Gedung Sate costs 6 million Gulden in 1926

Gedung Sate costs 6 million Gulden in 1926

Written by: Susanna Sunarno,  Photo by: Anindita Harimurti Ax

To see Gedung Sate, you need 3 hours drive from Jakarta to Bandung. People called it  ‘Gedung Sate’ or Satay House, but just because you hear ‘satay’ it doesn’t mean that the buiding is a satay restaurant. It is a government building that has a very important historical building, build in 1920 -1926 during the Dutch Colonial Government ruled the land. Why most Indonesian called it Gedung Sate?   Let’s check out more of  its history.

“Gedung Sate is one of Bandung’s most impressive architectural heritage landmarks that reflects the heyday of the Indo-European style. It was built in the period of 1920 – 1926, and is most fascinating and well maintained. The building is nicknamed ‘Gedung Sate’ for the roof rods which somewhat resemble satay sticks. In the Dutch period in Indonesia, it was known as GOUVERNMENT BEDRIJVEN BUILDING (BG Building).

James Germer, a Netherlander architect who for a long time  lived in Thailand made the design of the building. He was assisted by supervisors, mostly Chinese, Arabian, and Native Indonesian. Therefore, the architectural style of the building is a combination of Art deco, Moorish style and Siamese (Thailand).

The construction was executed by Waterkracher Eelectrocillet (W&E) which started by destroying Gunung Batu/ Stone Mountain in Cipatat, Rajamandala and Batureok area at Lembang. It tooks 4 months, casting the concrete, stratification of high quality stones and roofing with the concrete foundation. The main building costs 6.000.000 Gulden which was a very grand budjet at that period.

Today it is the office of West Jave Provincial Government where the Governor has his office.”” (from the Tourism West  Java Travel Directory, Departement of Tourism)

Indonesian Comic Festival

For all comic lovers, the Festival Komik Indonesia is the town.

Written by: Susanna Sunarno

me and cartoon

Come on and check out what kinds are there. There are interesting Indonesian clasic comic legend, Wayang comic and also today comic for created by Indonesian, Japanese, American, European and others. Many interesting comic T-shirt are also there for you. You can also request for a cartoon of yourself, and get an original hand painting from Panji Tengkorang by Mr.Hans Jaladara.

The festival it self is held on February 22 – 28th 2010 in Pasar Festifal Kuningan. Free enty for every visitors.

From Indonesia, Happy Anniversary to Brunei Darussalam

Written by: Susanna Sunarno

This evening, the Embassy of Brunei Darussalam in Jakarta, Indonesia held a reception to celebrate the 26th Anniversary of the country.

To my surprise, the traditional dances of Brunei are so similar to the traditional dances of Malay people in Sumatera – especially in the Riau Archipelago. The traditional dances and costumes reflect the fact that the cultural bonds between Brunei and Sumatera have always been very close for a very long time. Not to mention that Brunei has Bahasa Melayu as their official language. And the colloquial dialect sounds closer to Bahasa Indonesia or Melayu Sumatera rather than to Malaysian. Nevertheless, in Brunei, as a former British colony, English is widely spoken, especially for business.

The brotherhood and collaboration between the people of Brunei and Indonesia continue to flourish from year to year. “On January 12, 2007, the heads of Governments of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia officially endorsed the Heart of Borneo (HoB) initiative. A declaration on the initiative to work together to protect the unique rainforests of Borneo and was signed in Bali,” as noted in the Business Guide Brunei Darussalam.

We do really hope our brotherly friendship blossom though times….. 

WAYANG GOLEK, a West Java Wooden Puppet Show

WAYANG GOLEK, a West Java Puppet show

Photos and naration by : Susanna Sunarno

One day at Cipta Gelar Village,

a far away village, uphill in Sukabumi, West Java, the villagers are celebrating their harvest.  

Traditionals performances came from neighbouring villages. One is Wayang Golek, West Java Golek Puppet show. This is how the tell the stories……  

      This is how ‘dalang’ or a puppet master tells his story…

'Dalang' (A puppet master)  in action.....
'Dalang' (A puppet master) in action.....

SATE AYAM, Indonesian delicious chicken satay

Written by: Susanna Sunarno

Yesterday, I went to see my niece in a hospital. She is 3.5 year old girl who looked really really bored of being hospitalized though she’s been a few days there. In the hospital cafetaria, I ate Sate Ayam. A food you can find it everywhere all over Indonesia. Now, I want to share it with you.

Here’s a recipe I found in a book ‘Indonesian Cuisine’ by Indonesian Ministry of Trade



1 TBSP margarine, melted                                       16 satay skewers

Fried shiced shallots                                                  1/2 tsp pepper                                           1/2 tsp salt


100 g peanuts,      1 tbsp sliced red chilies.      1 1/2 sliced capsicums

50 ml dark sweet soy sauce     3 tsp sliced shallots       1 tbsp lime juice

  • Mix the chicken meat with salt and pepper. Put the chicken meat pieces into bamboo skewers, about 4-5 to each skewer.
  • Mix wee the dark sweet soy sauce and the melted margarine. Dip the satay thoroughly to the mixture and then grill over a charcoal stove. turn over several times until the satay thoroughly cooked and turns to brown.
  • To make peanut sambal: Blend peanuts, chilies, and capsicums into a paste. Mix with dark sweet soy sauce,shallots, and lime juice
  • Serve the satay with the peanut sambal and sprinkle with friend sliced shallots.

Now, you can make your own satay…   Bon a petite…!

Jakarta, I miss you

Jakarta, I miss you….

Written by: Susanna Sunarno

As we walk down the street, my husband take this picture

Yesterday, I found a long lost old friend, who is now living in Kalimantan Island, with her 1 year old daughter and a husband. I remember her as an individual fulls of surprise. Born in a religious devoted moslem family in a far village in Yogyakarta regency, she struggled through her live as a ‘single independent female’ in Yogyakarta, Jakarta, Malaysia and Aceh. Yeah, we had a lot of talk back in those days. We mostly talked about life and also about the fact that even in a metropolitan capital city like Jakarta, a life of single independent females are not easy. Some friends in the office sometimes mock me for still being single; not to mention those of our own family or surrounding neighbour. Surprisingly after a long journey of life, she found her love one in her own village in Yogyakarta; and about 2 years later, I found mine in Jakarta. We were recently conneted by Facebook.

Yesterday, I called her. And to my surprise she said that she misses Jakarta. Living in Jakarta is never been so simple; nevertheless she has the sense of longing and feel at home when remembering about the City. Yeah, I bet you remember about being able to pick up all the things you want to buy here and to hunt for discounts during sale seasons. Hahaha…. Come,then, to Jakarta; not to work and live here, but to have your vacation here with the whole family, friends and neighbour…haha….

 OK, I see you next time, old friend….


Sebuah langkah sederhana mengelola keuangan.

Susanna Sunarno

Uang. Hal sensitif karena dibutuhkan namun kerap kali juga menimbulkan problema. Dari cek cok antar teman tentang pembelian barang bersama, atau menentukan bagaimana sebuah acara terselenggara: dimana – bagaimana dan berapa besar menjadi isu besar; karena terkait masalah uang. Begitupun dengan penyelenggaraan sebuah pesta pernikahan, banyak isu dibahas yang terkait dengan uang, seperti: apa makanannya, dekor, berapa orang diundang/ siapa saja, makanan terdiri dari apa,dll. Keretakan rumah tangga sering kali juga mengintip dari masalah keuangan. Misalnya bagaimana sang istri menjadi terlalu konsumtif atau sang suami yang terlalu sering kongkow dengan teman-temannya di Cafe sehingga berakibat pada bocornya keuangan bulanan. Lambat laun ini bermuara pada cek cok kebutuhan yang kurang terpenuhi dan berdampak pada keharmonisan rumah tangga itu sendiri. Adapula yang demi gengsi membeli barang jauh di atas kemampuan pendapatan bulanannya, seperti membeli mobil, rumah besar,peralatan dapur dan furniture yang berkelas. Nah, kalau sudah bocor di keuangan bulanannya, lantas bagaimana pula merencanakan penggunaan keuangan untuk tahunan, maintanance kesehatan, rekreasi dan tabungan masa tua?  

Prinsip bagaimana menggunakan uang sebenarnya adalah masalah pokok mendasar yang harus disadari oleh kita semua. Menyesuaikan apa yang dibutuhkan karena PENTING untuk skala kebutuhan pokok, bukan kebutuhan sekunder atau demi ego dan prestige semata, perlu diperhatikan. Berhemat atau membeli seperlunya adalah hal yang harus menjadi komitment awal kita bersama. Lihatlah dengan kata mata yang lebih luas. Nah, langkah awal apa saja yang bisa dilakukan oleh siapa saja demi mendapat value money yang lebih besar? Inilah TIGA cara menuju kaya a la talkandtravel.

Sugeng dahar....1 Memasak sendiri. Memasak sendiri mempunyai efek pengurangan biaya yang cukup signifikan setiap harinya. Begitu pula dengan membawa bekal makan ke sekolah atau ke kantor, akan memiliki efek potong pengeluaran yang luar biasa. Selalu sedia bekal minum juga penting. A la bisa karena biasa, itulah yang saya alami. Dari tak pernah memasak, kini saya sudah bisa meramu jenis masakan yang sesuai kekhasan saya, tak lupa mengindahkan khaidah-khaidah kesehatan.

Bisa jadi, membeli makan di luar bukanlah sesuai yang terlalu mahal bagi anda. Dengan kata lain, dari segi kesehatan anda mampu jajan, Ngafe, atau fine dining sekalipun. Namun, bayangkan juga jika anda berhasil menyisihkan uang saku tersebut untuk didermakan kepada saudara-saudara kita yang kurang beruntung di sekitar kita, seperti tuna grahita, tuna netra, atau pun anak-anak terlantar dan kurang gizi yang letaknya nun jauh di pelosok bumi Indonesia. Betapa mulianya berkat hemat yang bersahabat itu. 

2. Hemat Energi. Listrik. Walau kita bisa membayar harga listrik sebanyak apapun juga, namun berhemat listrik juga berarti peduli pada bumi dan masyarakat lain. Ini terkait dengan mengambilan dan mengolahan sumber energi dari dalam bumi, sudah sebegitu banyaknya sumber daya bumi, namun manusia serasa terus menerus kekurangan. Sayangilah bumi ini. Kalau kita juga peduli pada masyarakat lain yang terpencil hidupnya dan sangat sulit mendapatkan listrik PLN, menjadikan kita perlu menghargai listrik.   

Ketika saya membuat video documentary di Kepulauan Anambas, Riau, saya melihat di salah satu pulau, masyarakat harus berpatungan membeli genset dan bensinnya untuk penerangan mereka. Itu belum semua. Listrik juga dinyalakan berdasarkan jadwal yang sudah ditentukan, warga pun harus menyesuaikan aktifitas mereka, seperti menyetrika, berdasarkan jadwal listrik tersebut. Wah, betapa mahal, sulit, dan berharganya listrik bagi mereka.

Hemat energi juga berlaku bagi bagi penggunaan energi bumi lainnya, seperti bahan bakar motor, mobil, kompor.

3. Berpikir kreatif. Menggunakan sisi otak kreatifitas kita dalam melihat rumah dan lingkungan kita bisa menghemat pengeluaran, dan menambah kesehatan. Ketika saya mulai rajin melihat apa saja yang ada di taman, saya menemukan ada tanaman ginseng, jeruk sayur, pandan, daun cincau, pisang. Wah, lumayan. Pandan selalu saya gunakan untuk memasak nasi, jadilah wangi pandan yang alami. Hmmm….

Kain lap dan pernak-pernih rumah sebenarnya bisa digunakan dari bahan-bahan daur ulang; dari kain-kain yang tak terpakai, box kotak hadiah,toples makanan,dll. Lebih jauh lagi, mengembangkan BERPIKIR KREATIF itu sendiri bisa jadi mendatangkan rejeki suatu hari nanti.

Tentu saja, 3 langkah kaya yang saya sebut di atas sebenarnya lebih menyangut kekayaan kepribadian diri, yang mau pengertian, perhatian terhadap kita dan lingkungan sekitar, mau terus belajar. Kepribadian seperti itulah yang memperkaya diri, mendamaikan hati dan sangat mulia. Mari bersama-sama kita coba lebih baik setiap hari.  

Salam lestari.