“Look here, someone is going for a walk… Whose daughter is it?”
Never mind, he was just teasing me.
Last week, September 12th 2014, we were going to, once again, carry out our kind of massive desire that we could not make it the other day. Yep, going to museums! If any of you remember the uninteresting (uninteresting, because it actually was, and also the hype was not as huge as the far exaggerating presidential one) legislative election held last April, that time, we recklessly left for Central Jakarta. Following the news from Detik Travel which we had browsed the day before, saying that museums were definitely the destination you had to visit on legislative election leave, we just went there only to find all of the museums entirely closed. Very well, such a deception, Detik Travel…
First museum to visit is National Museum of Indonesia. Located at Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No.12, Gambir, this museum is my favourite one. I consider it has pretty much exhaustive collections, both domestic and foreign. The collections are divided into seven kinds; historical, geographical, prehistorical, ceramic, ethnographic, archaeological, and numisnatic and heraldic collections.
Historical collections consisted of items like furnitures, cannons, ceramic, glasses, potteries, decorative lights, etc. While for the geographical collections, this museum had fossils, rocks, maps, navigational equipments, and ship miniatures. There were also human and animal bones, artifacts like hunting and farming tools, and objects related to veneration of ancestors as the prehistorical collections. The ceramic kept in this museum mostly came from outside Indonesia, which became the historical data proving the relationships between Indonesia and other countries (China, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, also from Middle East and Europe regions) in the past, especially in trading. Ethnographic collections presented various cultural objects from the whole Indonesian tribes, for example traditional house miniatures, textiles, ornaments, equipments used for ritual and daily needs, etc. For the archaelogical collections, there were multifarious cultural objects from Hindu-Buddhist era in Indonesia consisting of sculptures, jewelries, ritual stuffs, constractions, inscriptions, etc. The last was numisnatic and heraldic collections which included items like coins, banknotes, money printing tools, medals, and amulets used throughout the ancient kingdoms, colonial, and independence era.
“You know what, take pictures and upload them to internet. Then, if there is someone from other nation happens to copy the items, I would undoubtedly blame you.”
Since I was not allowed to take pictures inside the museum by this grumpy guy, I can’t come to show you any of the collections I saw. My sincere apologies.
Stepping into the front room of the museum, we could see a pretty huge man statue standing tall. As if he welcomed us, this statue somehow looked like a cook stirring a dough. Contrast to what it looked like—at least to my sight—this statue actually represented a dreadful ritual of human sacrifice to give protection against evil. Yep, Bhairawa statue, the embodiment of Adhityawarman. He held a bowl filled with blood and a dagger. With eight skulls displayed on his feet and a tiny creature that looked like a baby being stepped on, it was quite terrifying indeed. Duh, I really can’t show you the picture. So, for those who have never seen him yet, you might as well just go see the man by yourselves.
In the central courtyard and both of its sides were the varied Hindu-Buddhist sculptures, which were very, very breathtaking. I was genuinely astonished how talented and artful our ancestors were. Damn, those magnificently detailed carvings! My admiration continued to brim over seeing other collections in the next rooms, especially when I observed the cultural objects of the multiple tribes from the entire Indonesia, with their own great characteristics. See, we are absolutely beyond rich!
Aside from my amazement towards the diversity of this country, there was one thing that I wondered quite a lot. First, can you guys just help me by simply raising your hand—that, if you are a fan of Star Wars. And you do care about this.
So, there was this statue that looked exactly like our captious dear friend, C-3PO! I mean, it looked so much like that piece of humanoid protocol droid. Believe me, some things are just enigmatically synced with the universe, and this is one of them.
“Picture or it didn’t happen!”
Guys, guys, I don’t want to be in trouble, so let me just give you some definite clues. One day you deign to visit National Museum of Indonesia just to prove my previous statement—better do it for the educational purpose, you can still ask your lover to go with you, though—about this C-3PO separate twin, go look for a cute, ancestor wooden statue holding a chalice originally from Tanimbar, Maluku. You’re welcome.
“Ugh. Do you think you can be a professional photographer by taking those pictures? Really?”
“These foreigners capturing every single item in this museum… Who do you think you are? These are ours, you all don’t have the right.”
He was right, though. There was indeed a warning not to bring your camera with you while getting into the museum. My bad, I have these pictures I took—obviously minus the selfies taken by stepping on the precious objects and smiling horribly in front of the camera—from the previous visit last year which still I keep in my laptop. Teehee, I promise not to upload them!
Um, before I finish this not-so-late post, there is one thing that should be noted. Leaving at about half past seven in the sunny morning, I never thought I would be wet. As the adherent of bring your own tumbler principle, I failed miserably. Trusting your tumbler lid is substantial, you know. And I was wrong, ‘cause I ended up buying mineral water nonetheless. Unless it could stay tight, my good intention would work. For that matter, do the check before leaving! (Errr… As I’m writing it, I realise I have to stay consistent with my decision of avoiding plastic use, where I have been pretty inconsiderate lately. Sigh… Sorry, Mother Nature!)
P.S. If you didn’t get much information from this post, please be assured that this is not an informative text. Plus, I was actually struggling with the major lack of documentation while I could possibly describe things. In the end, I just hope the youth can appreciate the existence of museums more and be enthusiastic in exploring what our country has. Besides the ticket price which is way cheap to purchase and the nice accessibility, going on a date to museums is hella fun. See it yourself, Indonesia is wonderful. See ya next post!