Dieng reveals different shades of green to those you find in the paddy fields. It is a revitalizing destination for those who want to refresh their mind far away from the pandemonium of the city. Here the temples, lakes, craters and potatoes will show you a new side of Java...
Destination of the Month Dieng Plateau This time , for our destination of the month, we go out of Jogjakartaâ€™s territory, towards Northwest of Magelang, to Dieng Plateau (Pegunungan Dieng). There, someting like 120 km away from Yogyakarta is one of the most remarkable caldera with its diversity. It extends over 14 km length and 6 km width. It includes about twenty volcanic cones, five craters, four domes of lava, ten fields of gas and smokes, and muddy puddles. You can also find several lakes, acid or not. All this geological diversity makes Dieng a fascinating place to visit. To go there, you can have several options. The easiest is to book a package trip from Yogyakarta. Almost every agency in Sosrowijayan and Prawirotaman proposes this trip. It is generally proposed within a day, including transportation. If you wish to stay there longer, you can rent a car with or without a driver. In Dieng, it will be easy to find an accommodation. Few people stay overnight. The package trip will generally be organised in 3 parts: temples, the mud crater and the coloured lake. The complex of Hindu temple Candi Arjuna is a set of small temples dedicated to Arjuna, Hindu divinity, who is to be seen as a character in the Javanese Wayang Kulit (shadow theater). All these
temples will give you an impression of peace, thanks to its majestic beauty. The mud crater Sikidang will give you a completely different impression. There, nature made sure you would be surprised. First of all, the green vegetation and then a bare environment mixing grey and orange. Step by step when you reach the crater, you will have the impression that the ground bubbles and smokes everywhere around you. You enter an inhospitable zone, and nature is reminding you about it. The closer you get to the crater, the stronger the vapors of sulfur are.
to come to Dieng by themselves, the variety of sites to be visited is huge. As we saw at the beginning of the article, Dieng is a caldera which includes around thirty sites, which are more or less accessible. On the spot, the main places will be marked with arrows. Lake Sileri caught our attention. This stretch of dark water never stops smoking and bubbling. The surrounding colors are very pleasant. The green color of mountains, the yellow color of the rock, the black color of the lake water, the white color of the smoke. The place gets little visit, so that you can appreciate the picture serenely, you will probably be alone. Once you reach the crater, it will be difficult for you to distinguish the whole place, because of the smoke there. What you see and hear is an enormous boiling and smoking pot filled with a thick and grey liquid. No swimming! After your walk on Mars, do not forget to taste a punnet of French fries near the parking. Dieng is also a very fertile place where potato is omnipresent. To change a bit, direction to the lakes. One of the most beautiful places of Dieng is unquestionably the coloured lake. It is in fact a set of 2 lakes very close to each other, but with 2 different colors. The first one is turquoise blue, the second is iridescent. And in the middle is a small island strewed with statues and mystic caves. Walking on this hillock in the middle of both lakes is simply delightful.For those who chose
Another more unusual place is the Candradimuka crater. More difficult to reach by car, you will probably have to finish the route walking. The undulating road to reach up there is just a delight for the eyes. Rather steep, surrounded with fields of potatoes, the whole place is rather dense green. Once you reach at the top, it will be necessary to go down a small staircase and manage your breath. The vapors of sulfur are from time to time too intrusive. Once down, you will find a puddle of water which bubbles in a continuous way. Less spectacular than the mud crater, going to this place is definitely a very pleasant and vivifying walk. Of course this article is not exhaustive, Dieng is full of unusual places. You are free to stay longer to explore them. JM
“Rare species” of Javanese Street food Jogja is a place of rapid globalization. Everyday more of the world’s culinary delights become available right here in this bustling Indonesian town. However, for many travelers it’s not world cuisine we crave but the exotic tastes of traditional local food. If this is your desire you need only follow your ears to delight your belly. “Tape ... Tape ... Tape ...” you can hear a man’s voice sign from the distance. Suddenly people emerge from their houses and office buildings with a smiling hungry look on their faces. What does this signing mean? And why is everyone coming out onto the streets when they hear the call? In Java, most local street food is accompanied by a unique sound or song. Unfortunately for foreigners, these calls to culinary delights are often lost in the background. This signing melody of “Tape ... Tape ... Tape ...” has just told every local within ears range that Pak Susilo AKA “Mr. Tape” has entered the neighborhood. Pak Susilo is a fifty year old proud Javanese man touring the streets on his battered old bicycle/ desert shop. All kampungs and perumahan around Parangtritis street know his voice like they know their own mothers. This is his district, and anyone who likes the delicious taste of sweet potatoes has met Pak Susilo many times. Tape is technically classified as “ubi tubers” but you probably know them as yams or sweet potatoes. However, “Tape” is much more than an ordinary sweet potato. It is a unique Javanese dessert comprised of sweet potatoes that have undergone a special and specific fermentation process. Making “Tape” starts with peeled sweet potatoes treated with local yeast and steamed for several hours. These potatoes are then wrapped tightly in banana leaves. This creates a delicious banana sauna
for the sweet potatoes to rest in. After three days of this luxurious banana leaf spa treatment the potatoes are sweet, tender, and ready to get on Pak Susilo’s bike and meet the hungry world. Like most street food vendors Mr Susilo’s business is a family affair. Everyday Mrs. Susilo prepares Tape according to the old Javanese recipes at their home with the help of her daughters. Pak Susilo is the signing salesman, bicycling the streets singing their name for the community to come and taste. Tape is a typically an afternoon snack. It is packed with vitamin B1 and free from chemicals and preservatives, making it ideal for the mid-day pick me up. However, if you’re really looking to give your taste buds a treat try drizzling the spuds with fresh fruit syrup. Either way you take it you’re in store for a taste of traditional Jogja. Piotr Śmieszek
Underground Jogja Tattoo revival
At the campus of the Institute of Fine Arts in Yogyakarta (ISI) I am talking with a painter around 27 years old who has just completed his master’s degree. He is wearing a black T-shirt and his hands are almost entirely covered with tattoos. “Why did you get the tattoos?” I ask him. “The skin is a big canvas and we can express our feelings and ideas on it” he replies. Let’s have a look on some of his tattoos: on the inner side of his right forearm there is an old Sudanese saying (in Sudanese language of course) which means “fairly prosperous, totally peaceful” (“adil makmur, damai sentosa” in bahasa Indonesia). On the upper side of his forearm there is another writing in English this time, coming from a famous punk rock band: “RAMONES”. The whole picture of his forearm is completed with a caricature face which belongs to the famous Iceland singer Bjork. The interesting thing about this tattooed forearm is the fact that Western elements are combined with Javanese ones to form a “hybrid”. Is this “hybrid” a result of globalization? According to the social anthropologist Laine Berman, the release of the first Guns N’ Roses album “Appetite for destruction” led a lot of young Indonesians get a tattoo with the image of the album cover and that was just the beginning as more and more Western music bands were inspiring the Indonesian tattooing. Generally in Java and especially in Yogyakarta didn’t
preexist a ritualistic “tradition” of tattooing as in other parts of Indonesia like in the Mentawai tribe (Mentawai islands are sited at the Western coast of Sumatra) or the Dayak and Iban tribes of Borneo, but there is a very interesting connection between tattooing and death in the recent Java’s history. Specifically during the years 1983-85 under Suharto’s New Order regime, around 5.000 “criminals” were shot to death without undergoing a trial. The name of this “operation” is known as “Petrus”, which was an acronym for “Mysterious shooters” (Penembak mysterious). As it turned out, almost all of them who were killed were tattooed and their bodies were placed in public places for terrorizing unaware populace. Also the daily headlines at that time, mentioned those who were killed as “tattooed corpse” (mayat bertato). “Men who were tattooed began to turn themselves into the police out of fear to be murdered” reports James Siegel in his 1998 book: “A new criminal type in Jakarta”. “Terrified of being targeted as a “criminal” because of their tattoo, many youths made every effort to eliminate these visual death warrants from their bodies. Hot ironing them right off by searing human flesh was one of the main strategies. Applying acid lime, sand papering and scrabing the area with rock salt were other common methods” writes Laine Berman. Thus, at least during 1983-85, tattoos were equivalent to crime and danger in the people’s eyes in Indonesia.
But on 1997, one year before Soeharto’s resignation, something new emerged, where else, in Yogyakarta: the first ever in the country tattoo festival was organized and held on from a man named Athonk. Athonk was a tattoo artist and also owner of a tattoo parlor in Yogya and chose to share his knowledge through forming the Java Tattoo Club in 1997, a vehicle for reintroducing tattoos to Indonesian society without any of the violent or crime-ridden associations of the past. Its slogan was: “ Java Tattoo Club civilizes tattoos as we tattoo civilization”. The first tattoo festival was just an
excellent beginning as much more were followed, such as the recent “Dragon Tattoo Festival” which was held on June 30, 2012 in an official venue: “Jogja National Museum”. Dragon Tattoo Festival was one of the activities for the celebration of the year of the Water Dragon. There were 35 tattoo booths and 65 tattoo artists who participated from all over Indonesia. Shows, tribal tattoo contest and live music were some of the happenings there. Thus it is obvious that nowadays tattooing has already made its dynamic comeback in the newborn democracy of Indonesia. The numbers of tattoos are increasing, particularly among young people and the tattoo parlors are also increasing in Yogya, Jakarta, Semarang, Bali and other parts of Indonesia. In Malioboro, the central street of Yogyakarta, one can see amongst the street vendors, tattoo artists who are offering a tattoo “in situ”. On the other hand there is an increasing number of professional tattoo parlors in Jogja, using sterilized equipment and modern methods of tattooing, adhering strictly to hygiene and safety guidelines. VR
CIPTO TUNGGAL KANG WENING
â€œ Realizing Unity through Clear Mind â€?
Dieng High up on a road northwards from the Central Javanese town of Wonosobo, the entrance to the Diengplateau within what seems to have been the vast crater of some ancient super-volcano. On the way there from Yogyakarta one becomes aware of the volcanic mountain range that spreads East to West across Java, passing through the shadows of the five big volcanoes of Central Java namely Merapi, Merbabu, Unggaran, Sumbing and Sindoro. At last, after an optional rest in the vast Tambi Tea plantations before the crater, one reaches this isolated and unique place. An active caldera with several boiling lakes and steaming crater holes, it is also the home for an ancient ethnic sub-group of the Javanese called the Dieng cultural area. This fact is noticeable by examining the set of very old Hindu templecomplexes and other archeological remains strewn around the caldera. The highlight of a visit to Dieng is undoubtedlythese very old Shaivist(Shiva worship) monuments set in the center of the caldera. According to Dutch and Indonesian archeological specialists, these represent the oldest such building heritage of the monument building Sanjaya Dynasty of the 7th century AD. About 21 temples remain grouped in 5 complexes, most famous of which the Candi Arjuna complex. As it borrows architectural styles from North as well as South India, the temples show distinctive Javanese Hindu traits which make them peculiar and different from Indian examples. The names are taken from the Mahabharata wayang stories, as these heroes
were always revered by the ancient Javanese for their ethical and spiritual qualities. Even Semar the clownish yet divine ancestor of the Javanese has a temple dedicated to him, which indicates a proper Javanese spiritual cult complementing the Hindu Dharma teachings. A neat museum nearby the Bima complex has a wealth of information on the ancient and contemporary history and culture of the Dieng plateau Hindu civilization. The temples are the stars of the Dieng showcase, yet in reality they are dwarfed by the imposing natural environment surrounding them, especially approaching evening time when the silent mists mixed with sulfuric clouds from the nearby volcanic lakes and ponds cover the whole area in shrouds of mystery. The lakes or kawah, are the signs of the activity below ground, reminding one of the hazardous nature of the place set in a volcano caldera. A unique feature of the crater-lakes is the different colors between them, due to several natural factors including the amount of sulfur in the gases. The characteristic smell of rotten eggs proper to sulfuric gases will be immediately apparent upon entering the crater. Obviously many hot springs and thermal spots abound in the area. The most famous lake is Kawah Sikidang or the Deer Lake as it moves location from decade to decade and boils like a giant and steamy caldron. Anthropologists and observers visiting the place since early Dutch colonial days have all testified to the strong animistic cults and beliefs of the local Dieng society.
Both the ancient manmade temples and the odd natural features of the caldera landscape have been associated to powerful resident deities and spirits. This might be a clue to understand the etymology of the word Dieng, which derives from the Sanskrit Di-Hyang which in turn refers to Kahyangan Dewa or â€˜Mountain residence of the Deitiesâ€™. The local population to this day holds a literal belief system whereby the place and its features indeed serve as shelters for the many spirits and Gods of the Javanese land. For someone interested in the cartography or topography of spiritual Java, this plateau is definite must with so many sacred and haunted spots strewn around. This fact also explains the number of surviving ritual and ceremonial practices held around some lakes and caves near the colored lakes (Telaga Warna). For example the cult of an ancestor spirit named Kyai Kalagete said to inhabit one of the colored lakes is still a vibrant focus of the local peopleâ€™s religiosity. Due to a legendary anecdote whereby Kyai Kologete is said to have acquired Rastafarian-like dreadlocks during his quest to meet with the famous Queen of the South Seas Ratu Kidul, local children who genetically grow dreadlocks naturally are said to be partly his offspring, and thus are treated in a mystical convention. Their locks eventually get cut and thrown in the lake as the main offering to both Kyai Kalagete and Ratu Kidul as the waters from Dieng flow down to the Indian Ocean through the Serayu River. The Dieng plateau with its unique spiritually-laden atmosphere and sacred spots is a favorite pilgrimage destinationfor Javanese mystics and followers of the Javanism (Kejawen) tradition, yet is also visited for ritual reasons by Balinese Hindu adepts. The caves
set in a rocky outcropin between the colored lakes provide the nucleus for nighttime meditations and ascetic practices, whereby people leave offerings of incense, flowers and ritual foods. A jurukuncior key holder provides access and preparatory incantations to communicate with the divine and celestial beings said to haunt in and around these caves. Many wonders and benefits related to health, wealth and safety are believed to ultimately result from genuine spiritual practice by visitors. The holiness of these places is uncontested by the local residents, and it is this holy energy that attracts the true seekers. Holiness in Javanese kejawen interpretation is understood as realizing the Emptiness of the Selfidentity (Suwung kasunyataan). Emptiness here is not to be approached in a logical time-space perspective, rather than a spiritual concept meaning void of disturbing desires. One who is able to calm the desire mind will create space for the awareness mind to guide perception, which in turn allows the practitionerto unite in subtle feeling (rosobatin) with outer things and beings. This is a state called Kaweningan (mental clarity). This state of mind is sought because wisdom in action, speech and thought will result from it, whereby such a person tends to come up with thoughtful answers rather than continuously questioning things or oneself. In other words also expressed in Hindu/Buddhist Dharma, ignorance of life and universe will be reduced. Dudu ning endi, ananging endi kangening - (Not anywhere physically, yet within the clear center of the heart). Javanese believe that in the keheningan state, answers to all questions can be revealed. Moko Pramusanto and Patrick Vanhoebrouck
Jogja & Me: Why people make Jogja their Home? Episode IV: Ibed from Bali This month’s Jogja & Me is about a promising Balinese artist. I decided it was time for an Indonesian to speak, because apart from foreigners, many Indonesians make Jogja their home as well. Ibed is one of them. “I moved to Jogja in 2003 when I started studying theatre at the ISI arts institute. I come from a small village in western Bali. For my parents and most of the people I grew up around, Java is something strange and different. But back then it was told Jogja is the city of culture, so I persisted. I left Bali and started living and studying here.” Ibed has long since graduated and is currently the leader of Seni Teku, an inspiring young theatre collective in Jogja. But it was no easy road. “I experienced a big culture shock in the beginning.” Although from Indonesia, living in Jogja almost felt like living in a different country. “I had to get used to so many things. Hearing Adzan (muslim call for prayer) everywhere, people speaking a different language and the Javanese have these strange habits.” With a smile and sense of detail Ibed gives an example: “In Bali we do not hang pants or underwear to dry any higher than knee level. Walking, or even looking underneath a pair of pants or underwear is absolutely not done. Here the Javanese just hang their underwear to dry in the open, at shoulder height, for all to see. It’s shocking.” Ever since Ibed’s arrival he has felt welcomed by Jogja’s people. Despite the fact he is mainly here because of the arts, Jogja has grown on him. “The way contemporary and traditional art meet, mix and evolve in Jogja is absolutely unique.” Bantul, a region directly south of Jogja, is now Ibed’s second home. “For me, most interesting things are found outside of the city and I enjoy the village atmosphere in Bantul. People are friendly and there’s lots of artists to share ideas with, or try out new things.”
Having grown so accustomed to Jogja, going home to Bali requires a reverse cultural adaption nowadays. “For me, Bali is my past. But when I go home I don’t want to feel like living in the past. So I really put in an effort to create a positive atmosphere and I constantly feel the need to innovate. It takes me about a week or so, to really get back into it: the language, the people, life in my village. Then when I go back to Jogja, I have to adapt all over again.” Disturbing? “No. I feel blessed. I have become a multi-cultural person. I can truly appreciate and value the differences. Most Balinese people cannot do this. They will see something different and say it’s weird, or strange, or not the way it should be. I am beyond that now.” Getting Ibed’s advise on interesting things to do in Jogja, proofed rather difficult. “I actually enjoy being in my room. Reading, writing and smoking.” But when this young theatre director does go outside he enjoys being in Nitiprayan, Jogja’s artists village. “The bookstalls near Taman Pintar are also great. You have to search, but you can find really good books there, and cheap.” During the interview Ibed admitted one day he will move back to Bali. A long term plan, but still. My guess is Jogja still has plenty to offer to this multicultural Balinese artist wrapped warmly in Javanese hospitality. EW
Interview with a decision maker Ferry Ardyanto Operational manager at Jogja Orang Utan Centre Indonesian Address of the Field project : Dusun Paigan, Desa Sendansari, Kecamatan Pengasih Kabupaten Kulon Progo â€“ 55 652 - Yogyakarta 0274 749 3977 - email@example.com
JM: Can you tell us when the sanctuary officially opened ? The sanctuary opened in July 2002. At that time an NGO provided the necessary funds to set up the sanctuary and to begin rescuing wild animals as their natural environment was destroyed.
absolutely forbidden to have one at home. However there are still some people that enjoy having this kind of animal in their house.
JM: What kind of animals does the sanctuary rescue? Today, we have 24 different species of animals. We have many orangutans, gibbons and macaques but also eagles, parrots, owls, cassowary and reptiles such as snakes and crocodiles amongst others. Today we are taking care of 136 different animals.
JM: Jogja Orangutan Centre is not a zoo, but a rehabilitation center. What percentage of the animals that arrive in your center get rereleased into the wild when they are ready ? Our program consists of 3 phases : rescue, rehabilitation, release. About 40% of the animals are rereleased. Out of these the reptiles are most common.
JM: How do animals come in to the Jogja Orangutan Centre ? The animals arrive here mainly because the police confiscate them from the black market. Once the police find a wild animal they bring it here. There are also people, who have kept wild animals themselves, who bring them in of their own accord when they can no longer take care of them. JM: Is it legal in Indonesia to keep wild animals in the house ? No, it is strictly forbidden. You can get a jail sentence if you are caught. Indonesian law states that any wild animal belongs to the government, and it is
JM: Have you ever had to refuse animals into the shelter ? We accept all the wild animals we receive.
JM: And what happens with the other 60% ? There are 4 reasons that can make rehabilitation impossible. Sometimes, there is no place to release. Sometimes an animal is too ill, or too old. And sometimes the injuries are so bad that full recovery is not possible and we cannot release the animal. These animals stay with us for life. JM: How many people are work at the center ? There are about 30 people working here at the moment: animal doctors, animal keepers, behavior analysts, and also administration staff as well as security, cleaning, etcâ€Ś
Yes, we currently have programs both for local and foreign students. We often welcome groups of local students of all ages to the centre and we have a volunteer program that allows foreigners to come and work with us too. JM: What message do you hope the young people take away from the centre? Young Indonesians are not used to seeing people take care of animalsâ€Ś But by the time they leave our centre they understand that wild animals are not toys, and should live in their natural habitat. JM: Today, you are the operational Manager of the Jogja Orangutan Centre. What did you do before getting involved with the centre? I was an archeologist before but I have always known that I wanted to work closely with nature and do something that could really make a difference. JM: Are there currently any programs which aim to raise awareness amongst young people in relation to the conservation of animals?
JM: What projects do you have planned for the future ? In 2013 we will continue to put all of our efforts into making the centre better and better. All of the projects that we run are dependent on the donations we receive so hopefully over the coming years we will continue to receive donations and will be able to keep the centre growing and improving.
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Whatâ€™s up in November 2012 6th November Jemparingan - Start 14.30 Sultan Palace Traditional style of archery competition with Javanese traditional outfit. 14th until 18th November Indobuildtech Expo 2012 Jogja Expo Center (JEC) Jl. Raya Janti, Yogyakarta Exhibition of construction technologies and building material component industry. 15th November Merti Bumi Suran Kaliurang - Start 19.00 Kaliurang Traditional procession of Kaliurang society for the blessings that was given to them. 16 November Tanah#2 - Start 19:30 Jogja Nasional Museum A theatre for development performance about land developments in Indonesia with Sjoerd Wagenaar, in collaboration with young artists from Jogja and civilians from Sumber village. th
17th November until 10th December Heads of Sinner by Petek Sutrisno Tirana Artspace Jl Suryodiningratan 55 Yogyakarta Artworks two dimensio (painting). 23rd November Traditional ceremony of Bathok Bolu alas Ketonggo Dusun Sambiroto, Purwomartani, Kalasan
Art show held by the citizens of Sambiroto to welcome the coming Sura months Sambiroto (Javanese calendar). 23rd 24th November HotWave #5 Cemeti Art House Exhibition and Presentation of Artists in Residence: Agnes Christina (ID), Alex Cuffe (AU), Ellert Haitjema (NL). 25th November Labuah Bekti Jalanidhi Balai Desa Srigading, Sanden dan Pantai Samas Bantul Traditional ceremony performed by the fishermen to ask for safety when they are at sea.
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