The Italian section of the Indonesian Heritage Society is fairly young. It was created at the beginning of 2016, and it has been growing since then. The two chairwomen and its members work hard at organising events as part of efforts to keep the section growing. It also aims to be an important reference in Jakarta for newcomers from Italy who want to discover Indonesian culture, a role that the Indonesian Heritage Society has been steadily strengthening since its foundation.
Our group is creative and energetic and enjoy various programmes. One event that was memorable was a trip we took to visit the Bogor Botanical Gardens. Leaving Jakarta and using the train was an adventure in itself, and we enjoyed every minute of it.
We appreciated the punctuality and speed of the train – what a change from the daily macet in Jakarta! When we arrived at the station in Bogor, we spent a while discussing the options to reach the botanical gardens and finally settled for a minibus—we packed into it tightly. We had a lot of fun and even had a street musician performing exclusively for us with his ukulele.
Bogor is quite a change from Jakarta. Its streets are wider and the air is fresher, while the vitality of the bustling environment remains the same. We loved the gardens from the very beginning. It was interesting hearing about the history of the gardens. We were all in awe when we reached the monument dedicated to the memory of the wife of former governor Sir Thomas Raffles, Olivia Mariamne Devenish, who died of malaria at age 43.
We continued to the government palace, which is in the Dutch style, and surrounded by lovely pools full of lotuses and other flowers. The little white mermaid, a gift from the Danish government, in front of the palace is a replica of the one in Copenhagen.
The flora of the botanical gardens is magnificent. We had a great time looking for famous trees we had heard about while living and travelling in Indonesia, and discovering properties and facts about others we had no clue about. We enjoyed a good meal and conversation at the restaurant, which sits on top of a beautiful hill with perfect lawns.
After lunch we proceeded to the orchidarium where the white orchids were absolutely stunning!
We were all tired when we reached the station to go back to Jakarta, and not prepared to the mass of people completely filling the huge station queuing for tickets. We appreciated the efficiency of the man in charge to help people buying their tickets at the machine.
We loved our excursion, which put us in a great mood. In just one day we went through so much and learned and discovered a lot. I will never tire to say it: the Indonesian Heritage Society and its linguistic sections are a MUST for newcomers arriving in Jakarta. IHS can really make the difference in discovering the fascinating Indonesian traditions and arts, while plunging in a multicultural reality and making friends both from Indonesia and the rest of the world.
Text by Claudia Landini. This article is originally from paper. Read NOW!Jakarta Magazine August 2018 issue “Capital of Culture”. Available at selected bookstore or SUBSCRIBE here.