Month: April 2013

The Diamonds of Ismahayana

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Inside the Keraton Ismahayana. Glamourous, isn’t it?

It lays on a small city in West Kalimantan, named Landak. Passing the main (and the only one) street, you’ll see this complex at one of its side. Look modest from the outside, glamorously furnished at the inside.

Not something unusual for the Kings of Ismahayana, having a house fully furnished with diamonds and gold. The chairs, desks, beds, traditional suites, crowns are topped with those jewelry. Anyway, the small city of Landak is unfamous with illegal produce of diamond. They search it in the edge of Landak River. That’s my guide told me.

Here, at the traditional market, people came to buy or sell illegal diamonds. One piece of diamond, tiny green beans size, may costs Rp 20 million. They can sell or buy it up to Rp 25 billion per transaction. Big deal, huh?

If you think these kings must be so wealthy, well not really. Ismahayana’s last king, Pangeran Ratu Gusti Abdul Hamid was killed by Japanese at 1943. He buried in a mass graveyard in Mandor, his only one son is now a lecturer in Pontianak. No one staying at this Keraton, neither festivals nor celebrations. The key master only open it for tourist.

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Dinamika Kapuas

Gerson Poyk, wartawan kawakan harian Sinar Harapan pernah menyusuri sungai terpanjang di Nusantara: Kapuas. Apa yang digambarkan Gerson lewat deskripsinya di buku ‘Keliling Indonesia dari Era Bung Karno Sampai SBY’, hampir sama persis dengan yang ditangkap mata saya.

Deskripsi soal kumuhnya bantaran Kapuas di Pontianak tahun 1975, tak jauh beda dengan foto-foto berikut yang diambil April 2013. Kondisi kumuh membuat aspek kesehatan jadi concern utama. Tapi kapan kekumuhan ini berakhir, siapalah yang bisa prediksi.

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