Here is RRI VOI with Indonesian Wonder, a regular segment featuring Indonesian tourism including places of interest, popular destinations, culture and traditions. Today I will introduce one of the tourist attractions in Medan North Sumatra.
Kampung Madras or Kampung Keling is widely known as little India in Medan, North Sumatra. And just like the Indian village elsewhere, Kampung Madras became an interesting cultural tourism destination in Medan.
The existence of Kampung Keling strengthens the reputation of Medan as a multiethnic city in Indonesia. Especially today, Kampung Keling is not only inhabited by people of Indian descendants but also those from other tribes or ethnics who live the area of Kampung Madras. Even so, the term Little India Medan is still attached to this village.
The origin of Kampung Keling Medan can be traced back to the 19th century. At that time many Tamil Indians were imported from their original country to work as laborers at Deli tobacco plantations. Plantation owners prefer to use imported labor from India because they were known to be hard workers and strong. As time went by, more Tamil Indians worked in Medan. In addition to working as plantation laborers, they also got jobs in the construction, and many also worked as traders.
Kampung Keling in Medan has an area of 10 hectares. Formerly this village was called by the name Patisah. Some people call this Kampung Keling by the name of Kampung Madras. The name Kampung Keling became the most popular designation in the community of Medan. Now, Kampung Keling in Medan is located around Zainul Arifin area. Initially the streets in this area also used Indian names. Like Calcutta road, Bombay street, Ceylon street, Madras street and others. But now there are many names were changed.
Tourists who want get to the location of Kampung Keling in Medan can use various means of transportation but the interesting one is motorized three-wheeled vehicle known as becak motor.
True to its origin, Kampung Keling is known as the center of Indian culture in the city of Medan. This village is an administrative area of Madras District. Here tourists can see a lot of old buildings with typical Indian architecture. The best known places are Shri Mariaman temple and Subramaniem Temple. In addition to the two temples there is also a mosque named Ghaudiyah which has a thick Indian architectural design. This is because the Tamil people who live in rural villages are not only Hindus but also some Muslims.
In addition to being a cultural tourist location, Kampung Keling in Medan can also be used as a place to hunt culinary typical of India, such as the famous Indian curry and martabak or chapatti . You can also buy typical Indian outfit like dresses and accessories here . For tourists who want to feel the life in Kampung Keling, can stay at the inn or hotel in Kampung Keling with varying prices. The most interesting thing about the Kampung Keling in Medan, however, is the cultural blend between strong Indian and local culture there.