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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Visit Prambanan Temple

Located about 20 kms east of Yogya, Prambanan temple is mainly dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and features the other two gods of trimurti: Krishna and Brahma. The temple was established in 9th Century (almost at the same time as Borobudur temple) with the height of 149 m2.

To get to Prambanan temple, the closest city to reach is Yogya. The city is accessible by daily flight from major cities in Indonesia like Jakarta, Surabaya and Denpasar. From Yogya, you can either take a taxi or bus (Yogya-Solo), and the temple is situated right on the main street to Solo. The best time to visit Prambanan is in the morning (8-10 AM) or in the afternoon (3-6 PM) when the temperature is warm. In the evening, especially during the full moon, the temple hosts a dance performance taken from the epic Ramayana. The stage is located strategically so that the temple becomes the backdrop of the performance.

Loro Jonggrang complex was built in 10 century to the lure of Rakai. But there is the legend that says this temple was built by Bandung Bondowoso. When he will propose to married Loro Jonggrang, the daughter asks for the make 1000 temples in one night. In fact making temple failed, and only finished 999 temples, and then cursed Loro Jonggrang into the statue to the 1000 because he feel that Loro Jonggrang cheat him.

Prambanan temple is also have a relief that the Ramayana story. According to experts, relief is similar to the Ramayana story is revealed through oral tradition. Relief in the Kalpataru tree is interesting that in the Hindu religion is considered as a tree of life, sustainability and environmental suitability. In Prambanan, relief depicted the Kalpataru tree lion’s flank. The existence of this tree makes experts consider that the 9-century to have wisdom in managing the environment

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lebaran Topat in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara

Topat, more popular called as Ketupat, and Lebaran the meaning is celebration. Lebaran Topat, one of many famous traditional in Lombok. This tradition not only in Lombok, in other place of Indonesia, Java, Betawi, Bugis and others, have some tradition with different name. Lebaran Topat usually held at 7th Syawal in Arabic Calendar or After Idul Fitri.

Lebaran Topat Lebaran Topat is a cultural event relived to the Moslem religion in Lombok. It is held in the seventh day after Idul Fitri – the day of celebration at end of fasting month for Moslems. Lebaran Topat is the tradition to celebrate Lebaran and recreation by bringing topat, traditional food in Lombok, that is small packages of cooked rice wrapped in coconut leaves, with variety of side dishes including vegetables. Lebaran topat is held particularly in the West Lombok, started to pray for prosperity and happiness in the mosque, musholla, family grave yard and then followed by recreation a long coast line.

Ketupat is a type of dumpling from Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia made from rice that has been wrapped in a woven palm leaf pouch which is then boiled. As the rice cooks, the grains begin to expand to fill the pouch and the rice becomes compressed. This method of cooking gives the ketupat its characteristic form and texture of a rice dumpling.

Ketupat is usually eaten with rendang (a type of dry beef curry) or served as an accompaniment to satay. Ketupat is also traditionally served by Indonesians and Malays at open houses on festive occasions such as Idul Fitri (Hari Raya Aidilfitri). During Idul Fitri in Indonesia, ketupat is often served with chicken curry, accompanied with spicy soy powder.

There are many varieties of ketupat, with two of the more common ones being ketupat nasi and ketupat pulut. Ketupat nasi is made from white rice and is wrapped in a square shape with coconut palm leaves while ketupat pulut is made from glutinous rice is usually wrapped in a triangular shape using the leaves of the fan palm (Licuala). Ketupat pulut is also called “ketupat palas” in Malaysia.

In Indonesia, ketupat sometimes boiled in thin coconut milk and spices to enhance the taste.

Other Topat Stories

Perang Topat

Perang Topat (Rice-Cake War) is a ceremony which is performed in Lingsar Park by both Hindus and Sasaks. It is performed as an expression of gratitude to God for His blessing of fertile soil and plentiful agriculture produce. The two differing religious groups did this event once a year as they join together for a ceremony to welcome the beginning of the rainy season. The rice-cake war ceremony begins with each party worshipping in their respective temples.

They then congregate outside and start throwing small packages of cooked rice wrapped in coconut leaves, called topat or ketupat, at each other.

The show begins at 16.00 after Pedande Mapuja, when the Waru flowers fall (Rorok Kembang Waru). According to the Sasak calendar, the ceremony is usually held every year at the time of sixth full moon, some time in November or December.


Source: Lombok Destinations