Selasa, 25 Mei 2010

Tugas B.Inggris Bisnis 2

The Carpet Fitter Eddie was a carpet fitter, and he hated it. For ten years he had spent his days sitting, squatting, kneeling or crawling on floors, in houses, offices, shops, factories and restaurants. Ten years of his life, cutting and fitting carpets for other people to walk on, without even seeing them. When his work was done, no-one ever appreciated it. No- one ever said "Oh, that's a beautiful job, the carpet fits so neatly." They just walked all over it. Eddie was sick of it. He was especially sick of it on this hot, humid day in August, as he worked to put the finishing touches to today's job. He was just cutting and fixing the last edge on a huge red carpet which he had fitted in the living room of Mrs. Vanbrugh's house. Rich Mrs. Vanbrugh, who changed her carpets every year, and always bought the best. Rich Mrs. Vanbrugh, who had never even given him a cup of tea all day, and who made him go outside when he wanted to smoke. Ah well, it was four o'clock and he had nearly finished. At least he would be able to get home early today. He began to day-dream about the weekend, about the Saturday football game he always played for the local team, where he was known as "Ed the Head" for his skill in heading goals from corner kicks. Eddie sat back and sighed. The job was done, and it was time for a last cigarette. He began tapping the pockets of his overalls, looking for the new packet of Marlboro he had bought that morning. They were not there. It was as he swung around to look in his toolbox for the cigarettes that Eddie saw the lump. Right in the middle of the brand new bright red carpet, there was a lump. A very visible lump. A lump the size of -- the size of a packet of cigarettes. "Blast!" said Eddie angrily. "I've done it again! I've left the cigarettes under the blasted carpet!" He had done this once before, and taking up and refitting the carpet had taken him two hours. Eddie was determined that he was not going to spend another two hours in this house. He decided to get rid of the lump another way. It would mean wasting a good packet of cigarettes, nearly full, but anything was better than taking up the whole carpet and fitting it again. He turned to his toolbox for a large hammer. Holding the hammer, Eddie approached the lump in the carpet. He didn't want to damage the carpet itself, so he took a block of wood and placed it on top of the lump. Then he began to beat the block of wood as hard as he could. He kept beating, hoping Mrs. Vanbrugh wouldn't hear the noise and come to see what he was doing. It would be difficult to explain why he was hammering the middle of her beautiful new carpet. After three or four minutes, the lump was beginning to flatten out. Eddie imagined the cigarette box breaking up, and the crushed cigarettes spreading out under the carpet. Soon, he judged that the lump was almost invisible. Clearing up his tools, he began to move the furniture back into the living room, and he was careful to place one of the coffee tables over the place where the lump had been, just to make sure that no-one would see the spot where his cigarettes had been lost. Finally, the job was finished, and he called Mrs. Vanbrugh from the dining room to inspect his work. "Yes, dear, very nice," said the lady, peering around the room briefly. "You'll be sending me a bill, then?" "Yes madam, as soon as I report to the office tomorrow that the job is done." Eddie picked up his tools, and began to walk out to the van. Mrs. Vanbrugh accompanied him. She seemed a little worried about something. "Young man," she began, as he climbed into the cab of his van, laying his toolbox on the passenger seat beside him, "while you were working today, you didn't by any chance see any sign of Armand, did you? Armand is my parakeet. A beautiful bird, just beautiful, such colors in his feathers... I let him out of his cage, you see, this morning, and he's disappeared. He likes to walk around the house, and he's so good, he usually just comes back to his cage after an hour or so and gets right in. Only today he didn't come back. He's never done such a thing before, it's most peculiar..." "No, madam, I haven't seen him anywhere," said Eddie, as he reached to start the van. And saw his packet of Marlboro cigarettes on the dashboard, where he had left it at lunchtime.... And remembered the lump in the carpet.... And realised what the lump was.... And remembered the hammering.... And began to feel rather sick....Multiple-Choice QuestionsClick on the answer you think is correct.

1. Why did Eddie hate being a carpet-fitter?
a)The pay was too low.
b)He didn't like working alone.
c)No-one appreciated his work.
d)He couldn't smoke on the job.

2. What did Eddie think of Mrs. Vanbrugh?
a)She was a kind, thoughtful lady.
b)She was rich and selfish.
c)She was always losing things.
d)She had good taste in furniture.

3. Why was Eddie called "Ed the Head" by his friends?
a)Because he was such an intelligent carpet-fitter.
b)Because he had a large head.
c)Because he was very proud and self-important.
d)Because of his footballing skills.

4. What did Eddie want to do when he had finished fitting the carpet?
a)have a cigarette
b)hammer the carpet flat
c)look for Mrs. Vanbrugh's lost bird
d)start work in the dining room

5. Why didn't Eddie remove the carpet to take out the thing that was causing the lump?
a)He couldn't take the carpet up once he had fitted it.
b)He didn't need the cigarettes because he had some more in the van.
c)It would take too long to remove the carpet and re-fit it.
d)He intended to come back and remove the lump the next day.

6. What did Eddie do with the hammer?
a)hammered nails into the lump
b)fixed the coffee table
c)left it under the carpet
d)flattened the carpet

7. What was Mrs. Vanbrugh worried about?
a)Her bird was missing.
b)She thought the carpet was going to be too expensive.
c)She thought Eddie had been smoking in the house.
d)She couldn't find her husband Armand.

8. What was really under the carpet?
a)the cigarettes
b)Eddie's toolbox
d)the missing bird

9. "Eddie was determined...." means that he:
a)had no idea
b)decided for sure
c)felt very angry
d)couldn't decide

10. "Peculiar" in the sentence "He's never done such a thing before, it's most peculiar..." means:
b)like a bird

1. C
2. B
3. D
4. B
5. C
6. D
7. A
8. D
9. A
10. D

Jumat, 09 April 2010

World currency collection on display in Monetary Museum

World currency collection on display in Monetary Museum

Agus Maryono , The Jakarta Post , Purbalingga | Fri, 04/09/2010 11:47 AM | Java Brew

through a magnifying glass at the Monetary Museum in Purbalingga, Central Jakarta. The museum has a collection of currencies from 183 countries. JP/Agus Maryono
Using a magnifying glass, Robby Sofwan, 33, studiously examined the various types of currency in the locked glass cabinet.
The resident from Purwokerto, Banyumas regency, Central Java, was one of a group of visitors to the Monetary Museum in Purbalingga. Like Robby, they seemed to enjoy themselves looking at the hundreds of foreign currencies in the display cabinets.
Inaugurated by Purbalingga Regent Triyono Budi Sasongko six months ago, the museum broke the country, or even the world, record as the museum with the largest collection of foreign currencies. The award was presented by Paulus Pangka from the Indonesian Records Museum (MURI).
“Most of the foreign currencies are small. So you need a magnifying glass to see them clearly,” Robby told The Jakarta Post recently, presenting one display box after another.
The Monetary Museum has a complete collection of both coins and bank notes from 183 countries.
They are all arrayed neatly in order in the museum, which itself boasts a charming interior design.
Each display box has several magnifying glasses for visitors to use.
Robby said it was the first time he had seen so many currencies. “Yes, for me it is an education, it increases my knowledge. But what’s more important is that the museum must be quite a valuable resource for researchers and money collectors. Because each currency usually has something to do with a country’s history,” he said.
This museum is located in the same complex as three other museums in Kutasari village, Kutasari district, only about 4 kilometers north of the heart of the capital of Purbalingga regency. The other museums are the Reptile Museum, the Wayang (Puppet) and Archeology Museum and the Museum of Science and Technology. The three museums, along with a nearby reptile park, were inaugurated at the end of 2009.
Prayitno, a spokesman for the Purbalingga administration, said the Monetary Museum was built on an idea from the regent, who will retire soon. “His term will end in April. He had a huge collection of foreign currencies, so the museum was constructed so that the public could enjoy his collection too,” he told the Post.
Prayitno said that Regent Triyono had collected the international currencies when he traveled to other countries. “He said every time he left the country, he would change some money and bring it home for his collection. He did it a long time ago, when he was an employee at the Home Ministry.”
Triyono acknowledged that the money at the museum was his private collection. He started to collect foreign currencies more than 15 years ago. The regent, who is currently in the post for his second term, hoped that after his term ended, the currency collection could become his memorial and an educational resource for people, especially Purbalingga residents.
“I can say that the museum has the largest collection in Indonesia, and maybe in the world. That’s why it has received an award from the Records Museum [MURI] as the museum with the largest currency collection,” Triyono said recently.
He said whenever he traveled overseas he would buy foreign currency at the airport before he left for home. “I always bought foreign currency. I bought it with my own money. I enjoy collecting currency from various countries, including old coins. As my collection grew, I didn’t know where to keep it all, so I make the best of it by building a monetary museum,” Triyono said.
He hoped the existence of the museum would improve the tourism potential in Purbalingga.
“Before the museum was built, the number of tourists in 2008 and 2009 had reached more than 1 million in a year. Hopefully, there will be more tourist arrivals in the future,” Triyono said.
The main tourist attraction in Purbalingga is the Owabong water park. In 2008, Owabong attracted 1.2 million tourists, contributing Rp 18 billion (US$1.99 million) to the regional revenue. Owabong, which was developed five years ago, is the most complete water park in Central Java and takes advantage of a natural spring.
“Before President SBY [Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono] launched the 2010 Visit Museum year, we had already made a start. We were lucky because when it was launched, we were ready,” said Agus Dwiyantoro, the marketing manager for the museums and Owabong.
“It has become a challenge for us to maximize the tourist numbers visiting the museum in accordance with the President’s program,” he said.
With a Rp 10,000 (about US$1) entrance ticket, one can visit all of the museums and the reptile park.
Agus said the Wayang Museum has various kinds of wayang from all over the country. “In addition, we provide facilities for visitors, and the media, so they can feel what it is like to play with the leather puppets. Please do so, so you can not only watch but play with them,” he said.
The Museum of Science and Technology has a number of hands-on exhibits and demonstrations tools related to science and technology, which can be used by the visitors. “For example, what causes a whirlwind? Or, how does a volcano erupt? The museum is open not just for students but for the general public,” Agus said.
As for the Owabong water park, it is located on 7.8 hectares land and has 11 large pools and 10 types of water-based facilities.
“The number of visitors in 2009 decreased slightly from 2008 because, we have to admit, there are now so many competitors. In Central Java alone, there are 15 similar water parks which have been built or which are still being developed,” Agus said.
“However, with the museums too, we hope more tourists will come,” he said.

Negeri Sembilan: Land of quiet grace

Negeri Sembilan: Land of quiet grace

Tan Hee Hui , Contributor , Kuala Lumpur | Tue, 12/29/2009 12:47 PM | Supplement

Negeri Sembilan’s name is derived from the nine districts or negara (now known as luak) in the state, settled by the Minangkabau people originally from West Sumatra, Indonesia.

Minangkabau features are still noticeable in traditional architecture and in the dialect of Malay spoken. One unique feature is the horn-shaped roof of Minangkabau homes.

The Minangkabau also brought with them their adat or traditions, in particular the matrilineal kinship system, which is still practiced, particularly in marriage customs, property ownership and dance forms.

The Minangkabau settled in Negeri Sembilan in the 15th century under the protection of the Malacca Sultanate, and later under the protection of its successor, the Sultanate of Johor. As Johor weakened in the 18th century, attacks by the Bugis forced the Minangkabau to seek protection from their homeland. The Minangkabau ruler, Sultan Abdul Jalil, obliged by sending his relative Raja Melewar who later become Yang di-Pertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan (He Who is Highest Lord of the Nine States) in 1773. After Raja Melewar’s death, a series of disputes arose over succession. The British intervened militarily to stop the civil war and started to establish its sovereignty in the region.

The state’s capital, Seremban, has many attractions, such as the Istana Seri Menanti, which was built at the turn of the century by two local craftsmen. The wooden palace took six years to complete and is an architectural feat as it was built without using screws or nails. In 1992 it was converted into the Royal Museum, which showcases Minangkabau architecture and other exhibits.
Elsewhere, the pretty village settings around Negeri Sembilan are reminiscent of Minangkabau influence. Located within the Arts and Culture Park (or Taman Seni Budaya Negeri) is the Istana Ampang Tinggi, which was built between 1865 and 1870. The palace has been converted into the State Museum, which showcases various old weapons as well as brass and silverware used by royal families. One also gets to see a tableau that portrays a grand royal wedding.

Beach, waterfalls

Negeri Sembilan has a popular beach, Port Dickson, located 33 kilometers from Seremban. Port Dickson lies on the shores of the Strait of Malacca. The resort town, with its miles of golden beaches and a wide range of accommodation, is a favorite playground for Kuala Lumpur city dwellers and those from Singapore.

Those who have watched the film Blue Lagoon should consider visiting the, well, Blue Lagoon – a popular spot tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Port Dickson. Although it’s not the actual location as in the film, those with a video camera can at least imagine doing another sequel to the famous film at the idyllic beach spot.

When leaving the Blue Lagoon beach, take a half kilometer drive through an area surrounded by lush jungle that will lead you to a flight of steps. The 63 steps will lead you to the foot of the Tanjung Tuan lighthouse built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Formally known as Cape Rachado, permission must be obtained from the lighthouse’s management to check out the place and enjoy the magnificent views of the Strait of Malacca.

Having checked out the lighthouse, move on to another scenic spot – the Jeram Toi Waterfalls, located halfway between Seremban and Kuala Kelawang.
Discovered by the British in 1895, Jeram Toi is ideal for a relaxing dip in the water and family picnic. Another popular waterfall is Jeram Tebrau, located within the Galla forest reserve situated in the hills north of the Negeri Sembilan highway. The Jeram Tebrau waterfall is situated at the highest point of a hill, and making a splash here is an exhilarating experience.

Food and accommodation

There are almost 900 restaurants and stalls situated in the town of Seremban and Port Dickson alone, offering the Minangkabau traditional cuisine and an extensive array of Malay, Chinese, Indian and other cuisine. Visitors can enjoy foods such as rendang, lemang and gulai kuning. Lemang costs (US$1.50-$3) per roll.

Negeri Sembilan has various types of accommodations for travelers, depending on their budget. Star-rated hotels in Port Dickson charge visitors from $35 (three-star hotels) to $170 (five-star hotels) per night, while budget hostels charge less.

Travel tips

- One way to enjoy Negeri Sembilan is by joining a private tour. A one-day private tour in Port Dickson costs up to RM70 (child) and RM150 (adult), while a three-day, two-night Port Dickson-Seremban tour costs RM375(child) RM570 (adult).

- Negeri Sembilan has a string of modern shopping complexes and department stores, especially in Seremban. These include establishments like The Store, Parkson, Seremban Parade, Seremban City Square and Centre Point. Duty-free items like exquisite watches and sophisticated photographic equipment are widely available at competitive prices.

- The Kuala Lumpur International Airport at Sepang is a mere 30 minutes away from the state capital Seremban. Tourists can choose to take a train from Butterworth, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to Seremban, from where frequent buses travel to the popular beach resort of Port Dickson. The rail service to the east coast states of Pahang and Kelantan begins from the town of Gemas.

- Other places worth visiting in Negeri Sembilan include the very scenic Seremban Lake Gardens; Cultural Handicraft Complex (Kompleks Taman Seni Budaya) at Labu Spur; and Negeri Sembilan State Museum (Istana Ampang Tinggi), situated within the Cultural Handicraft Complex. Located next to the museum is the Rumah Minang, which was burned down by the British during the Sungai Ujung war.

Enjoy the views, & the food

Enjoy the views, & the food

Triwik Kurniasari , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Sun, 03/14/2010 9:12 AM | Travel

It was 4 in the afternoon in Ciumbuleuit, Bandung. The weather was fine, even though the sun was hidden behind the clouds.
Some people were sitting and chatting with family or friends on cozy sofas and rattan-chairs in a restaurant up the hill at the edge of a valley in the Padma Hotel. The name of place is indeed “The Restaurant”. The clean air and green view were so refreshing, cooling our hearts and minds.
The best spot to enjoy the scenery was on the porch.
Try sitting on the porch, take in a deep breath, and slowly glance at your surroundings, the trees and the sky above. Feel the wind blowing over your skin. If you get lucky, you could even see an eagle flying overhead.
The Restaurant is divided into two. One part has an open kitchen where you can see how chefs prepare meals. The other, which is much bigger, has beautiful views right into the forest.
The décor is dominated by earthy colors such as beige and brown, with wooden furniture. Here there is no need for an air conditioner to chill out your day.
Here, enjoying nature would not be complete if you didn’t try something from the menu.
In the afternoon, The Restaurant serves high tea, which indulges guests with choices of snacks ranging from sweet cakes to fried dishes, a selection of fruit and hot and cold drinks.
As the clock was ticking, the sky got darker until night fell.
The Restaurant has a different feel in the evening. The area is dimly lit and it was like being surrounded by the dark blanket, giving the place a romantic feel.
It’s dinner time and it’s the perfect time to try what’s on menu, which comprises Asia and Western flavors.
Something fresh, light and cool, such as chicken salad or salmon Caesar salad could be a good way to start. If you want something healty than a salad, why don’t you try carpaccio of medium-cooked Australian Beef Sirloin.
The thinly sliced marinated beef is dressed with olive oil and parmesan cheese, and garnished with salad and wasabi mayonnaise.
Perhaps you are looking for a hot appetizer to warm your body as the weather gets cold up there in the evenings.
The Restaurant offers Western dishes such as cream of tomato soup, or mixed mushroom soup, while it also has local flavors such as soto ayam bandung (chicken soup with boiled egg, cabbage, tomato and crackers).
There is a wide selection of main courses.
Traditional dishes include sop buntut bandung (clear oxtail soup served with steamed rice, vegetables, crackers, pickles and sambal), gulai kepala kakap (braised snapper head in spicy sauce), bebek bukittinggi (braised duck in green chili sauce served with traditional aromatic rice) and gulai kambing (braised lamb in curry sauce).
Other options include nasi timbel ciumbuleuit (steamed rice wrapped in banana leaves, served with fried chicken, salted fish, tofu, fresh salad and sambal), sate campur (chicken, beef and lamb satay, served with peanut sauce) and ikan bawal colo-colo (grilled fish with special sauce).
For those who would prefer a Western meal, there are a variety of steaks and burgers.
A selection of pasta and pizza is also available, from classics like spaghetti alfredo and spaghetti aglio e olio, to oven-baked penne and vegetarian lasagna.
If the pasta is too much, you could go for pizza, which you can share with friends. The selection includes Diavola, Funghi, Frutti D’Mare and Mexicana.
Make sure you don’t leave the place before you are hungry for one of their desserts. On the list, bandrek ice cream was the first that caught The Jakarta Post’s attention. Bandrek is a traditional drink made with ginger, palm sugar and other spices.
After waiting for some time, dessert was finally served. In unique tall ice cream glasses, the ice cream tasted exactly like ginger, and was garnished with slices of kiwi fruit and a strawberry on top.
It’s a mixture of hot and cold. The ice may make you cold, but at the same time the ginger warms you up inside.
Well, now you are full and have finished savoring the menu. Don’t leave your seat too soon though. Try to stay for a while to soak up some more of the refreshing, natural ambiance.
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The green view around The Restaurant

— Photo Courtesy of Padma Hotel

Javanese folk furniture bridges East and West cultures

Javanese folk furniture bridges East and West cultures

Rita A. Widiadana , The Jakarta Post , Denpasar | Thu, 04/08/2010 8:38 AM | Art and Design

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Javanese antique and folk furniture are examples of artworks that bridge past and future, East and West, avid art lover David B. Smith says after years of meticulous study.

For decades, Smith roamed every corner of Java to find the beauty and mystery of Javanese folk arts.
While most people on the island viewed the works as bits and pieces, Smith valued them as precious examples of cultural heritage from the old agricultural society of Java.
His love of Javanese folk art and antique furniture had grown deeply since the early 1970s when he first visited a village in Ponorogo, East Java.
“The first time I saw examples of the remarkable cabinets and chests from Ponorogo, East Java, I felt their power in a very physical way,” Smith recalls.
He was lucky to be friends with art collector and “mentor” James Tirtoprodjo who accompanied him on a “never-ending-journey” to remote Javanese villages, many of which were isolated from urban influences.
“I never knew what I would find on my travels with James Tirtoprodjo — my colleague, and frequent guide — and I came upon an intriguing example from the hands of yet another unknown 19th-century craftsman. It was a shock to me that such expressive workmanship could be so hidden away.”
Smith’s enthusiasm for handmade furniture was spontaneous and already evident when he was still 11 years old, when, with no encouragement from his parents, he bought a Pennsylvania Dutch dry sink in New England and spent months refinishing it.
For more than 30 years, Smith has searched for and collected the rarest pieces of Javanese furniture and folk arts that no other people or institutions encompassed.
Smith explored galleries, museums in Indonesia and overseas. He discovered that virtually none possessed any of the examples he had in his unique and rare collection.
Smith’s vast collection ranges from wooden cabinets and chests to chairs, four-poster beds, boxes, sturdy tables, room dividers, statues, puppets and ritual objects.
“David’s collection of Javanese folk arts and furniture is a very rare reflection of the golden age of furniture making in the late 18th and the early 20th centuries,” commented author and art observer Bruce W. Carpenter, who accompanied Smith one afternoon at his office compound in the Sanur area.
Together with Carpenter, Smith researched the origins and history of each piece in his collection, and put the information together in a 350-page book titled Javanese Antique Furniture and Folk Art, published by Singapore-based Edition Didier Millet.
Smith says the book aims to honor a generally unknown folk art and furniture tradition by depicting some of the most impressive examples of Javanese antique and folk furniture.
Now, for a bit of history..

The history of Javanese furniture, Carpenter writes, dates back to the arrival of the Portuguese and Dutch between the early 15th and 16th centuries.

“Inhabitants of the Nusantara archipelago recognized no furniture traditions,” he notes.
Indigenous furniture (comprising a variety of chests of various sizes used for storage, low pedestal tables (dulang) and large platters of wood and metal that also served as tables) was present, but used in limited ways.
Europeans — the Portuguese and the Dutch, brought furniture to Java for two reasons: because they “found no suitable furnishings in the East” (Terwen-de Loos, 1985, 11), and because they wanted to delight th e local populace with lavish and grand styles. The early introduction of furniture was also necessary because the Dutch colonialists refused or were unable to sit upon the floor like their hosts across the Asia-Pacific at that time.
Europeans brought with them lavish furnishings such as Baroque armoires, Spanish chairs, armchairs, daybeds, four-poster beds, room dividers, candelabras, large chests and sturdy tables.
The needs of the colonial elite and administration were so great and the supply from Europe so impractical.
To meet the increasing demand for furniture, a number of notable Dutch officials and wealthy merchants established local ateliers employing local artisans in Batavia (the capital of the Dutch Indies colonial government) in l619.
Founded in 1619, Batavia (today’s Jakarta), the first completely planned modern city in the East and capital of the Dutch East Indies, quickly developed into a furniture-making center.
The major patrons were the officials of the Dutch East India Company (also known by its Dutch acronym, VOC) and wealthy merchants who commissioned work for both personal and official use, such as to give as gifts to indigenous princes.
The first recorded example of this practice was when a chair was given to the Sultan of Mataram in 1651.
From Batavia, furniture manufacturers also shifted to other regions including Cirebon in West Java, Tegal and Jepara in Central Java, Surabaya in East Java and Madura Island. Furniture production also emerged in Palembang, South Sumatra.
The growth of local ateliers enriched the production of furniture items with influences from the West (Baroque, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Georgian styles, etc), Java (Indonesia), China (Ming Dynasty), India (Hindu and Buddhist artistic elements) and Middle East.
This furniture is a rich part of the Indonesian people’s warisan (heritage).
Java was one of the great civilizations of the ancient world, and the finest Javanese art is second to
none. Nevertheless, Javanese antiques and folk furniture must be one of the last “unknown” art forms to be documented by the Western world.
Carpenter says many experts previously thought Javanese folk arts were similar to any other folk arts, with “bright, bold colors, naïve forms and compositions, anonymous of origins.
“[Javanese folk furniture] was regarded as products of forthright workmanship, unfettered by intellectualism.
“[Javanese] furniture could be described by some as little more than an amusing footnote to a far greater European tradition,” he said.
A closer analysis will reveal that both of these facile conclusions are erroneous. Javanese furniture is the offspring of an ancient sophisticated culture, renowned for its ability to incorporate outside influences into existing traditions without impairing the integrity of the original.
Another scholar, Joseph Campbell, also said the introduction of foreign furniture should be viewed as catalyst that resulted in the creation of a new art form that was completely Javanese in spite of its origins.
In addition to cabinetries, Javanese antique furniture includes beds, tables, chairs and benches, which according to the Javanese perception of the universe all share a common but important characteristic — elevation.
Unlike most Javanese furniture, clearly based on European and Chinese precedents, chests, boxes and storage containers have been made and used in Java since time immemorial.
Boxes and chests were made from a wide variety of materials including bamboo, rattan, woven grasses, bark, terracotta and stone. The production of boxes and chests may date back to the Bronze and Iron ages. During these periods, stone boxes and chests were used as ossuaries or sarcophagi for the storage of ancestral remains.
The influence of Hindu and Buddhist elements were also obvious (between the seventh and 15th Centuries).
Boxes and chests were used to store family heirlooms, jewelry, rare textiles and even rice and agricultural harvests.
“One day, I talked to some children living near my house in Jepara, Central Java, and showed them my collection of Javanese furniture. None of the children knew these were the arts of their ancestors,” Smith recalled.
These children and the majority of Javanese people may have no idea or knowledge of their own precious art legacies.
The collections of David B. Smith and James Tirtoprodjo may shed some light on the history and mysteries surrounding ancient Javanese antique and folk furniture.

Inspired by India: The bold composition of vividly painted, stylized lotus flower seen on the façade of this 19th century large chest (grobog) from East Java is directly inspired by the Patola, a much-prized, rare double ikat textile patterns from India, which entered Java Island in the early 16th century. Courtesy Editions Didier Millet

Ritual to ward off evil lives on

Ritual to ward off evil lives on

Alit Kartarahardja , Contributor , Buleleng, Bali | Thu, 04/08/2010 10:56 AM | Surfing Bali

of men stand in front of a fire in the middle of the Pura Agung temple’s yard in Sidetapa village. Through the Briyang Agung ritual, they cleanse their weapons in a ritual to ward off any evil spirits. JP/Alit Kartarahardja

It was a cold and misty night at the old village of Sidetapa, 40 kilometers northwest of Singaraja, the capital of Buleleng regency in North Bali.
Hundreds of villagers, however, were enthusiastically taking part in a rare ceremony called Odalan Karya Ngerebeg temple anniversary, also referred to as the Briyang Agung ritual, observed every three years.
Donned in their best traditional costumes, the village women carried large and colorful offerings on their heads. Fathers and children helped bring other ceremonial paraphernalia walking in a long procession.
The Briyang Agung ritual, which celebrates the visit of the gods to the commemoration of the founding of their village’s major temple, is usually observed on Purnamaning Kedasa, the Full Moon in the tenth month of the Balinese Hindu calendar.
“The essence of the ritual is to pray to the Creator and welcome the gods, while at the same time fight evil spirits,” explained Nyoman Parna, a leader of Sidetapa.
Before Briyang Agung, all members of the village performed a series of mini-rituals including the Melasti purification procession to the nearest river Tukad Sidetapa. The procession involved 100 noted members of the community, with participants dancing and some going into a trance.
The Balinese believe trance dancers are mediums who can transmit god’s word during any ritual process. Going into a trance might also be a proof of gods’ presence.
The next ritual performed was Sesayutan and Wayon to greet the deities. The day after the procession, all male members of the village took part in a deer hunting or meboros kidang.
Sidetape village was once surrounded by lush forests, home to wild deer and boars. As a result of rapid population growth, the forest became a residential area.
“At present, it is very difficult to find deers in the forest,” said Wayan Artha.
Deers and pigs were used as the main offerings.
“Believe it or not, we have always found deers somewhere when the time came to perform the ritual. It must be the gods’ will,” Artha said.
The peak of the commemoration is called Briyang Agung. Families brought their sharp weapons, kris (daggers), swords, spears, lances, and others to the Pura Agung mother temple.
A number of men set fires in the middle of the temple’s yard. The villagers then carried their weapons inside the temple, to the sound of gamelan music. Numerous women also performed ritual dances to accompany the sacred weapons.
The cleansing ritual of the weapons is intended to ward off any evil spirits. For residents of Sidetapa, the ritual also honors their warrior ancestors.
Based on the folk story, Sidetapa was once home to royal warriors of the Buleleng Kingdom.
“These sacred weapons were believed to possess magical powers. Their forefathers used the weapons to fight against the Kingdom’s enemies including the Dutch colonial troops in the early 19th century,” explained historian I Gusti Putu Teken.
Parna added that in 1999, the village did not hold the ritual.
“Our village was then ‘cursed’ by many calamities,” he added.
The Briyang ceremony was a medium to renew their ties with the gods and to reinforce communal bonds with each other during the elaborate ritual preparations.

Wayang Kulit from India and Indonesia on show in Vitre

Wayang Kulit from India and Indonesia on show in Vitre

Kunang Helmi , Contributor , Paris | Sat, 04/03/2010 10:06 AM | Entertainment

The Center of Documentation of World Theater in Vitre, France, about two-hours drive from Paris, is featuring shadow puppets as part of the Festival de l’Imaginaire this year. The first exhibition displays shadow puppets from India and Java, Indonesia. The second features the work of Indonesian contemporary wayang beber painter Dani Iswardani from Solo, Java.
The first, Shadows of Ramayana, displays some 50 Indonesian leather shadow puppets known as wayang kulit until May 12. Together with photos, videos and maps as well as two lectures on shadow puppet theater in the two countries, visitors to Brittany can gain insight into the importance and relevance of this theater form in modern times.
Shadow puppet theater was born in Asia where for centuries, especially in India and Indonesia, excerpts originating from the Ramayana or Mahabharata epics were popular. Only in Asia is it still performed according to old traditions deeply rooted in national culture. The interplay of light and colored shadows is the strongest aspect of the dream-like effect of the shadow theater, playing a role as a mediator between gods and men. Nowadays, by contrast, governments may sometimes also promote its use as an educational tool.
Said to have originated in India from scroll paintings called Chitra Katha, shadow puppets is a theater form evolved from visual dramatization of cut-out figures later fashioned from thin leather. These were of different styles, made from translucent or opaque leather, some figures were black and white, while others were brilliantly colored, both appearing as delicate as lace shadows on the screen. The shadow puppet master was a venered figure of society with performances featuring prominently in social and religious life.
In India, shadow theater called Chlaya Natak spread from Gujarat on the western coast to Maharashtra when the clan of shadow puppeteers traveled across the subcontinent. Shadow puppets are now widely prevalent in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and coastal areas as well as in Maharashtra and Orissa.


Each performance in India generally commenced with a prayer for Ganesha — the elephant headed son of god Shiva — and sometimes was also dedicated to Saraswati or Brahma. The puppeteer was often accompanied by a group of musicians. Each regional style has its own stock of characters to create comic situations. The back-stage arrangement of the puppets used is always sequential with different animal characters and scenery performances, which is usually a lengthy performance.
In Java the shadow plays are often regarded as an art form where the flat leather puppets cast shadows upon a screen that used to be lit by coconut oil lamps before the advent of electricity. The light endowed an exotic touch to these performances where one puppeteer known as a dalang would control movement while enacting voices. The performance would be preceded by showing the Gunungan to herald the commencement of the long narrative.
In Java, the puppeteer is said to be endowed with mystical power while he enjoys more prestige than other performing artists in Java. These performances also form part of Balinese culture. There is evidence that shadow plays have been performed for over 1,000 years in Indonesia, perhaps coming over from India where it is said shadow puppets did have their origin.
Shadow plays are still enormously popular in Java with people flocking to see a famous puppeteer perform. These performers enjoy huge monetary rewards beside the prestige they garner with each performance when the highly stylized figures of heroes, gods, princesses, demons and servants are the focus of attention during the night-long sessions.
Such a famous dalang was the Javanese artist Joko Susilo who learned the art from his father who again learnt it from his father, this art stretching seven generations back. Joko Susilo started early at the age of 3 and gave his first performance when he was 10 when he had to stand in for his father.
The dalang sits cross-legged with his right leg over his left so that he can play brass percussion with his foot to direct the gamelan. Usually the dalang does not move from this spot without eating for nine hours showing a much admired endurance for his art. Each performance based on a part of the Ramayana for instance is subject to local variations with comments on current social and political events. Until now a female dalang has never appeared.
The Javanese audience either sit in front of the screen to admire the shadows or behind the screen to watch the dalang and the gamelan orchestra. However, in the West the spectators generally prefer to sit in front of the screen. It is rare that Western dalang make their mark because they perform in many traditional languages beside manipulating the puppets. Once in a while there is a wayang kulit festival in Indonesia with many puppeteers coming together to perform different pieces.
Some Western puppeteers have also transformed this ancient art form into a modern interpretation of theater. Many famous theater directors have also incorporated variations into their contemporary plays or opera such as director Robert Wilson or American dalang Larry Reed. The latter, besides being an expert in Balinese wayang, also employs the technique for other theater performances in the US. One such noted performance, which premiered in Peliatan, Bali, a few years ago, was “Wayang Listrik”.
In Vitre, two lectures, one by Dr. Francoise Grund and the other by Cathy Basset, will explain the history and genesis of shadow puppets in India and Indonesia.