Fort Marlborough, Bengkulu City -a historical heritage of British colonization circa 1710s *Previous iconic pic: Annual Tabot festival in Bengkulu held during 1-10 Muharram every year
Official Name : Bengkulu (Abbreviation: BKU). Previously in the past: Bencoolen ; Origin of Name : Probably from the word ‘Bangka Hulu’ or ‘Bangka Ulu’ (upstream Bangka).
History : If anything the rest of Sumatra and for the most part of Indonesia was under Dutch East Indies, then Bengkulu was the lone exception that it belonged to British (English East India) until Anglo-Dutch Treaty in 1824 . So Raffles was here and did other British governors as well as monuments, forts and etc.
This south-west Sumatran part was never under any big local patronage as of neighboring Palembang or Jambi Sultanates. There were only few smalls ‘kedatuan’ based on ethnicity such as in Sungai Serut, Selebar, Pat Petulai, Balai Buntar, Sungai Lemau, Sekiris, Gedung Agung and Marau Riang. It was then once a vassal region of Banten Sultanate (from Western Java) and since 17th century was ruled by Minangkabau’s Inderapura Sultanate (today’s in Pesisir Selatan, West Sumatra Province).
In the early Independence, Bengkulu was included in the Older ‘South Sumatera’ Province with Lampung, Bangka-Belitung Archipelago and rest of South Sumatera itself, as a Residency). It finally gained its provincial status in 1968 as the 26th province (prior to the last province: East Timor). ’27’ was the famous number of provinces (27 provinces) during New Order Regime which would last for the next thirty years until 1998, as of today the number of administrative region has expanded rapidly (34 provinces, with East Timor eventually gains its independence).
Founded : 18 November 1968
Legality : UU No. 9/1967 Junkto Peraturan Pemerintah No. 20/1968
Location : Bengkulu lies in the western side of southern Sumatera Island, including Enggano Island off the coast. It borders Provinces: West Sumatera (Pesisir Selatan); Jambi (Kerinci & Sarolangun); South Sumatera ( Musi Rawas, Lubuk Linggau City, Empat Lawang, Lahat, Pagar Alam, Muara Enim & South OKU ); and Lampung ( Lampung Barat & Pesisir Barat). It also borders Indian Ocean (Samudera Hindia).
Capital : Bengkulu City
Pop: 1,665,314 (27th)/ Area: 19,919 km2 (23th)
Province Seal :
Motto : None officially. But some Bengkulu Malays proverb used, includes : “Sekundang setungguan seio sekato” (together we stand); “Ke bukit Samo Mendaki, Ke lurah Samo Menurun, Yang Berat Samo Dipikul, Yang Ringan Samo Dijinjing”; “Bulek Air Kek Pembukuh, Bulek Kata Rek Sepakat”.
Administrative Divisions : 1 Autonomous city (Kota)/ 10 Regencies (Municipals/Kabupaten):
1. Kota Bengkulu (Autonomous city as well as provincial capital)
2. MUKO-MUKO ( Muko-muko city )
3. NORTH BENGKULU ( Arga Makmur ) – including Enggano Island
4. LEBONG ( Muara Aman 2003-2012; Tubei 2012-now )
5. REJANG LEBONG ( Curup )
6. KEPAHIANG ( Kepahiang city )
7. CENTRAL BENGKULU ( Karang Tinggi )
8. SELUMA ( Tais )
9. SOUTH BENGKULU ( Manna )
10.KAUR ( Bintuhan )
ZIP Code : 38-3977xxx Phone Code: 0763 (Bengkulu); 0732 (Curup/Rejang Lebong); 0737 (Arga Makmur, Muko-Muko); 0738 (Muara Aman/Lebong); 0739 (Bintuhan/Kaur , Manna) Vehicle Plate : BD (all province)
State University: Bengkulu State Univ /UNIB (Kandang Limun, Bengkulu City); Bengkulu Islamic Univ/STAIN BKU (Bengkulu City).
Airports: Fatmawati Soekarno Airport (BKS) – named after first lady of the first president who hailed from the province, previously the airport was named ‘Padang Kemiling Airport’.
Ethnics of origin: Rejang, Serawai, Melayu Bengkulu, Lembak, Enggano
Languages of origin: Bahasa Rejang, Baso Melayu Bengkulu (mix of Minang and Palembang/Jambi), Pekal, Lembak, Kaur, Pesemah, Serawai, Native language of Enggano.
The Redjang or Kaganga alphabet is descended ultimately from the from Brahmi script of ancient India by way of the Pallava and Old Kawi scripts. Redjang is a syllabic alphabet – each letter has an inherent vowel /a/. Other vowels can be indicated using a variety of diacritics which appear above or below the consonants. The Redjang alphabet is used mainly to write magic spells and medical incantations and some poetry. Rejang Alphabet known as Kaganga Alphabet. It just not used by Rejang People (Bengkulu Province) but also used by Lampung People and Kerinci People (Jambi Province).
Durian is abundant here – Lempuk Durian (Dodol) – Kalamansi Syrup
Dance-art : Rejang Dances (Kejei Semulan Dance, Anok Sangei Dance), Bidadari Teminang Anak, Andun, Penyambutan/Sekapur Sirih, Putri Gading Cempaka, Pukek (Pukat)
Dance-art : Dul (Music Ensemble), Geritan, Serambeak, Andi-andi, Sambei
Traditional Songs : Langgam Melayu Bengkulu & Lagu-lagu Rejang ( Lalan Balek, Taneak Tanai, Anak Kunang, Beinai Curi, Bedindang, Ibo)
Persembahan Dance – Dul Ensemble – Colorful Baju Kurungs – Kejai Rejang Dance
Bengkulu outfits ( consist of two types: the Malays & the Rejangs )
Kain Besurek – (Bengkulu style of Batik with Islamic motif), worn by President SBY
Traditional weapon : Keris Bengkulu
Traditional house : Pusako Bubung Limo (Panggung)
First lady’s house (Ibu Fatmawati Soekarno) which is a typical Bengkulu Panggung house, now’s a museum in Bengkulu City
BEACH : Panjang, Pasir Putih, Tapak Paderi, Jakat, Tanah Lot Lais
ISLAND : Enggano, Tikus
LAKE : Dendam Tak Sudah, Tes, Gedang, Mas Harun Bastari, Musi, Picung Tubei Lebong, Pematang Curup, Tabarena Curup Natural Pools
PORT : Pulau Baii Port
NATIONAL PARK : Kerinci-Seblat Natl. Park, Taman Hutan Tropis Tahura, Seblat Hunting Park, Konak Park, Enggano Island Nanu’ua Park, Dio Bagito Zoo Park
OCEAN PARK : Enggano Island
RIVER : Seblat River, Ketahun River
HOT SPRINGS : Tujuh Warna Rimbo Penggadang, Suban Curup, Air Putih Muara Aman
WATERFALL : Suban Curup, Kepala Curup
ELEPHANT TRAINING : Seblat, Napal Putih
MOUNTAIN: Gunung Kaba Curup
Downtown & Malls :
Places of Interest :
Bung Karno Exile House (imprisonment by the Dutch in the early 1930s)
Masjid Jamik Bengkulu, Classic icon in the heart of the city
Thomas Parr Monument
Dendam Tak Sudah Lake ; Panjang Beach; Tapak Paderi Beach
Enggano Island Adventures (Wild life, native people & Beach surfing)
Annual Tabot Festival, Bengkulu City
It’s a religious festival in honour of Prophet Muhammad’s grandsons Hassan & Hussein who were killed in the Karbala. It has been held since 15th century introduced by Syekh Burhanuddin. Procession held anually between 1 to 10 Muharram i.e : “Upacara Mengambil Tanah” ( literally ‘pick sacred ground’ held on the night prior to 1 Muharram); “Duduk Penja” ( sitting and pray ceremony between 4 and 5 Muharram); “Menjara Ceremony” (5 – 6 of Muharram); “Anak Jari-Jari dan Seroban” ceremony (7 – 8 Muharram); “Arak Gedang” (This is the most interesting part as Tabuts were paraded around the city on 9 Muharram) and the closing ceremony ” Tabut Tebuang” where the tabuts were casted off to the sea on 10 Muharram.
Skyscraper.com (Balaputradewa) and other sources