In the summer of 2009 the sky in Indonesia glowed an ominous orange as Anak Krakatau put on the latest of its fiery displays. Rising 1,200 feet from the waters of the Sunda Straight between the islands of Java and Sumatra, this volcano may be young – it is less than 100 years old – but it comes from legendary stock.
The fifth largest volcanic explosion in history happened in August 1883 when the volcano Krakatau exploded catastrophically. The explosions stretched over two days and triggered enormous tsunamis that obliterated 165 villages and towns and killed 36,000 people officially. Unofficially it may have been many more, as the official colonial Dutch records have been questioned in the years since.
It is tough to get a grasp on the Toba event without something to compare it to.
In 1980 Mount St. Helens in Washington State erupted spewing an 80,000 foot tall plume of smoke, killing 57 people and destroying 200 homes, 27 bridges, 15 miles of railways and 185 miles of highway. It was the most deadly and economically destructive volcanic eruption in the history of the United States.
For comparison, the largest volcanic eruption in recorded historic times was the 1815 Mount Tambora Volcanic eruption. It was eighty times as powerful as Mount St. Helen’s and spewed some 100 km3 of rock and made the entire northern hemisphere dark and cold for all of 1816, making it the “Year Without a Summer” as it became known. But compared to the event that took place in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia some 73,000 years ago, those were next to nothing.
Known as the Toba event it ejected nearly 2,800 km3, or twenty eight times as much as the largest volcanic eruption in historic memory, and over two thousand times as powerful as Mount St. Helens. It has been called the Yellowstone super volcano’s “bigger” sister, and when this level 8 mega-colossal volcano — the highest rating on the Volcanic Explosivity Index — erupted it was the largest volcanic eruption in the last 25 million years.
It may have nearly annihilated the human species.
“Bali’s most seductive new hideaway has one foot in the air… and the other firmly planted in the earth.”
- Travel + Leisure South East Asia, ‘It’ List 2010
Travel + Leisure set out to find the best new hotels in the world again, and this year, Alila Villas Uluwatu is their only pick in Bali, Indonesia, amongst the 45 most exciting openings in the world.
Handpicked by T+L for its stunning clifftop setting and its EarthChek (formerly known as Green Globe) certified design, Alila Villas Uluwatu’s landscaping and architectural forms were inspired by the local savannah-like environment without intruding on the wild natural surroundings. The resort’s villas are individually tiered along the naturally sloping terrain, maximizing the experience of cliff resort living, and offering guests an ocean view regardless of their villa’s location.
Wayang is an Indonesian word for theatre (literally “shadow”). When the term is used to refer to kinds of puppet theater, sometimes the puppet itself is referred to as wayang. Performances of shadow puppet theater are accompanied by gamelan in Java, and by “gender wayang” in Bali.
UNESCO designated Wayang Kulit, a shadow puppet theater and the best known of the Indonesian wayang, as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on 7 November 2003. In return of the acknowledgment, UNESCO demanded Indonesia to preserve their heritage.
Wayang is a generic term denoting traditional theatre in Indonesia. There is no evidence that wayang existed before Hinduism came to Southeast Asia sometime in the first century CE brought in by Indian traders. However, there very well may have been indigenous storytelling traditions that had a profound impact on the development of the traditional puppet theatre. The first record of a wayang performance is from an inscription dated 930 CE which says “si Galigi mawayang,” or “Sir Galigi played wayang”. From that time till today it seems certain features of traditional puppet theatre have remained. Galigi was an itinerant performer who was requested to perform for a special royal occasion. At that event he performed a story about the hero Bhima from the Mahabharata
By Iem Brown
I would not say that learning Indonesian is “easy”, as I don’t believe for an adult learning any language is “easy”. It is, however, relatively “easy” to get by in Indonesian, as historically speaking, the basis of this language was for many centuries used as a lingua franca or a means of communication among the traders, missionaries etc in the Indonesian archipelago including Indians, Chinese, Arabs and Europeans, perhaps as early as the first century. Because it was a lingua franca it had to be relatively simple for the different people visiting the archipelago to be able to communicate with it, in a relatively short time.
The place of origin of this language is around the Riau islands in the Malacca Straits, the thoroughfare of the trading traffic. The busy trade routes of the Strait of Malacca date from the 5th century CE. The earliest epigraphical evidence of the language, known as the “old Malay” language, is dated around 7th century and found at sites in Sumatera such as Kedukan Bukit, Talang Tuo, Kota Kapur and Karang Berahi. The language belongs to the family of Austronesian languages, found in the region from Madagascar in the west, Taiwan in the north, Easter Island in the East, and New Zealand, Christmas and Cocos Islands in the south. The first “foreign” contact were with Hindu Indians, followed by Muslim Arabs and Chinese before the arrival of the Europeans. The Portuguese (1511 to 1596) and then the Dutch (from 1596 onwards) languages, and of course English, enriched the vocabulary of the language, as did the 300 regional languages.
Beautiful SUNDANESE GAMELAN music, the gong they use for the bass is incredibly heavy, beautiful music this…
A violin, percussion and the voice of the great Sinden EMI NURHAYATI, beautiful traditional SUNDANESE music….