31 March 2007

Akhirnya ana temukan sejarah kakek moyang ana di Betawi!

kakek moyang ana di padang pasir

Assalamu'alaikum wr wb.

Setelah 'ngubleg-ubleg' arsip-arsip lama, akhirnya ana temukan artikel tentang
sejarah kakek moyang ana di Betawi - dituliskan oleh ukthi Ida Indawati
Khouw untuk koran The Jakarta Post.

Mohon maaf, artikelnya dalam bahasa kafir, jadi antum, akhwan wa akhwat semua, musti sedikit putar otak untuk dapat menyimaknya.

Syukron buat semua, dan Maha Suci Allah atas segala firmanNya.

Wassalamu'alaikum wr wb.

bangga akan sejarah nenek moyang!


Batavia's small Arab community made its mark

Saturday, February 24, 2001

By Ida Indawati Khouw
e-mail: idakhouw@yahoo.com

Although they never figured as prominently in the capital's history as
the ethnic Chinese, Arabs and their descendants have resided in the
city since the 17th century. Several prominent Indonesians, including
current Minister of Foreign Affairs Alwi Shihab and his predecessor
Ali Alatas, are of Middle Eastern descent. This is the 74th article in
our series on Old Batavia.

JAKARTA (JP): When people in Batavia, now Jakarta, needed to borrow
money in the past, they had options other than banks.

They often went to moneylenders in the Arab community, who were known
as prudent in managing money and for their acumen in trade and

The community settlement, Pekojan, in the present downtown Kota area,
came into being 300 years ago and a thriving community lived there
until the 20th century.

Pekojan was named for Koja (Moors), as immigrants from Gujarat in
western India were originally called.

Some of their heritage, in the form of the oldest mosques in the city,
remain to this day, namely the Al-Anshor mosque, probably dating back
to 1648, and Kampung Baru and Annawir mosques, both of which were
erected about 1750.

Another legacy is Langgar Tinggi, a raised prayer house.

Unfortunately, population counts during the era of the Dutch East
Indies Company seldom had a special category for Moors, let alone for
Arabs, said Huub de Jonge in his monograph A Divided Minority, The
Arabs of Batavia in Jakarta-Batavia, Socio-Cultural Essays, edited by
Kees Grijns and Peter J.M. Nas.

"After 1800, however, Arabs start to be mentioned in population
figures. At the beginning of the 19th century, about 400 'Arabs and
Moors' lived in Batavia, a number which changed little during the
following decades," de Jonge said.

Another expert on Jakarta's history, Susan Abeyasekere, said there
were never more than a few hundred Arabs in Batavia, although today
not much was known about them.

"In some way they replaced the role of Moors and Indians of previous
centuries," she said in her book Jakarta A History.

But de Jonge said that in 1885 Batavia had 1,448 registered Arab
inhabitants, while between 1900 and 1930 the Arab minority increased
from 2,245 to 5,231, comprising more than 7 percent of the total Arab
population of the Netherlands Indies.

"The census of 1930 made clear that the Arab minority had developed
into an established community. Although each year newcomers from
Hadhramaut (in Yemen) arrived in Batavia, particularly after the
opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, most of the growth was accounted
for by those born in the Indies," said de Jonge.

Adolf Heuken, in his paper Arab Landowners in Batavia, noted that
people from Hadhramaut were usually small traders who lived in Pekojan
and Krukut (West Jakarta); after improving their social status, they
usually moved to Pasar Baru and Tanah Abang, both in present-day
Central Jakarta.

The Arab population also spread to other neighborhoods like Petamburan
and Tanah Tinggi (Central Jakarta), Sawah Besar (West Jakarta) and
Jatinegara (East Jakarta).

Literature mentions that trade and money lending were their principal
ways of making a living.

Lending money, usually at an exceptionally high interest rate, was
especially popular among new immigrants, said de Jonge

"If a debtor could not pay back his debts, the creditor was usually
eager to lay his hands on the possessions left."

Arab immigrants were also famous as traders of commodities, mostly
fabrics, especially imported cotton, batik and clothing. They were
also involved in trading furniture, precious stones, perfume, leather
goods and foodstuffs.

Itinerant Arab vendors were well known for allowing customers to pay
in installments, with the profits often invested in houses, shops and

Unlike the Chinese, who owned and cultivated their land, Arabs usually
leased it to others or made a profit through resales.

"The Arabs wanted to make quick profits, they didn't care about land
cultivation," said Heuken.

A few of the Arabs were among the richest people in Batavia. Moreover,
starting from the 19th century the ethnic group was the second most
important foreign Asian trading minority after the Chinese, according
to de Jonge.

In 1885 the value of real estate owned by local Arabs in Batavia
amounted to 2.5 million guilders, Several among them owned whole
estates, like Sayid Ali bin Sjahab and Bassalama, landlords of Menteng
and Kwitang Oost respectively, both in the present Central Jakarta area.

Abeyasekere wrote that among the reasons the Arabs did well
economically was apparently from the fact that by the late 18th
century several merchants in town belonged to the slave owning
business elite.

One of the richest Arabs at the end of the 19th century was Said
Abdullah bin Alwi Alatas, a third-generation immigrant, who, besides
large tracks of land, owned a foundry and machine works and imported

In about 1890 he bought the neoclassical country house that today is
the Textile Museum near Tanah Abang and Jl. K.S. Tubun in Petamburan,
still an Arab area of the city.

"(The purchase of the mansion) marked the move of wealthy Arabs from
Pekojan to Tanah Abang," Abeyasekere said.

Arabs also played a significant role in the religious field -- as
preachers or scholars -- especially the sayid (descendants of the
Prophet Muhammad).

Abeyasekere said that because they came from the Arabian peninsula,
the origin of Islam, they were highly respected as religious leaders
by local Muslims in Batavia.

A famous propagator of Islam was Sayid Abubakr bin Abdullah al-Aydrus,
a grandson of Sayid Abdullah bin Hussein al-Aydrus who was buried in
the old Luar Batang Mosque, North Jakarta.

The Jakarta Post

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