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Welcome to  “Indonesian Wonder”, a daily segment featuring  tourism, culinary arts, fine arts and culture from various regions across Indonesia. In today’s edition we will introduce the Carbide Cannon Tradition in Pontianak.

In Indonesia, most Muslims have the same tradition in celebrating Eid Al-Fitr or Lebaran. They usually come home (mudik) to celebrate Lebaran, Ied prayer, Gathering and pilgrimage. Muslims also serve rice cake or “ketupat” and chicken curry or “opor ayam” as special culinary of Lebaran. In addition, Indonesia also has a variety of customs, tribes and cultures. One of the unique traditions connected with Lebaran is Meriam Karbit or Carbide Cannon in Pontianak, West Kalimantan. The Carbide Cannon tradition has an interesting history. Perhaps, in ancient times the Sultanate of Kadriah in Pontianak which was established in 1771 - 1808 rang cannon to expel the ghost. Because at that time, the first Pontianak King, Syarif Abdurrahman Alkadrie when opened the land for his residence in Pontianak was disturbed by the ghosts. Then the Sultan ordered his troops to drive the ghosts by cannon. In addition, the loud sound of the carbide cannon usually signifies the time of magrib or evening prayer for muslims .  

As time goes by, the carbide cannon is lively performed for tourist attraction. The cannon is made of durian wood or coconut tree and then tied with a rope, so that the cannon does not move when thunder. Moreover the cannon is painted with interesting colors. The carbide cannon is approximately 4-7 meters long. It is perforated in the middle to ignite the fire until produce the boom sound. For one game it takes about 3-5 ounces of carbide.

The cannon that will be participated in the Traditional Carbide Cannon games must follow the requirements set by the Carbide Cannon Tradition community forum, art and culture of Pontianak. These requirements, are among others, the cannon should be decorated with various decorations, such as the background of the mosque. Therefore to make 1 cannon it is required about 3 to 5 million rupiah. The game of carbide cannon tradition is a unique game which usually perform to welcome the Eid Al-Fitr. Even the traditional game of Carbide Cannon is currently contested. It is already included in the tourism calendar and highly awaited by Pontianak people.

The Carbide Tradition Game located along the banks of the Kapuas River. Usually the game started since Lebaran minus 3 in the evening. The Carbide cannons are lined on two sides of the Kapuas river. Approaching magrib or evening prayer, one of the cannons is shot, to initiate as the time to break the fast. The sounding is very loud even sounded up to a radius of 5 Km. That was Indonesian Wonder for today with the topic “Carbide Cannon Tradition” in Pontianak.






Some regions in Indonesia have unique traditions which are conducted to welcome the holy month of Ramadhan. One of them is Dugderan tradition from Semarang, Central Java. Dugderan tradition has been conducted since 1881 and until now, it is still conducted by Semarang people. The difference is that today’s Dugderan is folk party such as dances, carnival, and Bedug percussion. The name of Dugderan comes from “Dug” which is the sound of Bedug, and “Der” which is the sound of explosion of firecracker. The name is a sign of fasting month; it is begun by Bedug and ended by firecracker. The tradition is held to remind residents that the month of Ramadhan has closed. For one week, before Ramadhan, there will be market which sells various kinds of stuffs and there is mascot related to the festival, namely “Warak Ngendok”.Dugderan will be over one day before fasting and the peak event of the dugderan tradition contains of cultural carnival. The carnival is begun from the yard of Semarang City Hall. Opening of the event is signed by beating Bedug by Semarang mayor. After the opening, the mayor rides Kencana cart which is guarded by Pandanaran troops to Semarang Kauman Great Mosque. Over there, the mayor will be welcomed by Warak Ngendok. Warak Ngendok represents acculturation of the culture from diverse ethnics in Semarang, namely China,  Arab and Java. Dugderan tradition has been begun since 1881 in the government of Regent Kyai Raden Mas Tumenggung Purbaningrat, based on his awareness on peace of Semarang people, because there was movement which has disunited since the arrival of the Dutch colonial.  As a result, there were groups of communities in Semarang. Dugderan tradition is aimed at assembling the whole communities in a joyful atmosphere in a bid to unite, to gather and to greet without differences. Besides, it is ensured that the beginning of the month of Ramadan is strictly and simultaneouslybased on agreement of regent and priest of the mosque. So, there is unifying spirit felt in the tradition.


Nyangku traditional ceremony is a tradition which has existed since the Kingdom of Panjalu. Until now, the tradition is still conducted every year by Panjalu people. The Nyangku tradition is carried out on  Monday or Thursday of the month of Maulud (Rabiul Awal) in an Islamic calendar. The aim is to commemorate the birth of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W which falls on the month of Rabiul Awal. Besides, the Nyangku tradition is conducted to commemorate Prabu Sanghyang Borosngora service, the King of Panjalu who was a follower and spreading out Islam teachings in Panjalu. Nyangku comes from Arabic language, ‘Yanko’ meaning to clean. But, Sundanese people pronounce the word of ‘Yanko’ becoming ‘Nyangku’. The point of the tradition is to clean heirloom objects which belonged to Panjalu kingdom. In the past, the family of Panjalu descent provided ingredients for Nyangku ceremony, such as red rice which must be peeled by hand. The red rice was used as ingredient to make Tumpeng and offerings. Tumpeng is a cone-shaped rice dish with additional dishes of vegetables and meat. To peel un-hulled red rice has been begun since the date of 1st Maulud until one day before the implementation of the ceremony. Nyangku ritual stars by making pilgrimage to the king cemetery at Situ Lengkong, Panjalu. The ceremony usually starts at around 07.30 A.M. local time by putting out the heirloom objects from place, namely Bumi Alit. Afterwards, the heirloom objects are carried by being picked up by the descent of Panjalu king to Nusa Gede. Arriving at Situ Lengkong, the carriers of the heirloom objects which wear Moeslim and Sundanese clothes, cross by boat to Nusa Larang. Then, the heirloom objects are paraded to small building at Nusa Larang. The carriers of the heirloom objects are accompanied with tambourines rhythm and Shalawat or prayers to the main stage where the ceremony is held to clean the heirloom objects. Thus, the heirloom objects are put on special mattress. And one by one, the heirloom objects begin to be opened from its wrapping. Then, they are cleaned immediately by using water from 7 springs and added with lime water. Washing the heirloom objects starts from Prabu Sanghyang Borosngora sword. After that, it is continued with the others. After finish, those heirloom objects are smeared with special coconut oil. And then, they are wrapped again with young coconut leaves and wrapped again with 7 layers of white clothes and tied with thread. Afterwards, it is dried by using smoke of frankincense and being paraded to be stored again at Pasucian Bumi Alit.


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Bajo is an inseparable ethnicity with the sea. Bajo community residence is very unique; most of their houses are built on the water. In the past, they even lived in boats or Lepa. Currently, Bajo people have spread throughout the archipelago, mostly in Sulawesi. There is one tradition of fishing that Bajo community usually does, which requires them to travel long distances. The tradition is called Bapongka. Bapongka is a Bajo community tradition that uses traditional equipment and keeps the marine environment from damage.

Bapongka is sailing tradition for a living survive or to get sea products to another region or province, for several weeks and even months. They went to sea in groups. Each group consists of three to five boats, each boat consists of one person. The formation of small group of Bapongka is done based on closeness. Usually the small group will meet each other in a fishing location then form a large group consist of 15 or even 20 boats.

The traditional boat called ‘lepa’, which is equipped with outrigger and roof made of sago leaves. Generally the boats are run with oars, although the boats are now equipped katinting machine. During the fishermen perform Bapongka, they brought quite a lot of foodstuffs such as sago and some equipments, such as petromax lamps, water containers, cooking and eating utensils, sleeping gear, and catching equipment for sea cucumbers and other marine products.

Bapongka tradition has a good impact for marine conservation, especially coral reef, because it only using simple equipment. In performing the Bapongka tradition, Bajo community have some taboos that must be obeyed. The prohibition for Bajo people is believed to affecting the catch, such as not to throw something at sea when doing Bapongka. They should not dispose rice washing water, cooking charcoal,  coffee grounds, chilli water, ginger water, orange peel, kitchen ash into the sea. When washing the rice, the water put on the boat, and will be shed after approaching the mainland. Likewise with wood charcoal used cooking, ash kitchen, orange peel, chili water and ginger water.

The simplicity of boats and equipments as well as the prohibitions that should not be violated because it is believed to be a disaster. While, Bajo community also believe the sea has a ruler in the form of spirit, called Mbo. All things make the Bapongka tradition of Bajo community highly appreciate and preserve the nature, as their local wisdom.



Many beaches in Bali present beautiful and amazing panorama. One of them is Yeh Leh Beach or Pengeragoan Beach. It is unique and interesting, because on the shore there are many rocks that separate the land from the sea. When the sea water receded, the rocks here stand out in many dazzling sizes. This beach is located on the border between Jembrana district and Tabanan regency, on the side of Gilimanuk-Denpasar highway. Because its location is on the roadside, access to the beach is quite easy. With a large parking area, visitors can directly park their vehicles to enjoy the natural beauty of Yeh Leh Beach.On Yeh Leh beach is in addition to the large parking lot, there is also a Gazebo for those who want to rest for a while. Ther are also stalls providing snacks and beverages. Usually a beach has beautiful white sand. But Yeh Leh beach has thousands and even millions of natural rocks that make it different from the beaches in general. This beach is perfect for a tourist destination, especially if you love fishing. With the charm of its underwater beauty, you can visit Yeh Leh's beach especially during the low tide. In addition to enjoying the beauty of the sunset, you are also more likely to get many sea animals hidden among the rocks located on the shores of Yeh Leh. Indeed the main attraction of this Yeh Leh Beach is the rocks. Most of Yeh Leh's beach is gently sloping and tend to be flat. So when you set foot on this beach you do not have to worry your legs will be covered with sand or become wet, because you will step on the rock surface which is hard and a bit rough.The lack of sand surfaces on the beach, makes it not ideal for sunbathing, but you can always sit back and relax on the rocks scattered on the beach. For those of you who like taking pictures, different natural nuances here will certainly provide a more special experience. In addition to presenting the natural beauty of the blue sea, the waves are quite large and elongated, very suitable for surfing.


Wuring hamlet

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In the East of Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara -NTT, there is a fisherman hamlet which is majority Bajo tribe coming from South Sulawesi. The hamlet is called ‘Wuring’ which is located in the suburbs of Maumere, precisely at Wolomarang, West Alok district. Wuring hamlet is the one whose most of its residents’ houses are built on the sea. Thus when visiting the hamlet, you will see very beautiful ocean view. Many fisherman hamlets are found in Indonesia, but the difference between Wuring hamlet and other fisherman hamlets is coastal area which is used as residence of the local people and its sea water is also quite clear. In 1992, when earthquake and tsunami hit Flores, the hamlet was destroyed, and swept by tsunami which killed many people. After the disaster, there were some people who moved to other locations, but most of them chose to stay and built again their home. Wuring villager is known to be very friendly. They will greet with their smile when meet visitors who enter their territory. If you want to visit the hamlet, it is not quite difficult because the land line is easy to be passed. From Maumere, you must pass Trans Flores heading to the West. After passing 1 kilometer from the city, you have to turn right and you will arrive at Wuring hamlet.


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The nuance of rural area where only  torch lighting is available, and there is no television but the people can access internet. Farmers plow the rice field by using buffalo, birdsong, adding peaceful atmosphere in the morning. The atmosphere will be obtained at Kampung Djowo located in Dukuh Sekatul, Margosari Village, Limbangan sub-district, Kendal regency, Central Java. Kampung Djowo is a tourist object with an area reaching ​​about 12 hectares and located at the foot of Mount Ungaran. The tourist object has a beautiful natural panorama with cool Medini hills and the stretching of tea garden around Kampung Djowo Sekatul.

To get to Kampung Djowo Sekatul, it can be taken 30 minutes by private vehicle or approximately 60 minutes by public transportation, both from Semarang and Ungaran. From Kendal, the object can be accessed through Kaliwungu also approximately 30 minutes by private vihecles. With an entrance fee of only Rp2,000 for students and Rp3,000 for public. The visitors can see the six big joglo house and the antique goods in it. Starting from trinkets, ornaments, carvings as well as classical Javanese furnitures are well maintained neatly. The Javanese nuances can feel more if you spend the night in Kampung Djowo. No mercury lights and you have to forget the television programs a moment. However, there are several hot spot to access the internet.

In addition to offering the uniqueness of classical buildings and all types of Javanese atmosphere, Kampung Djowo Sekatul also offers an interesting agro tourism village. Paddy fields, medicinal plants cultivation, ornamental flowers, vanilla plantations and fresh strawberries that can be picked directly, fruit cultivation and fishing arena can be found in Kampung Djowo Sekatul. For educational tour it is offered a package of making process of brown sugar, tofu and tempe. Kampung Djowo Sekatul also features camping facilities and garden party facilities. The area not just presents a uniqueness of Joglo Classic and still maintained its authenticity. The existence of Kampung Djowo is also a proof of the loyalty of the owner, KPH Herry Djojonegoro to the history and efforts to preserving Javanese culture.



Papua is an expanse of tropical rainforest and it consists of steep valleys and high mountains. Even, most mountains are covered with snow. Among the valleys, there is a mysterious and enchanting cave. The cave is called ‘Lokale’. Lokale cave is located at Woslimo village, Baliem valley, Jayawijaya regency, Papua. It was opened for the first time in 1992. It is believed to be the longest cave in the world, because until now the tip of the cave is not found, yet. The farthest trip in the cave just reaches 3 kilometers. Because of the long cave, many academicians predict that the cave can reach Jayapura region.  Although the tip of the Lokale cave is unknown, the cave is not a horrific place. Pleasure impression will be easy to get when someone enters the cave. One of the things which makes the cave delightful is that there are some points on the wall of the cave which has hollow, produces melodious sound when knocking. With soft knocking, sound will be heard. The sound produces irregular tones and can form unique musical composition. Besides, inside the cave, it is very dark. When entering the cave, it is suggested to bring flashlight or torch. Lokale cave has a distance around 25 kilometers from Wamena city. The access to the cave is quite easy because the road has been paved. The cave can be accessed by using two or four motor vehicles. It is located on the edge of the road axis of the regency. So, you do not need to walk far or climb to reach the cave. Its strategic place makes the cave good attraction for family.



Indonesia is well- known with its culinary which is delicious and rich of taste. Without the exception in North Sumatera, there is Batak typical food, called ‘Arsik’ which is very delicious and arousing appetite. Arsik is Batak typical food which is very delicious because the food is rich of various kinds of ingredients. Another name of the food whose raw stuff is golden fish is called ‘Na Niarsik’. The name is taken based on cooking process. Na Niarsik means its cooking process by dimarsik or being dried. So, the fish is cooked continuouslyuntil its sauce dries and its ingredients are absorbed into the fish. Arsik is very important in Batak tradition. According to people’s belief, fish which is cooked wholly is a symbol of the unity of human life. Thus, Arsik is a very common dessert because it is closely related to the indigenous philosophy of the Batak community. In certain traditional ceremony, there is special way in serving Arsik. Besides, the fish must be intact from head until tail; its scales cannot be thrown away. Besides, the position of the fish head to be served is facing to someone who receives it. The number which is given must be odd such as one, three, five and seven. One fish is given to new brides. Three fishes are for a pair of wife-husband who has kid. Meanwhile, five fishes are for a couple or old people who have grandchildren and seven fishes are for the leader of Batak people. The number of Arsik, which is given in variety, has a meaning in it. Take for example; three fishes are given to a pair of husband and wife who have kid. It is to symbolize that their family’s member has added one person.  One for father, one for mother and another is for kid who was just born.  Meanwhile, for a couple who just married, the number of fish which is given by the parent of the girl is only one because it is to symbolize that the two persons, who got married, have become one.


Javanese people, especially from Yogyakarta have various kinds of traditional ceremonies which are still preserved. One of them is Mitoni that is carried out when the first pregnancy has been 7 months old. In the tradition of Yogyakarta people either from common people or royal family, Mitoni is the most important ritual among other traditional rituals. If this ritual is ignored, people believe that the bad luck may happen to the mother and the unborn child. According to the tradition, Mitoni can be implemented on the dates of 7th, 17th, and 27th before full moon on Javanese calendar. The ritual is conducted at the left and right of the house facing to sunrise. Mitoni ceremony cannot be implemented randomly, but there are ways and sequences to implement it. This starts from “splashing”. The splashing is conducted by 7 closest relatives with the aim of asking safety for baby in the mother’s womb. The water which is used is from 7 springs by being accommodated on bucket which is made from brass. Then, the water is mixed with various kinds of flowers such as rose, jasmine, kantil flower, and kenanga flower. Then, this is continued with “Brojolan”. Brojolan usually is led by the mother of the pregnant woman. The pregnant woman will wear clothes called ‘Jarik’ which is twisted with a rope called ‘Letrek’. The Letrek is thread with red, white and black colors. Then, the mother of the pregnant woman puts the looms called ‘Tropong’ or chicken egg into the clothes and drops it so that the childbirth will take place smoothly. It is continued by breaking through two coconuts which are described a pair of Wayang figures with handsome and beautiful faces. It’s hoped that baby who is born has handsome or beautiful face. Thus, Mitoni ceremony is continued with “Angreman” procession which sings love of a mother and father to their baby. The pregnant woman will be guided to another room to change dresses with 7 different ones. The last procession is “Dodol Rujak” or in English means selling fruit salad. This procession is that the pregnant woman will make Rujak by being accompanied by her husband. Then, the guests will buy it by using Kereweng as currency. It is meant that the baby will get good fortune and to be able to support her/his family. Basically, the ceremony is gratitude expression to the God for safety and tranquility. But, this is expressed in the symbols which have different meanings.