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Indonesian Wonder

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12
June

 

Usually pandanus or pandan leaves are used for food ingredients, but in Tenganan Village, Karangasem Regency, Bali, pandan leaves are used as weapons in a war tradition. The Mekare-kare tradition, commonly known as the "pandan war", is a tradition that is done every year on sasih kalima, the fifth month in the special calendar of the Tenganan Pegringsingan Village, Bali. Based on the Tenganan village calendar, the tradition falls in June. According to local beliefs, the Mekare-kare tradition or pandan war tradition is carried out as a tribute to Lord Indra (the god of war) as well as the ancestors. This tradition is also part of the Sasih Sembah ceremony, the largest religious ceremony in Tenganan Village.

 

Lasting for two days, the Mekare-kare tradition begins with a ceremony to ask for safety and a ritual of pouring tuak, a traditional alcoholic beverage, on each other. A traditional leader will give the signal for the war to begin. The war is carried out in pairs. Then the pandan war participants will dance around and occasionally slash the spiked pandan at other participants. Even though their bodies bleed, the participants still look happy because it is one of their expressions of gratitude and a way of honoring Lord Indra. After the war is over, wounded participants are smeared with a traditional concoction made from turmeric plus coconut oil to treat them. There is no revenge or anger after the game because all participants do it sincerely as part of a traditional ceremony.

 

The Mekari-kari tradition uses thorny pandan weapons as the main property. The thorny pandanus is cut to the same size, then tied like a mace, a weapon in war. Pandan War participants will also carry a rattan shield to protect themselves. The men who will participate in the Pandan War only wear a sarong (kamen), shawl (saput), and headband (udeng) without clothes, bare-chested. The pandan war is accompanied by gamelan seloding music. Seloding is a Tenganan musical instrument that can only be played by sanctified people. This instrument is also not carelessly played, but only on certain occasions.

12
June

The Belawan area is located quite far from the center of Medan, North Sumatra. It makes Belawan a tourism destination for local people to relax. One of the most visitedtourismdestinations is the Sicanang Mangrove Forest. This forest is the only surviving Mangrove Forest in the Medan region, North Sumatra.

Previously, the Sicanang Mangrove Forest was threatened, because many local people did not care for the forest and cut down mangrove trees for economic needs. However, since 2013, environmentalists have begun to rehabilitate and invite local people to protect the area. Currently, the Sicanang Mangrove forest is often used as educational tourism for students to get the ecotourism knowledge which contributes to the absorption of carbon dioxide gas. So, it becomes one of the oxygen supports in Medan City. The rarest mangrove tree in the world is still well maintained in the Sicanang Mangrove Forest

This tourismdestination is located in Belawan Sicanang Village, Medan Belawan District. From the center of Medan City, it takes about 50 minutesby motor vehicle. In this location,there are 20 types of mangroves that you can see. For the entrance fee, you only need to spend IDR 10 thousand/person,  and parking fee is IDR 2 thousand. You can explore this 19-hectare Mangrove Forest by using a speed boat. The tour guide will answer all your questions about this Mangrove Forest. Taking pictures and relaxing with your family in the cottage provided by the ownerare otheractivities that you can do. Although there are no supporting facilities,such as toilets and restaurants or food stalls, this place has its special charm to visit.

07
June

Ende Tourism

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Published in Indonesian Wonder

June is known as Pancasila month, because every June 1, Indonesians commemorate the birth of Pancasila as the foundation and guideline of the nation. In this month of Pancasila, we take you to Ende, a district in East Nusa Tenggara province where President Soekarno was exiled. It was in this place that the proclamator contemplated the foundation of the Indonesian state. Ende itself has many destinations that are beautiful and thick with historical value. One of them is Bung Karno's Exile House.

 

The building of Bung Karno's Exile House, which is now a museum, was where Bung Karno and his family lived during his exile in Ende from 1934 to 1938. During his exile, Bung Karno contemplated the State Foundation of Indonesia, namely Pancasila. It is in this place that all of Bung Karno's relics are still neatly stored, including the marks of his two palms when he prostrated himself in the prayer room.

 
Apart from Bung Karno's Exile House, there is also Lake Kelimutu. This destination is famous for its three crater lakes with unique colors that change at any given time. According to local beliefs, each color represents a different group of souls. During his exile, Bung Karno often visited this beautiful lake. He also founded a theater group called the Kelimutu Tonil Club. 
06
June

Paal Beach located in Marinsow Village, East Likupang District, North Minahasa Regency, North Sulawesi Province is one of the most famous beach tourist destinations in North Sulawesi. The Paal Beach area is still relatively new, this beach was only opened around 2014.

For beach lovers, Paal Beach is the perfect place to enjoy the beauty of the underwater and marine life, which is rich in fish species and beautiful coral reefs.

Paal Likupang Beach is famous for its clean white sand, as well as clear and calm sea water, making it a perfect location for snorkeling and diving. The beautiful coral reefs and colorful fishes living in the waters can be easily seen from the surface of the water.

Paal Beach also has many other tourist activities, such as sunbathing in the sun, walking along the beach, fishing, or enjoying fresh seafood. Not only that, visitors can also enjoy the spectacular beauty of the sunset here.

To reach Paal Likupang Beach, you can use a private vehicle or use public transportation from Manado City or Sam Ratulangi Airport. The journey to this beach will take about 2-3 hours by car. If you want to enjoy the natural beauty of Paal Likupang Beach, it is recommended to visit this beach during the dry season to get a better experience.

The facilities on this beach are also quite complete, ranging from parking lots, restaurants, places of worship, to toilets. For parking private vehicles, you will be charged IDR 10,000 per car and IDR 5,000 per motorcycle. At Paal Beach, you can also rent a shelter with a price range of IDR 50,000 to IDR 150,000. 

03
June

Kartini Beach is a beach tourism attraction located in Bulu Village, Jepara, Central Java. This beach is located 2.5 km west of the pavilion of the Jepara Regent's Office. This area with an area of 3.5 hectares is a strategic one, because it is also a sea transportation route to the Karimunjawa National Marine Park tourism attraction. According to the local people, the name Kartini comes from the beginning of the Dutch colonization on which at that time, Jepara was led by a regent named Sosrokartono one of his daughters was named Kartini. Kartini is a national hero who fought for the emancipation of Indonesian women.  From this history, the local government then decided to name Kartini beach for this tourism destination.

Kartini Beach has many attractions. Every corner of this tourism destination is very instagramable, making tourists want to capture the beauty on the beach. At the beach, visitors can also just sit in the Gazebo, breathe the fresh air of the sea breeze while enjoying food and drinks. At Kartini Beach, tourists can also enjoy the beauty of the sunrise and sunset. Those who want to spend the night with friends can also set up a tent on the beach.  Kartini Beach also has Kura-kura Ocean Park which is a favorite on this beach.  Tourists can explore and discover  various information about underwater habitats in Indonesia. In addition to the giant turtle statue that is interesting to photograph, Kura-Kura Ocean Park has two floors that can be a means of educating children to get to know the various habitats that exist under the sea.

The location of Jepara Kartini beach can be reached approximately 10 minutes by motor vehicles from the downtown of Jepara. It can be visited every day, even on Fridays for free. The best time to visit Kartini beach is in the morning and afternoon.

14
May

Rejang Dance

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Published in Indonesian Wonder

Indonesia is hosting the 10th World Water Forum, the world's largest international water forum to be held on May 18-25, 2024 in Bali. During the 10th WWF event, delegates will visit the Jatiluwih tourist village.

The village will be decorated with manypenjor.Penjorare tall, curved bamboo stalks decorated with specially shaped young coconut leaves. In addition, delegates will also be welcomed with a traditional Balinese dance, the Rejang Dance, accompanied by tumbuk lesung traditional music.

Rejang dance is a traditional dance of the Balinese people. It is thought to have existed since the pre-Hindu era. This dance is performed as a sacred offering to welcome the arrival of the gods who descend to Earth.

Among the Balinese Hindu community, this Rejang Dance is always performed at various traditional and religious ceremonies held at the temple. It is also often performed to welcome guests. As one of the cultural heritages, this dance is also believed to have important values and spiritual meanings, so it is also believed to be a sacred dance and performed with full devotion.

This Rejang dance is usually performed by a number of female dancers in groups or in mass. In general, the movements of this Rejang Dance are very simple, because this dance focuses more on the spiritual value in it.

This Rejang Dance movement is usually dominated by ngembat and ngelikas movements or left and right movements while stepping forward slowly. Every movement in this dance is usually done with a tempo that tends to be slowly adjusted to the musical accompaniment.

This Rejang Dance performance is usually accompanied by Balinese gamelan music. The clothes of Rejang dancers are usually traditional Balinese clothes dominated by yellow and white colors equipped with a yellow shawl and flower crown.

14
May

Pacitan in East Java is famous for its caves and beautiful beaches. For beach tourism, Pacitan does have sandy beaches in the south coastal area, such as Klayar Beach, Buyutan, Kasap, and Watu Karung. These beaches are some examples of beautiful beaches in Pacitan.

There is also Soge beach that complements the beauty of Pacitan's south coast. Soge Beach is located in Sidomulyo Village, Ngadirojo District, Pacitan Regency, East Java. The distance from Pacitan City is about 30 kilometers with a driving time of approximately one hour.

 

Usually white sandy beaches are located a little further in, interestingly Soge Beach is located on the edge of the highway and this is an attraction in itself. Many tourists take pictures on the side of the highway with Soge beach as the background. The natural atmosphere of this beach is still very natural, the blue sea and the natural scenery around it are truly enchanting. The beach is very clean and the waves are quite large.

To enjoy the beauty of Soge beach, you have to pay an entrance ticket of 2,000 rupiah for children and 3,000 rupiah for adults. On weekends and holidays, the entrance ticket price is slightly different, it is 3,000 rupiah for children and 5,000 rupiah for adults. Ticket prices are subject to change at any time.

 

Traveling to Soge Beach, you can play in the sand, play in the water, swim, or even just sit under the coconut trees. Not only that, you can also go around the small lake using a speed boat rented by local fishermen.

For 15,000 rupiah, you can go around the lake several times. The lake is formed from sea water that does not fully return to the sea when the low tide phenomenon occurs, because there is a high sand dune.

In this place there is also the Soge Beach Blue Bridge. The construction of this bridge is very futuristic, with a curved pipe at the top that resembles a giant dome frame. You can take pictures with the background of this 50-meter-long bridge while enjoying Soge beach from the mouth of the river. There is also a gazebo for resting and several restaurants on the beach.

If you are visiting Pacitan, take your time to see the beauty of Soge Beach.

13
May

Almost all traditional snacks or cakes originating from Central Java province have a sweet taste. Apart from that, snacks from Central Java also have a simple shape but a tempting taste. In Jepara district, this sweet taste and simple form can be found in Moto Belong.

In Javanese, Moto Belong means glaring eyes. Indeed, its appearance is unique because it is shaped like an eye. It is made from cassava and other mixtures such as young coconut and banana.

Though Moto Belong means glaring eyes, it has attractive colors such as red, yellow and green which are quite tempting.

The origin of the name Moto Belong is taken from Javanese, namely moto means eyes, while belong means glare. The food is called Moto Belong because the shape of the snack resembles the shape of a bulging eye.

Apart from Moto Belong, this traditional Jepara snack is often pronounced Moto Blong. It is not served with coconut milk sauce like many other traditional snack, but is eaten with grated coconut. The ingredients for making Jepara's typical Moto Belong are cassava, salt, granulated sugar, grated young coconut, banana and vanilla as well as food coloring. Whole bananas that have been peeled are covered with smooth cassava dough that has been colored and then steamed until cooked.

The way to serve Moto Belong is quite simple, when it is cooked, just cut it into thin pieces so that the shape resembles an eye. Pieces or slices of Moto Belong are then mixed with grated coconut and added with a little sugar and salt to add a savory taste.

Moto Belong is one of Jepara's traditional snacks which is widely sold in traditional markets with prices starting from Rp. 5000.

13
May

Awur Beach

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Published in Indonesian Wonder

Jepara has a charming and exotic natural  wonder, especially its beaches. One of the beaches in Jepara that has a stunning attraction is Teluk Awur Jepara Beach. It is located not far from the downtown of Jepara, about 4 km to the south. Teluk Awur beach is located in Telukawur village, Tahunan subdistrict, Jepara Regency, Central Java.  The beach is an interesting destination to enjoy its natural beauty.    

Teluk Awur is truly an interesting destination to enjoy its natural beauty. Besides enchanting with its white sand and stunning sea beauty and clear water, this beach also offers a calm and clean atmosphere, and  creates a suitable place to play in the water or bask in the sun. This beach has characteristics that are particularly attractive to visitors. The waves are calm and the depth is quite shallow, allowing tourists to comfortably swim or play in the water.   The presence of mangrove trees along the beach also provides a cool and calming atmosphere. In addition, Teluk Awur beach also provides an area that can be used for various sports activities, such as soccer or beach volleyball.

For visitors who like challenges, can try exciting games, such as banana boat, jet ski and flying fish boat. Moreover, visitors can also enjoy stalls equipped with gazebos and create a comfortable place to relax and enjoy the view. You will also be spoiled with the charm of the most enchanting sunset on this Jepara beach. The mirage effect will make the western sky above the sea of Awur Bay appear orange or reddish yellow. You can also feel  the breeze and calm waves at Teluk Awur beach  which takes approximately 15 minutes to drive from the city center, creating a natural harmony that can calm the mind.

The best time to explore the beauty and interesting spots at Teluk Awur Beach is in the morning and evening. Another thing to remember is to bring a camera to capture the beauty at Teluk Awur Beach. If you want to experience the night atmosphere on Teluk Awur beach, you can spend the night around this beach.

13
May
On May 1 to 3, 2024, the people of Margoagung village in Sleman Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta Province, gathered to hold the Merti Desa Mbah Bregas tradition. During his lifetime, Mbah Bregas was known as one of the loyal followers of Sunan Kalijaga, who was tasked with spreading the message of Islam in the West Sleman region, especially Margoagung and its surroundings. He is also known for his strong, authoritative, and simple personality. Besides remembering Mbah Bregas, the tradition, which is held after the main harvest season, is also a form of gratitude for the abundant harvest and a prayer that future harvests will not be disturbed by any conditions.
 
Merti Desa Mbah Bregas tradition has been going on for generations since the Majapahit Kingdom era from the 12th to 15th century. The tradition also only takes place once a year, specifically Friday Kliwon in May. The Merti Desa Mbah Bregas events include a grand religious lecture, wayang dance, jathilan art performance, holy water collection, grave pilgrimage, grand kenduri (Javanese banquet), cultural carnival, and traditional ceremonial processions. The main event is the village clean-up and cultural carnival. The village cleaning procession was carried out in several places, such as a banyan tree known as Ringin Ngino as Mbah Bregas's place of meditation, Sendang Planangan which Mbah Bregas usually used in the past for daily life, Kramat as the meeting location for Mbah Bregas and Sunan Kalijaga, and Mbah Bregas grave.
 
The Merti Desa Mbah Bregas tradition begins with giving offerings to the banyan tree, Sendang Planangan, and Kramat, in the form of tumpeng or cone-shaped rice and traditional snacks. Taking the holy water from seven klenting (jugs) at Tirto Saptomulya Sendang Planangan, used to water the banyan tree in the ceremony, symbolizes revitalizing and preserving the surrounding nature and living culture. The ceremony continued with a pilgrimage to the grave of Mbah Bregas. Then it continues with performances of the cokekan, karawitan, and macapatan traditions.
 
At its peak, a carnival was held with the gunungan or mountain-like food structure, then a procession of ngalap berkah or seeking blessings was held by fighting over the mountains that had been carried and prayed for. The ceremony ended with reciting the Islamic holy book Al-Quran and closed with a night-long shadow puppet performance. The shadow puppet performance symbolizes honor for Sunan Kalijaga, by taking Islamic-based plays such as Jimat Kalimasada, Dewaruci, and Petruk Jadi Ratu.
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