Semarang, A Bowl Of Diversities


Semarang, this capital city of Central Java Province is such an old city that remain the long ancient history regarding the tragedy and the way of living from the inhabitant.

Semarang at early begin dates back on 8th Century when it was named as Bergota. By the end of fifteenth century, a Javanese Islamic missionary from nearby Sultanate of Demak with the name of Made Pandan Prince. There was an infrequent Tamarind Tree, in Javanese language means Asem Arang. Thus, from that tamarin tree, Semarang city was born, taken from the word Asem Arang. As the founder of Semarang City, Made Pandan Prince was legalized as the first regent of Semarang with the title of Kyai Ageng Pandan Arang I.

In the past, Settlements in Semarang region was fragmented by ethnicity. At Plain outfall was dominated by the Dutch and Malay, around R.Patah Street was dominated by Chinese, while Javanese was lived on along Semarang river and its branches.

In the year of 1678, because there was a complex debt, Amangkurat II was finally mortgaged Semarang to Dutch. Since then, Semarang was under the Dutch colonialism rules and change their predominant functions into areas of military defense and the Dutch commercial for a strategic location.

Holland also moved the Dutch military defense activities from Jepara to Semarang, based on agreements with Pakubuwono I. Since then, there is a change of status, function, physical and social life of Semarang. Semarang became the center of political activities of the VOC.

Under the Dutch colonialism, the development of Semarang was rapidly growing. Dutch was built many public facilities, building villas, the indigenous population was also developed. Semarang had become the center of Dutch governmental in Central Java.

After that, there was some contributions from the Dutch for Semarang like, the first railways on 1864, the port of Semarang is also growing rapidly with harbor traders from various countries. The first telegram between Batavia – Semarang – Ambarawa – Soerabaja was opened on 1857. Semarang in 1884 began doing long-distance telephone connection between Semarang-Jakarta & Semarang-Surabaya. Also, the opened of first post office on 1862.

Looking from the contribution that being gave by the Dutch, it is not surprising that Semarang nowadays is become an fascinating old city that remain the journey on every path of live.

The people in Semarang is mostly Javanese, and using Java language in everyday life, with Islam as the major religion. Semarang people also has a large Tionghoa ethnics that live mingled with other ethnics.

The economic sector from this city is coming from some industrial park and factories. The port of Semarang is also gain a lot for this port isthe main shipping port Central Java. Moreover, Many small manufacturers are located in Semarang, producing goods such as textiles, furnitures, and processed foods. Large companies, such as Kubota and Coca-Cola, also have plants in Semarang.

One of popular thing about Semarang after its famous food of Lumpia or loen pia is Admiral Cheng Ho. A Chinese Admiral that landed his ship into Semarang on 1405 and he began to built a temple of Sam Po Kong and a legendary mosque of Cheng Ho Mosque.

Because the cultural diversities are remain in Semarang between the Dutch, Chinese and Javanese, there are some unification among those culture that can be found in city background, include the sights, temples, monuments, tourism destination and many more.

Over all, Semarang is the witness itself from parts of the evolution and revolution of time regarding the history and the way of living.

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