Paris of East Java

The etymology of the name Malang is uncertain. One of the theory said that the name Malang is derived from the words Malangkucecwara which means ‘God has destroyed the false and enforced the right’.

 

I stay in a big house with young international teachers of Universitas Muhammadiyah Malang. The weather is cool, comparing to Yogya. City’s mild climate results from its elevation.

Malang is cheap and has some really good food. It is called a student city. A lot of young people move here to receive their higher education. They hang out in cafes and bars, enjoy cold evenings in Batu and go to the seaside for weekends. Still, there is very little foreigners. I do not see even one white tourist while I am here. That would explain why ‘Bule’ get much more interest and admiration here, than in other big Javaneese cities.

The first inscriptions about Malang comes from the times of Royal Kanjuruhan in Kingdom of Singasari-Javanese Hindu- Buddhist Kingdom located in east Java between 1222 and 1292. Kanjuruhan later has evolved into a city of Malang. Since 1293 to around 1500 it belonged to Empire of Majapahit. Its main religions were hinduism, Buddhism, Kejawen, Animism.

When Islam was conquering the Majapahit Empire around the year 1400, the duke of Majapahit fled to Malang area. He then founded an independent Hindu kingdom, which was inherited by his son. Center of the kingdom located in the city of Malang is still visible remnants of building a solid fortress in the village named Kutobedah Kutobedah. In 1614 the Sultan of Mataram from Central Java eventually came to conquer this area.

When we look at the dates, we can see Islam is here just 400 years. Comparing it to thousands of years of Animism and long history of Buddhidm and Hinduism, this is not much.

Indonesians nowadays often seem to forget about their religious and cultural heritage. Many times I came across sentences like ‘Islam is our tradition, that is why we should stick to it’, ‘This is our culture and we have to respect it’. Surprisingly enough, they do not realise, that this culture has not been here for a very long time…

The etymology of the name Malang is uncertain. One of the theory said that the name Malang is derived from the words Malangkucecwara which means ‘God has destroyed the false and enforced the right’. The meaning is timeless and proudly adopted by people of Malang, despite the fact there is no explanation, which god exactly it is talking about…

 

 

 

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