Monday, February 26, 2007

Taman Mini Indonesia, Jakarta

Where do you go if you have only 2-3 hours to visit all of Indonesia? Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII) of course J Since each Indonesian province maintains its own distinct cultures, shelters, attire and dialects, TMII built a model of each of the houses from the 26 different provinces. TMII attempted not only to reconstruct the homes of the various provinces, but also to create a realistic model of the environment and shelters of the various people of Indonesia. The venues, which are situated around the main lake in a similar fashion to the different islands of the Indonesian archipelago, are thematically divided into six areas in respect to the main islands of Indonesia; Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan (Borneo), Sulawesi, the Lesser Sunda Islands, Maluku and Papua.

The idea for Taman Mini came to Suharto's wife, Tien Suharto, during a visit to Disneyland in 1971. The pavilions were built by traditional craftsmen brought in from the provinces by the government. The Minangkabau pavilion, representing western Sumatra, has soaring, overlapping roofs made of coconut-fiber thatch. The walls are intricately carved and painted with symbols. The fact is that the pavilions are authentic, or "asli." They were built with all the rituals and ceremonies necessary to insure that they are fully endowed as spiritual, as well as material, entities. The pavilions are not replicas of existing buildings, rather were designed to be exemplary structures–larger and more intricate than any other traditional buildings in Indonesia. Some, such as the Javanese pavilion built in the style of the Kraton, are even considered sacred. The pavilions, and the ceremonies and rituals that take place within them, are meant to exemplify local tradition purified and elevated to the national level.

Why would the leader of a struggling republic risk public outrage and financial ruin to build a theme park his wife dreamed up at Disneyland? According to Cabinet magazine in 2002: Suharto himself addressed the question at the dedication on 20 April 1975. "Life," he said, "will not have a beautiful and deep meaning with material sufficiency only… One's life will be calm and complete only when it is accompanied by a spiritual welfare. The direction and guidance toward that spiritual welfare is, in fact, already in our possession; it lies in our beautiful and noble national cultural inheritance." This remark gives a clue as to the true function Taman Mini would come to serve for the government. Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park was not built to be an amusing diversion. Rather, it would serve as the nation's spiritual treasure trove–a locked box containing the nation's cultural wealth to be kept close to Indonesia's heart and its capital.
The objectives of Taman Mini below are in line with the vision that Suharto had;
· Membangun atau mempertebal rasa cinta tanah air. · Memupuk dan membina rasa persatuan dan kesatuan bangsa yang terdiri atas berbagai suku dengan berbeda-beda adat dan kebudayaan daerahnya. · Menghargai dan menjunjung tinggi kebudayaan nasional dengan menghidupkan kembali kebudayaan yang diwariskan oleh nenek moyang bangsa. · Memperkenalkan adat-istiadat, kebudayaan dan perilaku kehidupan bangsa dan daerah kepada bangsa lain. · Meningkatkan arus wisatawan sehingga dapat mendorong menghidupkan kerajinan rakyat di daerah-daerah. · Menyediakan sarana rekreasi yang bersifat pendidikan masyarakat.

from:Wikipedia and Cabinet

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