night of a thousand lanterns in p’ing-xi

beloved mum and dad, i would like to ask; did you receive my sky lantern already?

(c) ukirsari 2011

sky lantern or tian deng in local language also known as konming lantern, taken from the shape of zhuge liang’s hat, a minister in old chinese world and the lantern was used to be a signal within war periods and the usage of its lantern brought to ilha formosa or taiwan whenever the natives of fujian province migrated in the era of qing dynasty.

(c) ukirsari 2011

refer to chang douan-xie, a guy who attended p’ing-xi lantern festival altogether with his family; two children and his wife, he told me that long long time ago, in the celebration of chinese lunar new year or known in local language as chun jie, marauders are coming to screw up people in p’ing-xi. that’s why the locals hidden themselves up to the mountainous range of shifen to sandiaoling plateau. the village’s keepers will send sky lanterns whenever marauders has gone and the people can be home again.  “in the end, locals take the uniqueness of sending sky lantern as part of their tradition and it will be held at the first moonlight after chinese lunar new year or yuanxiao jie,” stated douan.

last year, in november 2010, with kindly help of my friend’s family in chiangmai, northern thailand, i do just like locals to lit up the lanterns and float a small papier-mache boat in the river for my beloved parents. and that moment created idea in my mind that someday i should visit p’ing-xi zhexian to do the quite same thing in the traditional way.

all i need just ask the volunteer about tian deng that i would like to buy. pink is for love and friendship, red is a celebration, white is speaking about peace and health then orange is for prosperity. how about blue? i take this one, since it’s my favourite colour and a symbol in between me and dad; we’re as travelers and his dedication to the navy and how we love the seas and oceans. then one of my mum’s favourite colour as well.

(c) alex pangestu 2011

i was so amazed with those volunteers, even when english taken place as a language barrier, they’re keep smiling and handed a brush and ink for me.  and here i am, whenever people are busy to write in hanyu (chinese characters), tieng viet (vietnamese), nihongo (japanase) or hangeoul (south korea), i am confident to write in hanacaraka, an old-ancient javanese characters that my parents teach me since i was a kid. and gladly, i wrote it very well. a small poem, a pray, my dedication … full of love.

my heart just so blue, i feel so warm in the middle of a mid-plateau in the winter time, surrounded by many many people around the world and my tian deng fly that high, can be seen ascending amongst thousand lanterns in the evening sky. locals belief, tian deng is a personal message for  heaven.

so, what can i say more, mum and dad …. i do miss you and i love you so. hoping you are happy to see my lantern and understand that i will always remember you, in my own way.


>> karimunjawa <<

We just back from our memorable hols in karimunjawa [taken from javanese lingo ‘kremun-kremun saka jawa’ or the shadow image from the very far away distance of java mainland] and want to share our experience to all of you. hoping can give some valuable infos.

(c) ukirsari

– stand from 27 islands, the karimun jawa archipelago included in karimun jawa national park [sea marine life]. it’s like a hidden treasure for those who loves marine life. we can find protected coral reefs [very colourful plateaus and plains in deep and shallow waters], secluded and tranquil white beaches [seems no-one there before us ;)], pelican and hornbill, seagrass and kinds of sea creatures, from crabs, anchovy, spiky ones ‘duri babi’, starfish, sharks, stingray, jellyfish, red snappers, etc.

– several nice small-tiny islands we’d been there were pulau burung [bird conservatory], pulau galeang, pulau menjangan besar, pulau menjangan kecil, pulau cemara besar, pulau cemara kecil also ujung gelam [the extension of karimun jawa besar] for swimming and snorkeling.

– if you like to stay at the mainland, in karimun besar island, there are many local guest houses along the way from harbour to direction ujung gelam.

– if you like to try something different like sea gypsy 😉 as we did, there are several floating wooden cabins available in the heart of the sea with pulau karimun besar as entry point. our contact is pak joko (62-297) 312185. beside room, he provided meals and renting boat plus crew, approximately idr 300,000/day. we enjoyed his place very much since there’s no tv and karaoke and whenever asked to switch-off the electricity, nightfall feel so glittering under the moonlight and stars. plus the sounds from waves, sea breeze and swells [no wonder, i am stil in post holiday blues whenever write about this!!!!!!]

(c) ukirsari

– for getting there and away, there are 2 entry points: from semarang [tanjung mas harbour] or jepara [pantai kartini harbour]. here i included the time schedule and subject maybe change without notification. check it out in advance before your departure:

– jepara – karimun jawa: monday and wednesday [kmp], 09.00 am
– karimun jawa – semarang: sunday [kmc], 02.00 pm
– karimun jawa – jepara: thursday [kmp], 09.00 am
– semarang – karimun jawa: monday and saturday [kmc] 09.00 am
– marks:
a. kmc >> kapal motor cepat [named kartini, appr. 3 hours sailing]
idr 95,000/VIP/person/one way
idr 75,000/business/person/one way
b. kmp >> kapal motor perintis [named muria, appr. 5 hours sailing]
idr 25,000/VIP/person/one way
idr 16,500/open deck/person/one way

kotagede, a lovely district inside jogjakarta

an old house … 150 years old. nice environment with mainly occupation as silversmith … hmmm how enchanting this old quarter of jogjakarta in my sight! it was used to be mataram’s first capital city.

(c) ukirsari

noted as the first capital of mataram kingdom, this district founded by panembahan senopati in 1582. then changed into ‘resident of the haves’ — rich jogjakartan people– around 1920s. said that tiles in their houses decorated with old dutch and chinese coins to reflected how rich they are. and using first class wood like mahogany to build the houses. nowadays still can be found some of these beautiful architecture where locals open private gallery to show the heritage of their ancestors.

about snacks, meals and eateries …. kotagede has similarity with jogjakarta. since this district is not so far. but if can be said more details, influence from malioboro –a cozy, comfy and humble point of jogjakarta– we can see locals gather around at the night and having cup of coffee or ginger tea.

then having supper after midnight with gudeg. most infamous one dish meals contents of steam rice, boiled egg and chicken in heavy coconut milk, red bean-chilli-cow’s skin mixed in coconut milk and young jackfruit stew in mahogany leaf [seems the preparation so difficult and takes long time, but the result always hmmm, two thumbs up!].

i love to hang out with my friends and have dinner [or supper] together with lesehan style [sitting together in pandanus mattres] enjoy gudeg with hot ginger tea 🙂

introducing parakan, my birthplace

(c) ukirsari

for me personally, parakan is always be …
~ a beautiful place in the slopes of two mountains: Sindoro [sometimes also called as Sundoro] and Sumbing.
~ a small lively city with tobacco and clove fragrances.
~ a small town which is divided into two by a river so called Galeh.
~ my sweetheart, since i was born here

the legend of Ki Sura Menggala

i was born here and everytime i can see from the window of my grandparents’ house: in one of the peaks on Sumbing, there’s a place. where one of my ancestors buried; Ki Sura Menggala [later on, his name’s taken for my surname]

the legend about him spread by the mid of 18s. an inlander rebellion who got ‘guillotine’ by the Dutch. the conquerors believes; if his head join together with his body, Ki Sura Menggala can alive and continues his rebel act towards Dutch. so … he buried separated in two places: Jogjakarta and Mount Sumbing. from now on, he still lives in my heart. sembah sungkem pangabekti dalem: ukirsari katur Eyang Sura Menggala.

catch the mist

what i love most from my birthplace? oh, pretty much. too many to mention.
but the thing i’ll never forget is about ‘catch the mist’. trying to be faster than fog and mist early morning or late night.

one of my nice memories, when sibling, cousins and i back from the cinema close to midnight, after watching ‘the outsiders’. yes, i was a big fans of ralph macchio and c. thomas howell and matt dillon since 10 years old. and there’s no mass transportation from the only one cinema in the city to my granparents’ house after 10:00 PM. what can we do then? six of us [me, dhedhek, agung, dhimas, pras and han] walking fast in between fog. so freezing, pretty damn cold and i could not see. just hold dhedhek’s hand pretty tight. 2 km seems more than 10 km away!!

and how nice, when we reach home, Grandpa still awaiting us. greeting us with his deep-gentle voice: “naarhuis, naarhuis!”

visit dieng: abode of the Gods

this place addressed as dieng and so called abode of the gods. house of the gods which leavings ancient ruins of temples, predating the old buddhist temple borobudur.

even dieng doesn’t have 4 seasons the altitude over 2,300 above sea level here is astonishing.

surrounded with gorgeous mountaineous range of mount sumbing and mount sindoro. nearby the place i was born. a cozy small lively town named parakan.

after trekking to the temples which have names from the main characters of epic mahabharat, i go to the coloured lake and mingle around with locals. and found many sincerely smiles around me. so peaceful here!


Di-Hyang [Sanskrit lingo]

(c) ukirsari

The name Dieng taken from Sanskrit lingo Di-Hyang, means Abode of the Gods. It’s the oldest-ancient Hindu ruins in central Java, mostly built between 8th – 9th centuries and covered by plateau and several craters in Dieng.

Due to the mysterious depopulation of central Java, this archaeological site was forgotten ’till 1856 when van Kinsbergen, an archaeologist drained the flooded valley around these ruins and rediscovered remaining temples [it was over 400 temples and the rest about 8 temples so far].

From Tuk Bima Lukar to Kawah Sileri

(c) ukirsari

When I was a kid, I’d been anywhere in archaeogical sites of Dieng. And added with scenic route on the way there and back to my grandparents hometown: Parakan.
Then after, after … whenever I have much time to visit Dieng, I always visit my fave places there:
~ Tuk Bima Lukar [‘tuk’ means spring, it’s an ancient spring and flowing into Serayu River]
~ Arjuna Complex of temples
~ Dwarawati Temple
~ Gatutkaca Temple
~ Bima Temple
~ Sembungan Village [the highest village in Java, about 2,400 m above sea level]
~ Sileri Crater
~ Candradimuka Crater
~ Sikidang Crater
~ Telaga Warna [Coloured Lake] — but now it’s not so awesome as before 😦
~ Gardu Pandang Dieng

again … tengger-bromo-semeru national park

(c) ukirsari

astonishing and gorgeous mountaineous range
just located on my backyard
everytime i turn my head
whenever try to go away
i can see the way she’s waving me
asking me to be back
time by time
moment by moment
enchanting me
since i was a kid
by its caldera
oh the holy Sang Hyang Widi Wasa
so peaceful standing on its foothills

Mount Bromo is situated on east Java, and we can find this beautiful sand mountain range from Probolinggo, Malang or Pasuruan (approximately hundred kilometres from Surabaya). On the way to the top, you can find the nice mountain flower called Edelweiss. And for my own, it can be so special because my first name ‘Ukirsari’ (taken from Sanskrit lingo) means ‘mountain flower’ also — it means Edelweiss too 🙂

Majority, people’s religion at Bromo are Hindu. They’re celebrates a traditional annual ceremony called ‘Kasodo’ [or Kasada]. They’re preparing food, vegetables and cattles then put them down to the crater of Bromo as a sign to say thanks for the Gods.

(c) ukirsari

This habit taken from a legend called ‘Roro Anteng and Joko Seger’. The story is about a couple (Roro Anteng and Joko Seger) who got married several years but not yet have a child. They’re praying everyday on Bromo, and the Gods finally giving them 12 kids! With a notification; they have to give the youngest kid for the Gods in the crater. And since then, Bromo people celebrating Kasodo.

Beside put the cattles, vegetables and food in the crater, the Hindu priests also celebrates annual meeting on the centre of the desert. They’re show their ability and make it just like a ‘fighting’, so I called this place as a battle field.

Well, you can have that pretty beautiful scenery on sunrise from view point of Gunung Penanjakan [2,770 m].

(c) ukirsari

Speaking about this Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, the whole of this area simply known as Mount Bromo. But in fact, there are three mountains in the caldera [known as Tengger Massif], a volcanic landscape with Gunung Bromo, Batok and Kursi laying on its flat sea of lava sand. Then further south of them is Mahameru, or Semeru. A sacred mountain in Hinduism, and known as the mother of Gunung [mount] Agung in Bali, also the highest mountain in Java [3,676 m]

tercinta papa; apalah arti sebuah perpisahan fana … karena cintamu tak berkesudahan

* picture courtesy of domas nala for soepijono family

[our last enchanting farewell]

Ketika tembakan salvo memecah hening rembang petang
Bersamaan petimu perlahan turun
Berpayung sang Merah Putih
Kami di sini memaknai
: Inilah perpisahan agung kita, Papa
dalam tempo tanpa satuan waktu
[whenever the salvo guns tear the emptiness of an afternoon sky
according your coffin slowly moving down to the motherland
below our national flag, sang Merah Putih
we’re here understanding completely
: this is our last goodbye, Papa
forever and ever after, with undefinited time to meet each other again

Dari Acapulco hingga Guam
Dari Tanjung Pinang sampai Ambon
Kemana kapalmu berlayar
Kepada siapa engkau berbakti
[from Acapulco to guam
from tanjung pinang to ambon
to wherever your ship will sailing away
to whom you dedicated your life

Di sini kami berdiri
Pada sebuah dermaga
Saat mana para putra-putrimu melambai bangga
Menyaksikanmu dalam parade
: Sailing Pass
[we’re here standing
in a harbour
whenever your children waving proudly
watching you in a parade
: the sailing pass

Hingga tiba pada suatu ketika
Kami kembali melambaikan tangan
Tapi untuk melepasmu pergi selamanya
Pada keluasan samudra milik Allah
Berteman bulan dan bintang gemintang
: Lentera di langit malam
[until the time to come
we’re here again to waving you
but this is for the last time
to attending your enchanting farewell
let you sail to the ocean of Allah’s
companied by moon and the stars
: lanterns in the night sky

“Mrene Ngger, tak aras dhisik” Ke sinilah Sayang, agar Papa bisa mencium dahimu dulu
: Tak akan ada lagi kalimat itu buat selamanya
[“come here my beloved children, let your Papa kisses your forehead before you go”
: this words will never be heard again by us]

Kami rindu peluk dan ciummu
Pa, cintamu adalah segala
Tatapanmu adalah semangat
Dan senyummu adalah penyejuk jiwa
Selamat jalan, Papa
Datanglah keharibaan semesta
[we miss your hugs and kisses
Pa, your love is everything
Your vision is a support
And your smile is something comfy our souls
Goodbye Papa
Let your soul floating in the universe

* Sembah sungkem pangabekti katur yang tercinta Papa. Saliman 22, 190207. ukirsari*
[my neverending respect and kisses for you my beloved Dad]

Kami yang berdukacita

R. Ngt Ninik Soewarsanah Soewardi – Soepijono, istri
Rr Ukirsari Manggalani, putri
R Anungseto Manggolono beserta keluarga, putra
R Wirarsadi beserta keluarga dan R Agung Warniladi beserta keluarga, keponakan
Keluarga Achmadi, Keluarga R Tjokrowiro Brodjokesowo, Keluarga besar R Soewardi, Keluarga Ponosoehardjo dan Eyang R Ng Brodjokaloso

Terima kasih kami kepada
Seluruh warga RT 02/RW 01 Kompleks TNI – Al Kenjeran Surabaya
BKP – AL wilayah Surabaya rayon Kenjeran
Seluruh rekan almarhum di Moro 11 dan 12
Seluruh rekan dan kolega dari almarhum, istri dan putra-putri serta berbagai pihak yang telah membantu terlaksananya pemakaman almarhum di Bumi Pertiwi