Wednesday, 29 July 2015

#alivegurlmudik: Of All the Fallen and Risen Heroes

In Indonesia, Surabaya is known as the Town of Heroes (Kota Pahlawan), seeing as it is the birthplace of the first rebellion uprising, namely when dr. Soetomo founded his educational organisation, Boedi Oetomo. Traveling around this place, it is quite impossible not to stumble upon hero-themed monuments as well as museums. On our second day in Surabaya, my sister and I - along with our cousin - visited Taman Makam Pahlawan (The Heroes’ Cemetery). Well, one of many, I believe. This one is located in Kusuma Bangsa, which is nearby to a Chinese mosque we wanted to visit as well. The cemetery was actually closed on the weekends and civilians aren’t allowed to enter - only family of the buried heroes are allowed to visit - but we somehow managed to pull some (unintentional) strings and got in for some quick photos. It wasn’t illegal, I promise.

The next destination was located not 500 metres from the cemetery, namely Cheng Hoo Mosque. It is a Chinese mosque, built to honour a muslim Chinese lieutenant named Cheng Hoo who came to Southeast Asia to spread the faith of Islam. It was built in 2001 under the organisation of the muslim Chinese community in Indonesia. My sister wanted to see it so bad and actually planned to pray there while we could. But we came far too early for the Asr (afternoon) prayer so we just took some photos and bailed. The mosque was very unique as it has a basketball court as well as an acupuncture centre. It was smaller than I expected but it was definitely refreshing to see a mosque in a Chinese style. If in Europe I often went church-touring, isn't it so much nicer to go mosque-touring in Islamic countries?

... laced top + Kmart purse + necklace (Sis's) // thrifted hat // hand-me-down pants // DF Fashion shoes // outfit photos by Akita

The last place we visited that day was the Town Hall, which is where Surabaya’s modern hero Ibu Risma, the mayor, works from Monday to Friday. At first we weren’t sure if we could enter the grounds, let alone the building on that day. It was a Saturday so I suppose we wouldn’t be in anyone’s way. When we arrived there, we met a rickshaw puller who had to take a couple Japanese students on a tour all over town all day. While the students were busy taking pictures of flowers - which is all they seemed to care about -, we went into the building and took a look around. We had a fun photoshoot, where we rearranged some of the furnitures. I love the marble floor and the colonial furniture from mahogany. I hope Bu Risma didn’t notice what we did nor be too shocked if she did. Our hero-themed tour is just beginning, so watch this space!

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