the rise and the fall of it

My capability in the subject history is quite bad. I was at the borderline between pass and failing the subject when I took the lower secondary exam. But of course I passed it lah. So let me just write this entry down with my best effort and limited knowledge. Hik.
During the first day we were in Palembang, we went to this very historical green park on a small hill. It is called the Siguntang hill, where some of the well-known ancient kings and princesses rest in their well kept grave.
I saw the tomb of the king Sigentar Alam. I don’t know much, but from what I comprehend, this is one of the ancestors of Parameswara, the leader who discovered and established the Malacca empire. And that is something huge.

The ancient grave of a famous king

Indonesia experienced the era of invasion by the Dutch. In spite of the imperialist effort to diminish all trace of the Palembang origin, there are still historical artifact found and excavated.
I went to the very simple museum here, not far from the river. They have the Buddha and Indian god statue, (what’s the name? Krishna or Vishnu?) showing that other religion were once strongly practiced here. Once, Palembang was the place offering institutions to study the teachings of Buddha. This attracted a lot of ships to dock here from all over the world.

A Buddha statue

A Hindu god statue

A huge mosque in the middle of the city

They also have a few precious records carved on ancient stones, telling the history of the era of fame of Palembang. Once known as a very prominent civilization, nowadays the people here are struggling to have even have a cup of rice to eat.

An ancient sanskrit record on a stone. Very PGL.

The Dutch occupation indeed left a bit of their culture here. A lot of government buildings have the influence of Dutch architecture. During some of the local wedding processions, they would have a small brass ensemble playing for entertainment, called as ‘jidur music’. And the design of some ambulance vans, reminded me of those that they have in the Europe during the world war.

The stairs of the museum

The brass ensemble.
That old clarinet on the right belongs to cain-abel.
Mak lari dulu ya.

Of course there are things that would still stand proud and tall for the next few decades, and there are other things which would be doubted to survive forever. After their independence, they built this massive independence monument that reminded me of huge weird spaceships from the movies in the eighties. I also saw a few traditional Palembang houses, made of teak wood, as they age and left unnoticed in the dusty tired city.

The indendependence monument.
Simbol burung dedicated to cain-abel.
Matilah only he can understand.

Still standing.
Architecture of an old Palembang house.

Isn’t there anything that is enticing there in Palembang, you may ask?

The most significant for me personally, is that their avocado here is abundant. As cheap as carrots perhaps. Using one avocado, blended with milk, and topped with chocolate syrup, there, a very delicious beverage that I drank almost twice each of the four days I was in Palembang.

Fresh and delicious. Yummy!

And they also have the apam balek, in a lot of different flavors. This one has a super thick layer of grated cheese, sinful and nice. Yummylicious.

Sinful cake

As for those who would want to get beautiful kebaya dresses, they sell a wide variety of songkets here at very cheap price. It’s a main industry here, I suppose.

Textile marvel.

So that's about it.
I tried to make it as short and sweet as possible.

Overall, I admit that I have been an arrogant jerk for I couldn't stop being uncomfortable there. And I can't help feeling a huge relief each time I return to the cosy hotel. Thank goodness I stayed in a good hotel with supply of avocado juice 24 hours every day!

But I do feel thankful. Compared to them, we are like millionaires.

Now I am loving Damansara even more.


cain & abel said...

sial engkau.....aku ramas tetek engkau baru tau!! Sampai hati engkau....mak perit lagi tau!

lyana said...

mak kesah!!!! semua dedicate kat cain-abel...tak ingat kat aku laaa tu....