Few days in indonesia bandung: signs of ancient type of construction european boutique and museum of the asian, african conference



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Daily Urdu Newspaper “JANG”

Sunday, 02 May, 2010

THE FOURTH INSTALMENT OF ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN THE DAILY URDU NEWSPAPER ‘JANG’ OF SUNDAY,

2nd MAY, 2010

FEW DAYS IN INDONESIA

BANDUNG: SIGNS OF ANCIENT TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION

EUROPEAN BOUTIQUE AND MUSEUM OF THE ASIAN, AFRICAN CONFERENCE

HOW COULD ANYBODY SEE ALL THESE WITH ONLY TWO EYES
Episode No. 4

Travelling Report by:

Khan Zafar Afghani
It is now raining and we heading towards a Restaurant, about one and half hours journey.
We immediately entered into the Restaurant in the heavy rain. The weather is very pleasant now and a row of table has already been booked for us in the Restaurant. The cosines in Jakarta and Bandung are almost the same. We all were remembering our city and our houses. Our stay would be in Hotel Grand Aqyla Bandung and we were moving towards our Hotel. It was 3.15 pm when we reached our Hotel. The Hotel is quite good with spacious rooms. We have to take some rest after which we would leave to see the Shopping Malls.
After a brief rest we were called in the Lobby to get our Bus, we saw many beautiful building on the both sides of the road this city was looking more attractive than Jakarta. The traffic load was very similar to Jakarta and the construction of the houses mostly ancient types which perhaps due to the Dutch Colonialism. This city is situated in the Capital of western Java Province. This is the fourth biggest city after Jakarta, Surabaya and Medan. This city is in the middle of Volcanoes the Dutch has declared this city as their Capital because it provides a natural boundary around the city. The total area of city is 167.27 kms. They formed the gardens of Tea for the first time there is a fine road to go to the tea gardens. With the creation of Municipal Office the city begins to develop very fast. There are a number of very good Hotels, Restaurants, Cafes and European Boutiques, then this city became famous as it also called “Paris of Java’.
After the Independence in 1945 Bandung started to develop very fast. Huge population from the urban area shifted to this city and Bandung became the Metropolitan City. This city is now the centre point for European and Asian Tourists. The multi storied Shopping Centres here are very big and various local products are available in the shops. Female Sales Girls are in majority, but in shops in the markets of city you will find mostly males while there are some female there. In the Garment Shop, Batiks are also available. We saw many big shops of Indonesian Spices and a large quantity of Spices are cultivated here, these consists of Nutmegs, Cloves and Peppers etc.
We have visited these Malls in different groups and some of us have done shopping from these shops. The evening has began and it is now heavily raining, we hired a Cycle-Rickshaw to reach our Bus and we were taken to a Restaurant for Dinner. The Restaurants here are normally very spacious. Most of the Restaurants are constructed with Bamboos, these are very cheerful and well ventilated.
We also observed that there were no hoardings on the roads of Jakarta and Bandung, every shop has its own Board fixed on the top of their shops. We did not saw any wall-chalking on the walls neither any political slogans nor any posters of sex medicines. The people here are very gentle, not like us to grime any building. People in our country normally very aggressive they wait that when they saw a new building or a new painted wall so that they can use them for their slogans and making the whole city so dirty and unclean. After the Dinner we returned back to our hotel.
It is now 6’O Clock in the morning, our first and last morning in Bandung, the view of the city is looking very beautiful when we looked outside from our window panes, we saw many vehicles running on the road. Bandung also woke up early in the morning like Jakarta and people were going to their work. The people of Indonesia are strictly following the Qur’anic instructions that Day has been made for work and the nights are for taking rest, and this is the reason behind the development while the markets and shops in our beloved Karachi are started opening usually in the afternoon. We all reached the Restaurant for Breakfast in the Basement. Fresh Fruits and Coffee were very delicious. The Bus was ready to take us to the Museum of the Asian African Conference around 7’O Clock. This Conference is a golden chapter of history of the Universe. It was our dream to visit Bandung and desired to see that room where a Conference was held under the great leadership of Dr. Soekarno, which called ‘Bandung Conference’. The Government had turned this building into the Museum. The first Asian African Conference was held from 18th to 24th April, 1955 and this historic place is called ‘Gedung Merdeka’.
In 1895 this building was an ordinary structure but now it an historic place. The area of this building is 7500 sq. meters and surrounding area of this building has been turned into a meeting area by the Dutch which they called ‘Societeit Concordia in 1921. This building is beautifully decorated according to international standard. The Japanese after capturing this city called this building ‘Dai Toa’ Cultural Centre. On 17 August, 1945 the Indonesia proclaimed Independence and this building has become the Youth Headquarter who sacrificed their live in war with Japanese for the Independence of their home land. This building was turned as Municipal Headquarter of Java, from 1946 to 1960 this building was also utilized as a Recreation Centre and before the Asian African Conference this building has again been redecorated. On 7th April 1956 the great leader of Indonesia Dr. Soekarno has called this building “Gedung merdeka’. In 1959 this building was under the use of National Planning Agency and from 1960 to 1971 this building was used as “Provincial Consultative Assembly”. In 1965 the Asian African Conference was held in this building during this year the building was under the Indonesian Security Forces and a part of building was used to keep the political prisoners. In 1980 this building completely developed as an Asian African Conference Museum. The opening ceremony of this building took place on the 25th Anniversary of Bandung Conference on 24th April 1980.
It is 9’O Clock in the morning when we arrived at the ‘Museum of the Asian African Conference. This Museum is opened for public from Monday to Friday at 8.00 am to 3.00 pm. From 18 June, 1986 this Museum is under the Museum Department of Foreign Affairs and Directorate of Public Diplomacy and it has the status of ‘Indonesian Diplomatic Political History Museum. We saw President Soekarno wearing white Army Uniform with traditional Indonesian Cap and sitting on the chair as soon as we entered the Museum. There are 7 seats at his back where Pakistan, India and the leaders of other four nations are sitting. We captured this moment in our Cameras. This sight has been protected in the shape of statues for the new generations. We only read about this Conference in the books and saw this place in the pictures only, but now we ourselves are looking this historical place from our own eyes.
A Reception Desk is located at one side of the Museum and uniformed Guard took all of us in the Hall, where the Conference was held. The Golden Jubilee was celebrated in this Hall in 1965 the flag of the participating delegates are hovering at the stage. The Conference was attended by Pakistan, Afghanistan, Burma, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Nepal, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam and Yemen. The accommodations for the 1500 delegates were booked in 14 different hotels with 31 Bungalows, accommodation for 500 Journalist and Reporters were also arranged. For their transportation, 143 Cars, 30 Taxis and 20 buses with 1230 Drivers were arranged and arrangements for 275 tones Gasoline were made available.
Invitations to 25 Heads of States were issued to attend the Conference, only one country that was Central African Federation refused to attend the Conference which under the occupation of some foreign powers at that time. 24 Heads of States confirmed their attendance and with the dawn of 18 April the whole Bandung woke up, from 7’O Clock in the morning people started march towards the Merdeka which was full from the people who were gathered to welcome the honorable guests.
The Foreign Delegates started arriving at 8.30 am and they were warmly welcomed. The Conference started at 9.00 am with ‘Indonesia Raya’ the National Anthem of Indonesia. The President Dr. Soekarno addressed the Conference at 10.00 am with his Historic Speech under the theme ‘Come to Asia and Create a New Africa”. The participants applauded warmly him.
A permanent room was also provided in the Building where the pictures of Bandung Conference and Colombo Conference have been exhibited. The films on the Culture and on the Bandung Conference and Asian Countries Conference are available there. The Guard also played the Pakistani National Anthem as he understands that we are Pakistanis. There are numerous items of various countries are kept in the Glass Boxes. There was a Box and Flag in a Box with the word is written ‘PAKISTAN’, we feel so proud and happy when we saw this scene.

To be continued…………….
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