Amazing West Java

Geographically West Java Province is located in 5°50 – 7°50 south, 104°48 – 104°48 East. Its border in northern with Java sea and DKI Jakarta province, eastern with Central Java province, western with Sundanese strait and southern with Indonesian Ocean.

West Java province has 34,816 km2 area and consist of 17 regencies and 9 cities. With land and small islands 48 Islands in Indonesian Ocean, 4 Islands in Java Sea, 14 Islands in Banten Gulf and 20 Islands in Sundanese Strait, region of West Java is 44.354,61 km2 wide. The local’s people know West Java Province as the Land of Sunda.

Sundanese share Java Island with other Malayan people: Javanese people. They primarily live in their home province of West Java. Although Sundanese live in the same island with Javanese, they consider themselves a distinct cultural area called Sunda.

West Java Tourism Map
West Java Tourism Map (Source : wikipedia.org)

Beside Indonesian language as the official national language, the other widely-spoken language in the province is Sundanese. In some areas near the southern borders with Central Java, Javanese is also spoken. The main language spoken in Cirebon and nearby areas (Majalengka and Indramayu) is Cirebonese, a dialect of Javanese. Indonesian is widely spoken as a second language, except in some remote rural areas.

Some Sundanese art cultures which are famous in the world are bamboo ensembles, puppetry and zither ensembles.

Bamboo ensembles

Angklung
Angklung (Souce : alatmusikindonesia.com)

This art is a Sundanese music orchestra using bamboo as music instrument, called Angklung. The three main types of Sundanese bamboo ensembles are angklung, calung, and arumba. Angklung is a generic term for sets of tuned, shaken bamboo rattles. Angklung consists of a frame upon which hang several different lengths of hollow bamboo. Angklungs are played like hand bells, with each instrument played to a different note. Angklung rattles are played in interlocking patterns, usually with only one or two instruments played per person. The ensemble is used in Sundanese processions and usually performed at life-cycle rituals and feasts (hajat), Angklung is believed to maintain balance and harmony in the village.

Puppetry

Puppetry or Wayang Golek
Puppetry or Wayang Golek (Source : infobandung.co.id)

The Sundanese puppetry called as Wayang Golek. Wayang golek puppets are made from wood and are three-dimensional and they use a banana palm in which the puppets stand, behind which one puppeteer (dalang) is accompanied by his traditional music orchestra called gamelan with up to 20 musicians.

Zither ensembles

Zither ensembles
Zither ensembles (Source : discogs.com)

These music instruments are consist of two zithers (kecapi) and one bamboo flute (suling). These instruments usually play to accompany “tembang Sunda”.  Tembang means song or poem and Sunda is a geographical, historical, and cultural construct which signifies home for the Sundanese people of Indonesia.

Beside all those art culture, West Java also has famous tourism objects which are visited not only from domestic tourists but also from international tourists. Some of the tourism objects are Bogor Botanical Garden, Pangandaran beach, Cisarua Safari Garden and Bandung city.

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