Merak Dance, Traditional Welcoming Dance from West Java

Tari Merak

Merak dance is a traditional folk dance originating from Pasundan land, West Java. This dance was created by Raden Tjetjep Somantri in 1950s and it had been rearrange by Irawati Durban in 1965. Merak in English means Peacock bird.

From its name, it clearly describes the dance that symbolize the elegant of peacock movements. Merak dance is can be performed solo or in groups. The dancers of this beautiful dance are wearing scarf that perform the tail of the peacock with multicolor scenic tone. Moreover, the dancers are also wearing the crown a la peacock head crown.

Merak dance is having delicate hand movements and it follows by traditional ‘Gamelan’ music, that becomes the main characteristic of this dance.

Each movement in this dance is meaningful and happy, that is why it sometime becomes the welcome dance to greet the guest of honor in wedding ceremony.
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Wayang Golek, Traditional Wooden Puppet from West Java

Wayang Golek

Wooden Puppet (Wayang Golek) performance is a typical Sundanese art performance. This art performance shows a drama performed by wooden puppets, which resemble human body equipped with their custome. In its early development, this art performance is show by a wooden puppeteer in traditional ceremonies, such as village cleaning-up, exorcism, and many others.

Philosophically, the word wayang (puppet) means shadow. Wayang is a representation of human’s character such as anger, benevolence, greedy, and many others. In every wooden puppet performance, a moral massage is always delivered to remind us to always obey the God and do good deeds to other people.

Doll or puppet is a very popular media, in society generally and Indonesia pad a Sundanese community in particular. In pungolek toy or puppet is made in particular by shaping of the leaf midrib material cassava or cassava. By forming and menganyamnya, made ​​some character that sets it apart is the direction of the nose. If the knight lungguh nose down towards the bottom and if the gallant ladak nose ahead. Toys are played alone, and imitating a puppeteer. goleknya play.

These toys were first produced for parents, as long as her parents were children playing in the fields seoarang gogolekan this. After that is usually made ​​by the children themselves with a wide variety of forms depending on the creativity. A child will create their own stories and sound like a puppeteer, the most popular figure of the Find or puppet among children is the Billy Glass figures, which have jangjang or wings on the back.

Gogolekan gogolekan play with one that is the way the puppet dance, and mouth sianak will imitate gamelan sounds like the puppet show or puppet. And played with two gogolekan gogolekan with playing like he was fighting or pretend to speak privately. The color of gogolekan itself when it first made ​​usually colored red and brown midrib material for wearing cassava leaves are old and supple. Eventually the same color will be brown and dry.
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Surapati Overpass, Bandung City

flyover pasupati

As Bandung’s newest icon, Pasupati cable stayed bridge (2.147 kilometers long, 21.53 meter wide) is probably quite well known among those who know this city. The stories behind it, however, may not be as familiar to those who live outside Bandung.

The name Pasupati is an abbreviation of the parts of the city that are linked by this overpass, namely Jalan Pasteur (Pasteur street) at the west side of the city and Jalan Surapati at the east part of the city, hence Pasupati. The proposed name was originally Paspati – not Pasupati. But because the word Paspati in Sundanese (the language spoken by the people of West Java) means the time of death, the name was then changed to Pasupati, which is closer in sounds to Pasopati, the name of a powerful arrow that belonged to an epics character in the Mahabaratha.

Pasupati plan was conceived 74 years ago. The 1931 Carsten document of Autostrada Program already layed out the need to build a passage way that would link the western and the eastern parts of the city. This plan was subsequently included in Bandung Master and Detail Plans of 1971, 1985, 1996, and 2003.

In 1988, Bandung municipal administration proposed the construction of the Pasupati bridge to the Department of Public Works. Following this, feasibility studies were conducted by the Bandung Institute of Technology in 1992. The construction began in 1999 and was partly funded by a loan from Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED).

The cables that support the bridge is 15.7 millimeter in diameter. The supporting cables are not symmetrical in number and in length. There are five double sets of cables at the eastern side and nine at the western side. The length of the cables at the eastern side is 55 meters, and 106 meters at the western side.The bridge tower that anchors these cables is 37.5 meter tall.

Sundanologist (expert in Sundanese culture) considers Pasopati as “Kecapi” (traditional Sundanese string musical instrument) and “Suling” (traditional Sundanese bamboo flute) bridge. The kecapi is represented by the cables that resemble the strings of this musical instrument, while the flute is represented by the impressions of holes – similar to the holes of the Sundanese bamboo flute – on the main tower. Viewed from the top, the bridge looks like a bow that is symbolic of its name (Pasupati or Pasopati is the name of a powerful arrow and the whole bridge is the bow from which the arrow is shot.).
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White Crater, Ciwidey, Southern Bandung

Kawah Putih

Kawah Putih (English: White Crater) is a striking crater lake and tourist spot in a volcanic crater about 50 km south of Bandung in West Java in Indonesia.[1]

Kawah Putih lake (7.10° S 107.24° E) is one of the two craters which make up Mount Patuha, an andesitic stratovolcano (a “composite” volcano).[2] Mt Patuha is one of numerous volcanoes in Java. Kawah Putih crater lake itself represents a relatively stable volcanic system with no records of significant activity since around 1600.[3]

The Kawah Putih site was opened to visitors in 1987. The lake is 2,430 meters above sea level so the local climate is often quite chilly (temperatures are frequently around 10 degrees celsius). This makes a brisk change from the humidity of the north Java plain and the capital city of Jakarta. Kawah Putih is a sizeable highly acid lake (pH 0.5-1.3) which changes colour from bluish to whitish green, or brown, depending on the concentration of sulfur and the temperature or the oxidation state.[4] The sand and rocks surrounding the lake have been also leached into whitish colours through interaction with the acidic lake waters (with possible mineral precipitation as well).

The lake is said to have been discovered in 1837 by Dr Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn, a German botanist who carried out a considerable amount of research in Indonesia until his death in Lembang, just north of Bandung, in 1864. At the time, there were various local stories about the history of the area. Birds were said to be reluctant to fly near the region and villagers in the area tended to regard the forest around the lake as eerie and somewhat mysterious. These stories prompted Dr Junghuhn to investigate. He discovered Kawah Putih. There was formerly a sulfur mine at the crater although production has now ceased. A sulfur plant known as the Zwavel Ontgining Kawah Putih was first established near the lake during the period of Dutch rule in Java. The plant was later taken over during World War II by the Japanese military and operated under the name Kawah Putih Kenzanka Yokoya Ciwidey.[5] Entry points to various tunnels which represent the remnants of these mining activities can be seen at several points around the current site.

Over a century after Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn first discovered the lake, in 1991 the Indonesian state-owned forestry firm Perhutani Unit III Jawa Barat dan Banten (Forestry Unit No III for West Java and Banten) began to develop the site as a tourist spot.

The Site
The surrounding area is heavily forested. There is a pathway down to the lake which is surrounded by the high walls of the crater nestling into the side of Mt Patuha. The smell of sulfur is strong because there is a good deal of steam and sulfurous gas bubbling from the lake. There are tracks around the lake and through the nearby forest including to the peak of Mt Patuha. Visitors can walk around the crater area or sit in the various shelters. Local plants not widely found in lower altitudes in Java include javanese Edelweiss and Cantigy (Vaccinium varingifolium). Animals and birds which may be spotted include eagles, owls, monkeys, mouse deer, and forest pigs. Panthers, leopards and pythons have also sometimes been seen in the nearby forest.

A range of simple facilities exists near the lake. There is ample parking and public toilets. Entrepreneurial vendors sell trinkets and food. The site is well-signposted. Local farmers often take the opportunity to sell strawberries (widely grown in the area), steamed corn, and various other items such as pumpkin seeds (pepita).

Kawah Putih and the surrounding area (where there are resort facilities such as hot spas) is a popular spot for people from Bandung. On weekends and on holidays, quite large numbers of Indonesian tourists visit Kawah Putih. The site is so far less well-known to international tourists. According to Perhutani staff at the site, up to 10,000 people might visit on busy holidays and the total number of visitors is perhaps 300,000 per year.

Patenggang Lake, +1,600 m, Southern Bandung


Lake Patenggang or better known as Patenggang situ by local communities, occupying an area about 150 ha. Formerly this area is a nature reserve areas or national parks, but in 1981 has been officially transformed into a tourist park.

To enjoy the tourist boats have facilities that can be rented for around a small island at the end of the lake is named Sasuka Island. This island seems shady with many tall trees that grow in it. While there are locations across the lake is quite interesting that given the name Stone Love is said to believe will provide the continuity of love for the couple who came to this place.


This region has a legend that appears Patenggang Situ name. History or myth about this situ surface caused by a prince and a princess who fell in love. But they do not travel as smooth as love and as beautiful as that envisioned by them because separated by circumstances. So that their tears formed a lake there or. Later the lake was named in situ Patenggang taken from pateangan-teangan word derived from the language which means sunda looking at each other.

In the end they can be together again on a rock there is a rock called love. It is said that anyone who had been visiting with her partner, then their love will be eternal.
photos taken from edited by : Dadan Supardan

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