Sunday, January 31, 2010

Es Conglik, the legend will last forever

Es Conglik or Conglik Ice is a legendary Semarang traditional beverage. Conglik Ice can be a kind of representative of lower class beverage in the past since its name is taken from KaCong CiLik or a little lad. According to a history, in 1944, there was a little lad who used to work for a wealthy businessman and when he quit his job, he established his own business and it’s called as Conglik Ice. The business has developed until today and becomes a legend.
How does Conglik Ice look like? Actually, the performance and the taste are not far different from Thung2 Ice (I wrote about it earlier). The process on how to make Conglik Ice is mostly similar to it. And so is the place where Conglik Ice is placed. The difference is in the various topping of the beverage, such as grated young coconut, jelly, bread, chocolate,etc. It has some varieties of flavor, too, such as chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, durian, longen, young coconut or mostly called as kopyor, lychee, avocado, etc.
Conglik Ice has typical way of production similar to Thung2 Ice. The main ingredients are Coconut milk, sugar and some flavor are mixed together and put in a drum made of metal then the drum is soaked in a ice cubes and salt. The drum is spinned till the dough inside the drum turns to solid dough. It is mostly served in a small bowl or plate with its topping.  
There are msotly only two places offer this legendery beverage, they are Semawes Fair (held only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday every week) located in Chinatown in Semarang and a food stall in front of Tlogorejo hospital, close to Simpanglima, the heart of Semarang. Well, if one day something brings you to Semarang, please drop by in one of those places and have a great taste of Conglik Ice. Fresh and yummy....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Baiturrahman Mosque, the oasis among secular buildings

The word Baitur is from Arabic language, meaning House—Bait, Rahman is from one of Allah Almighty’s characters, meaning The Caring. This mosque has a lot of histories from the very first time it was established. It was in 1958 when Candi Mosque Foundation proposed an appeal to establish a great mosque in Central Java. The foundation proposed Pancasila square as the selected location. Later in April 30 1963, the appeal was approved by Central Java governor Moechtar. The process of establishing the mosque was broken off due to Communist Party rebellion in 1965.

The process of building the great mosque continued three years later after the rebellion. In 1968, Candi mosque Foundation turned to be Baiturrahman Mosque Foundation. As soon as the stake completed, it was officially launched on February 27, 1969. But the problem was still there, obstructed the construction of the feather of the Semarang people’s cap.  Due to financial problem, the construction was put off on July 7, 1973. the local government finally appointed Central Java Development Inc to finish the project. The development was finally completed and officially launched by Mr. Soeharto, the second president of Indonesia on December 15, 1974.

The form of the mosque is like an open structure in front of Java mansion—mostly called as pendopo in Javanese. At the top of the storey is used for female congregation with 500 people available. Meanwhile, the male congregation is put under the storey with 2500 people capacity. The lower storey is commonly used for social benefits such as wedding hall, meeting hall, library, and office.

Additional building, tower, was established in 1985, such as elementary school, kindergarten school, and Indonesian Council of Religious Scholars office. These days, the mosque was surrounded by secular buildings, such as hotel, malls, skyscraper building and theater. A gossip was once heard that the mosque would be relocated to another location, but it’s still there, gracefully dashing unmoved.

 Writers' note:
The picture was taken in January 1, 2010. It was Friday morning and there were a lot of street bendors offering their goods in front of Baiturrahman mosque. The crowded situation is common on Sunday morning or any other public holidays.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Tugu Muda, the 'Forever Young' Monument

Tugu Muda or Youth Monument is a five-angle-longitudinal plane through the center. The monument consists of 2 parts; they are the base and the head. Relief was carved along the base. To make it more impressive, water reservoir and Greenery Park are put around the stone-made monument. Tugumuda is located in the hart of Semarang, the capital city of Central Java, surrounded by prominent buildings, such as Lawang Sewu (the Netherlands relic), Governor Official Residence, Manggala Bakti Museum and Catholic Cathedral.
The idea of founding this monument is to commemorate Five-Day-Battle happening in Semarang. October 28, 1945, Central Java Governor, Mr. Wongsonegoro launched the foundation stone in the target place which was next to the town square. However, Allied and Japanese Forces attacked in November 1945, the project was cancelled. In 1949, Indonesian Youth Corporation (Badan Koordinasi Pemuda Indonesia/ BKPI) seized the initiative to continue the project. Due to the fund problem, the idea was again unfinished. In 1951, Semarang Mayor, Hadi Soebeno Sosro Wedoyo formed Tugu Muda committee. This time, the target location to build the monument was where Tugu Muda is now located.

Salim was the one who designed the monument, and Hendro, an artist, was responsible for the relief. The material—the stone—was imported from Kaliurang, Yogyakarta and Paker. Boediono, the Central Java Governor launched the foundation stone in November 10, 1951. The official announcement was authenticated by the first President of Indonesia, Soekarno in May 20, 1953 when Indonesian people commemorated The Awakening Day. There have been some renovations done by the local government, such as park, water reservoir and fountain.

The local government made the monument more attractive by placing some fountains around the pond with more or less 5 meter height. That’s why, it looks so exotic that attract the people to drop by, especially those who are passing Semarang to take some pictures. Some months ago, from the writer’s notification, there were a lot of vehicles were parked around the monument that blocked the traffic. It made the police regulate the visitors’ parking.

Writer's note: Some information is taken from the following link