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Showing posts from September, 2018

THE MYSTERY OF ANCOL BRIDGE

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Ancol Bridge (Jembatan Ancol) is considered one of the eeriest locations in Jakarta city. As a matter of fact, it isn’t as spooky as people say. It is the place where youth hang out on the weekends.
In 1993, there was a soap opera of Si Manis Jembatan Ancol (The Sweetheart at Ancol Bridge) that was one of the favorite comedy horrors on television. Perhaps you would never think that such hybrid genre is adapted from a tragic past story.
The comedy horror is so entertaining that causes the audience can’t help laughing. But if you know the legend, you’ll get goosebumps on your skin.
In 19th century, there was a beautiful girl called Maryam who lived in a pavilion with her mother and elder sister in the era of Dutch colonization.
Maryam or Siti Ariah was the village beauty who possessed the magical aura of attractiveness that would make every man kneel down before her.
The owner of the pavilion was much impressed by the charm of Maryam’s manner and sent a marriage proposal letter to her mother…

THE JERUK PURUT CEMETERY

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If you like graveyard walking tour, you may go to visit Jeruk Purut Cemetery in South Jakarta. It is not difficult to find the location. The locals know this place very well and you can also use Google maps to guide you to this site.
Jeruk Purut Cemetery has become well known since 2006. Koya Pagayo, the film director successfully introduced Jeruk Purut Ghost, which tells us that a headless pastor and his dog often walk around the cemetery at night. The poor beheaded pastor is unable to find his tomb, causing him to roam everywhere at midnight.
The popularity of this movie has promoted such area to be a night tour location. Young people like going there to test how brave they are and see whether their friends have enough guts to stay there in the evening.
Some of them go to that place to find the headless pastor and others just like to feel the sensation of goosebumps growing on the skin.
Many years ago, I usually took the shortcut after I finished teaching a Dutch woman Mandarin language…

THE SUN GO KONG’S BIRTHDAY

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Sun Go Kong’s birthday is celebrated on every 15th of the 8th month of Lunar Calendar and it always takes place in a remote area of Gedong village on Bangka Island.
Usually, the celebration is prepared in the afternoon and will proceed at seven o'clock in the evening. There will be a lot of people standing around the location before the ritual starts.
It is indeed a mystical traditional show that belongs to the Chinese Indonesians, where red colored papers dominate the decoration of the altar. The location is full of smoke because the people never stop burning their joss sticks. This Chinese traditional culture has been known for centuries and it has been celebrated since the Chinese descendants lived there.
The ritual is held every year to celebrate the birthday of Sun Go Kong (the monkey king) that symbolizes the Divine power, energy and health. Besides, it is also considered powerful enough to strike all the negative influences of the evils. The Sun Go Kong holy spirit is invited…

THE KETUPAT FIGHT

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Ketupat Fight (Perang Ketupat) is the ritual performed by the people of Pantai Kuning who dwell in the Western part of Bangka Island. This ritual is aimed to serve the spirits living on land with some ritual offerings.
According to the shamans, the spirits are of good behaviors, kind hearted and always keep Tempilang Village away from the evil Satan. That is why they should be specially treated, so they will always be the good friends of the villagers.
No one knows exactly when the ritual has come into the people’s lives. Judging from the folktale, the ritual has been known since the eruption of Krakatau volcano in the year 1883. Some say that this ritual has become popular since the days of the Portugal colonization. Obviously, this ritual has been handed down from generation to generation.
This ritual usually takes place for two days. On the first day, it is performed at nighttime where the traditional dances are shown to public. The ritual offerings are put on the doll house (penimb…

GRASS FIELD OF THE ABANDONED BABY

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In the 13th century, there was once a long dry season on Belitung Island. Water was too hard to be found and people were suffering everywhere.
One day, a woman called Dambe was walking slowly on the way of her tiring journey. She was carrying her new born baby and taking a coconut shell dipper. She had been seeking water for half a day and finally she reached the foot of Mount Tajam (Gunung Tajam). However, she still didn’t find any water and her baby was crying loudly.
As she was too tired and thirsty, she took a rest by sitting on a rock and kept a close look at the nearest surroundings. She hoped she would be able to find some water. Not long after that, she saw a turtle crawling away from the rock where she sat. She decided to keep an eye on that turtle. Probably it could help her find the source of water.
The woman then made a circle with stones on the ground and left her baby inside. Then she began following the trace of that turtle. Finally the turtle brought her to a valley where…

THE JELANGKUNG RITUAL

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Jelangkung is a very old ritual that has existed for at least 1500 years. In Belitung, this ritual is performed in a full moon night. Young people like it a lot because they will be able to communicate with the spirits of the dead.
Before the ritual, they should prepare a wooden puppet. The jelangkung puppet is made of a coconut half-shell and two wooden sticks.
First, draw a face on the coconut shell and tie the wooden sticks to make a cross. The coconut shell needs to be attached to the cross, and then tie a pen or marker at the lower end of the wooden cross. After that, put a bunch of keys on the neck of the puppet and dress it with used clothes.
This ritual is usually performed by three or four people. They go to find a quiet place, so that nobody will disturb them when the ritual starts.
In the moonlight, they take out glutinous rice, cakes, tea or arrack and put them on the ground. After burning kemenyan (incense), two people stand on the left and right holding the jelangkung puppe…

THE HUNGRY GHOST FESTIVAL

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The Chinese Indonesians in Belitung usually celebrate a festival on every 15th of the seventh month of lunar calendar. This festival is called Sembahyang Rebut. It means that you may pick up or seize anything you like when the snatch ritual starts.
It is believed that the Door of Hell is open and the spirits of the dead are roaming everywhere. People always prepare the ritual offerings for the wandering souls in the hope that they won’t disturb human beings. If they are hungry, they will appear in your dream and seize your neck like that of a goose as what you have seen in the Living Dead movies.
The festival is celebrated at the temple where there’re a great number of worshipers join it. Besides that there are a lot of tourists who want to know the process of the festival. Most of the tourists are curious about what the worshipers will do in their festival.
On that day, a giant effigy is placed in the temple yard.It’s a very scary one which has an ugly face, two staring big eyes and a l…

GHOST IN THE BAMBOO FISH TRAP

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This game is usually played by the youth on Belitung Island. The fish trap is made of rattan or bamboo and is given the magic power through the mystical mantras by a shaman. The bamboo fish trap is approximately a meter high and is covered with cloth. In Indonesian language, it is called permainan hantu bubu.
People recommend playing this game at midnight in the moonlight. The negative energy will be greater because there’s no sunlight. Ghost is obviously afraid of sunshine, that’s why crimes are often committed at nighttime.
Some people like covering the fish trap with red or white cloth, but it is believed that the supernatural power will be stronger if you use black cloth. According to shamanism, black color absorbs negative energy more frequently.
After the shaman finish saying his mantras, he will ask the strong guy to challenge the bamboo fish trap. Everyone can join this game if they aren’t afraid of ghosts.
The bamboo fish trap stands in front of the challenger silently. While…