Saturday, December 10, 2005

Jakarta, The capital City Of Indonesia

Jakarta is the main gateway to Indonesian archipelago. It is a contrast of modern western architecture and traditional Indonesian culture. Its rapid growth into a metropolitan city, however, is a reflection of the economic, political, social and industrial development of the nation.
This enormous city has humble roots, starting as a small harbour town called Sunda Kelapa, but its actual founding dates back to the June 22, 1527 when it was named Jayakarta by Fatahillah of the neighbouring Sultanate of Banten. The name Jayakarta means City of Great Victory but under Dutch control the name was changed to Batavia. Shortly after the outbreak of World War II, Batavia fell into the hands of invading Japanese forces who also changed the name of the city.
This time it was called Jakarta as a gesture aimed at winning the sympathy of the Indonesians. The name was retained even when Indonesia achieved national independence after the wars end. Now, as Jakarta, it is the centre of government, business and industry and spreads over an area of more than 650 (410 sq miles) with a population of over nine million people. It is also designated as a special territory, (DKI) which means that it is administered by a governor and en joys the same status as a province.In recent years, Jakarta has expanded its facilities for visitors with multi-star luxury hotels, fine restaurants, exciting nightlife and modern shopping centers as well as tourist attractions like Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park),marine resorts in the Bay of Jakarta, an extensive beach recreation complex and restored colonial period buildings.
Jakarta's architecture reflects the history of outside influences which came and left their mark on this vital seaport city. The Taman Fatahillah Restoration Project, begun in the early 1970's, has restored one of the oldest sections of Jakarta, known as Old Batavia or Kota, to almost its original state. An old Portuguese Church and warehouse have been rejuvenated into living museums.The old Supreme Court building is now a museum of fine arts and houses part of a superb Chinese porcelain collection of former Vice-President Adam Malik and the old Town Hall has become the Jakarta Museum, displaying such rare items as Indonesia's old historical documents and Dutch period furniture Even the city's tower clock was returned to England to be repaired under its lifetime guarantee, a lifetime which until now has lasted for hundreds of years!
Jakarta is traditional and modern; rich and poor; spiritual and worldly standing side by side in this bustling metropolis. The population, gathered from the diverse ethnic and cultural groups which shape Indonesia, are often in contrast and a reminder of the nation's motto; Unity in Diversity. The ethnic Jakarta called "Orang Betawi" speaks Betawi Malay, also spoken in the surrounding towns such of Bekasi and Tangerang. This language has two variations; conventional Betawi Malay, spoken by elder people born and bred in Jakarta, and modern Jakarta Malay spoken by the younger generation and migrants.
As Indonesia's main gateway, Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport serves a growing number of international airlines and provides an abundance of domestic flights. Transport within the city is plentiful.
It should be noted that most museums are open daily from 8.00am (except Mondays) until 2.00pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. On Fridays closing hour is at 11.OOam and on Saturdays at 1.OOpm.
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11:09 PM  

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