Central Java

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Central Java

Jawa Tengah
Other transcription(s)
 • Javaneseꦗꦮꦠꦼꦔꦃ
Borobudur-Nothwest-view.jpg
Merbabu&Merapi.JPG
Pura Mangkunagaran01(2 Maret 2007).jpg
Fishermen on Rawa Pening.jpg
Dieng Plateau Java140.jpg
Ujung Gelam Beach Karimun Jawa 3.JPG
Serayu River, Central Java.jpg
Clockwise, from top left : Borobudur, Mangkunegaran Palace, Village in the Dieng Plateau, Serayu River, Karimunjava, Fishermen on Rawa Pening, Rice paddy with Mount Merapi and Mount Merbabu in the background
Flag of Central Java
Flag
Coat of arms of Central Java
Coat of arms
Motto(s): 
ꦥꦿꦱꦺꦠꦾꦈꦭꦃꦱꦏ꧀ꦠꦶꦨꦏ꧀ꦠꦶꦥꦿꦗ

Prasetya Ulah Sakti Bhakti Praja
(Javanese)
(meaning: A vow of devotion with all might to the country)
Location of Central Java in Indonesia
Location of Central Java in Indonesia
Coordinates: 7°30′S 110°00′E / 7.500°S 110.000°E / -7.500; 110.000Coordinates: 7°30′S 110°00′E / 7.500°S 110.000°E / -7.500; 110.000
Country Indonesia
EstablishedAugust 15, 1950
CapitalLambang Kota Semarang.png Semarang
Government
 • BodyCentral Java Regional Government
 • GovernorGanjar Pranowo (PDI-P)
 • Vice GovernorTaj Yasin Maimoen
Area
 • Total32,800.69 km2 (12,664.42 sq mi)
Highest elevation
3,428 m (11,247 ft)
Population
 (2017)[1]
 • Total34,257,900
 • Rank3rd
 • Density1,000/km2 (2,700/sq mi)
Demographics
 • Ethnic groupsJavanese (98%), Chinese (1%) Indians (0.5%)
 • ReligionIslam 95.74%, Christianity 4.95%, Hinduism 0.05%, Buddhism 0.22%, Confucianism 0.03%, and Kejawen
 • LanguagesIndonesian (official)
Javanese (native)
Time zoneUTC+7 (Indonesia Western Time)
Postcodes
50xxx, 51xxx, 52xxx
Area codes(62)2xx
ISO 3166 codeID-JT
Vehicle signAA, AD, K, G, H, R
GRP per capitaUS$ 2,326
GRP rank25th
HDIIncrease 0.700(High)
HDI rank12th
Largest city by areaSemarang – 373.78 square kilometres (144.32 sq mi)
Largest city by populationSemarang – (1,555,984 – 2010)
Largest regency by areaCilacap Regency – 2,124.47 square kilometres (820.26 sq mi)
Largest regency by populationBrebes Regency – (1,733,869 – 2010)
WebsiteGovernment official site

Central Java (Javanese: ꦗꦮꦠꦼꦔꦃ; Indonesian: Jawa Tengah, abbreviated as Jateng) is a province of Indonesia. This province is located in the middle of the island of Java. Its administrative capital is Semarang. The province is bordered by West Java in the west, the Indian Ocean and the Special Region of Yogyakarta in the south, East Java in the east, and the Java Sea in the north. The area is 32,548 km², or around 28.94% of the total area of Java. The province of Central Java also includes the island of Nusakambangan in the south (close to the border of West Java), and the Karimun Jawa Islands in the Java Sea. Central Java is also a cultural concept that includes the Special Region and city of Yogyakarta as well as the Province of Central Java. However, administratively the city and its surrounding regencies have formed a separate special region (equivalent to a province) since Indonesian independence, administrated separately. Central Java is known as the "heart" of Javanese culture. Even so, in this province there are also other ethnic groups that have different cultures from the Javanese, such as the Sundanese in the border area with West Java. Besides there are also Chinese-Indonesians, Arabs-Indonesians and Indian-Indonesians scattered throughout the province.

The province has been inhabited by humans since the prehistoric-era. Remains of the Homo erectus, popularly dubbed the "Java Man", were found along the banks of the Bengawan Solo River, and these dates back to 1.7 million years ago.[2] In the past, Central Java was under the control of several Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms, Islamic sultanates and the Dutch East Indies colonial government. Central Java was also center of the Indonesian independence movement. As the majority of the modern-day Indonesian are of Javanese descent, both Central Java and East Java has a major impact on Indonesia's social, political and economic life.

The province is 32,800.69 km2 in area, approximately a quarter of the total land area of Java. Its population was 33,753,023 at the 2015 Census; it is the third most populated province in both Java and Indonesia after West Java and East Java.

History[edit]

Etymology[edit]

The origin of the name "Java" can be traced from the Sanskrit chronicle which mentions the existence of an island called yavadvip(a) (dvipa means "island", and yava means "barley" or also "grain").[2][3] Are these grains a millet (Setaria italica) or rice, both of which have been widely found on this island in the days before the entry of Indian influence.[4] It is possible that this island has many previous names, including the possibility of originating from the word jaú which means "far away". Yavadvipa is mentioned in one of the Indian epic, Ramayana. According to the epic, Sugriva, the commander of the wanara (ape man) from Sri Rama's army, sent his envoy to Yavadvip ("Java Island") to look for the Hindu goddess Sita.[5]

Another possible assumption is that the word "Java" comes from the root words in Proto-Austronesian language, Awa or Yawa (Similar to the words Awa'i (Awaiki) or Hawa'i (Hawaiki) used in Polynesia, especially Hawaii) which means "home".[6]

An island called Iabadiu or Jabadiu is mentioned in Ptolemy's work called Geographia which was made around 150 AD during the era of the Roman Empire. Iabadiu is said to mean "island of barley", also rich in gold, and has a silver city called Argyra at its western end. This name mentioned Java, which most likely origins from the Sanskrit term Java-dvipa (Yawadvipa).[7]

Chinese records from the Songshu and the Liangshu referred to Java as She-po (5th century AD), He-ling (640-818 AD), then called it She-po again until the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), where they began to call Zhao-Wa.[8] In the book Yingyai Shenglan, wrotten by the Chinese Ming explorer Ma Huan, the Chinese call Java as Chao-Wa, and it was once called the She-pó (She-bó).[9] When Giovanni de' Marignolli returned from China to Avignon, he stopped at the kingdom of Saba, which he said had many elephants and was led by a queen; this name Saba might be his interpretation of She-bó.[10]

Pre-historic era[edit]

Fossil of the Java Man, found in Sangiran, Sragen Regency

Java has been inhabited by humans or their ancestors (hominina) since prehistoric times. In Central Java and the adjacent territories in East Java remains known as "Java Man" were discovered in the 1890s by the Dutch anatomist and geologist Eugène Dubois. Java Man belongs to the species Homo erectus.[11] They are believed to be about 1.7 million years old.[12] The Sangiran site is an important prehistoric site on Java.

Then about 40,000 years ago, Australoid peoples related to modern Australian Aboriginals and Melanesians colonised Central Java. They were assimilated or replaced by Mongoloid Austronesians by about 3000 BC, who brought with them technologies of pottery, outrigger canoes, the bow and arrow, and introduced domesticated pigs, fowls, and dogs. They also introduced cultivated rice and millet.[13]

Pre-colonial era[edit]

A painting by G.B. Hooijer (c. 1916–1919) reconstructing the scene of Borobudur during its heyday

Recorded history began in Central Java in the 7th century AD. The writing, as well as Hinduism and Buddhism, were brought to Central Java by Indians from South Asia. Central Java was a centre of power in Java back then. In 664 AD, the Chinese monk Hui-neng visited the Javanese port city he called Hēlíng (訶陵) or Ho-ling, where he translated various Buddhist scriptures into Chinese with the assistance of the Javanese Buddhist monk Jñānabhadra. It is not precisely known what is meant by the name Hēlíng. It used to be considered the Chinese transcription of Kalinga but it now most commonly thought of as a rendering of the name Areng. Hēlíng is believed to be located somewhere between Semarang and Jepara.

The first dated inscription in Central Java is the Inscription of Canggal which is from 732 AD (or 654 Saka). This inscription which hailed from Kedu, is written in Sanskrit in Pallava script. In this inscription it is written that a Shaivite king named Sri Sanjaya established a kingdom called Mataram. Under the reign of Sanjaya's dynasty several monuments such as the Prambanan temple complex were built.

In the meantime a competing dynasty arose, which adhered to Buddhism. This was the Sailendra dynasty, also from Kedu, which built the Borobudur temple.

After 820 there is no more mention of Hēlíng in Chinese records. This fact coincides with the overthrow of the Sailendras by the Sanjayas who restored Shaivism as the dominant religion. Then in the middle of the 10th century, for unknown reason, the centre of power moved to Eastern Java.

Raden Wijaya founded the great Hindu Majapahit Empire, and the empire reached its peak during the reign of Hayam Wuruk (m. 1350-1389). The kingdom claimed sovereignty over the entire Indonesian archipelago, although direct control tended to be limited to Java, Bali and Madura. Gajah Mada was a military leader during the reign of Hayam Wuruk, who led many territorial conquests for the kingdom. The kingdoms in Java had previously based their power on agriculture, but Majapahit had succeeded in seizing the port and shipping lanes so that it became the first commercial empire on Java. The empire suffered a setback afterwith the death of Hayam Wuruk and the entry of Islam into Indonesia.

At the end of the 16th century, the development of Islam had surpassed Hinduism and Buddhism as the dominant religion in Java. The emergence of the Islamic kingdom on Java is also inseparable from the role of Walisongo. At first the spread of Islam was very rapid and was accepted by ordinary people, until finally the da'wah entered and was carried out by the rulers of this island.

Recorded the first Islamic kingdom in Java was the Sultanate of Demak. The kingdom of Demak was first led by one of the descendants of the Majapahit emperor converted to Islamic named Raden Patah. In this period, Islamic kingdoms began to develop from Pajang, Surakarta, Yogyakarta, Cirebon, and Banten to establish their power.

The Sultanate of Mataram in the late 16th century grew into a dominant force from the central and eastern parts of Java. The rulers of Surabaya and Cirebon were subdued under the rule of Mataram, so that only Mataram and Banten were left behind when the Dutch arrived in the 17th century.

Some kingdoms of Islamic heritage in Java can still be found in several cities, for example Surakarta, there are two kingdoms, Kasunanan and Mangkunegaran, in Yogyakarta there are two kingdoms namely the Yogyakarta Sultanate and Pakualaman.

Dutch colonial rule[edit]

By late 16th century, European traders began to frequent Central Javanese ports. The Dutch established a presence in the region through their East India Company.

After Demak itself collapsed, a new kingdom on the Kedu Plain emerged. This new kingdom, which was also a sultanate, bore the old name of Mataram. Under the reign of Sultan Agung, Mataram was able to conquer almost all of Java and beyond by the 17th century, but internal disputes and Dutch intrigues forced Mataram to cede more and more land to the Dutch. These cessions finally led to several partitions of Mataram. The first partition was after the 1755 Treaty of Giyanti. This treaty divided the old kingdom in two, the Sultanate of Surakarta and the Sultanate of Yogyakarta. Then few years later Surakarta was divided again with the establishment of the Mangkunegaran after the Treaty of Salatiga (March 17, 1757).

During the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, Central Java, as part of the Netherlands East-Indies, a Dutch colony, was handed over to the British. In 1813, the Sultanate of Yogyakarta was also divided with the establishment of the Pakualaman.

The shattered kingdom, Mataram in 1830, after the Java War.

After the British left, the Dutch came back, as decided by the Congress of Vienna. Between 1825 – 1830 the Java War ravaged Central Java. The result of the war was a consolidation of the Dutch power. The power and the territories of the divided kingdom of Mataram were greatly reduced.

Netherlands enforced Cultivation system which was linked to famines and epidemics in the 1840s, firstly in Cirebon and then Central Java, as cash crops such as indigo and sugar had to be grown instead of rice

However Dutch rule brought modernization to Central Java. In the 1900s the modern province of Central Java, the predecessor of the current one was created. At that time it was named Gouvernement of Midden-Java. Before 1905, Central Java consisted of 5 gewesten (regions) namely Semarang, Rembang, Kedu, Banyumas, and Pekalongan. Surakarta is still an independent vorstenland (autonomus region) which stands alone and consists of two regions, Surakarta and Mangkunegaran, as well as Yogyakarta. Each gewest consists of districts. At that time, the Rembang Gewest also includes Regentschap Tuban and Regentschap Bojonegoro.

After the enactment of the Decentralisatie Besluit (Decentralization Decision) in 1905, the governor was given autonomy and a regional Council was formed. In addition, autonomous gemeente (municipal) was formed, namely Pekalongan, Tegal, Semarang, Salatiga, and Magelang.

Since 1930, the province has been designated as an autonomous region which also has a provinciale raad (provincial council). The province consists of several residenties (residencies), which cover several regentschap (districts), and are divided into several kawedanan (districts). Central Java consists of 5 residences, namely: Pekalongan, Jepara-Rembang, Semarang, Banyumas, and Kedu.

Independence and contemporary era[edit]

On March 1, 1942, Japanese troops landed on Java, and seven days later, precisely on March 8, the Dutch colonial government surrendered unconditionally to Japan. Since then, Central Java has been effectively occupied by Japan. During the Japanese rule, Java and Madura was placed under the supervision of the Japanese 16th Army. Many who lived in areas considered important to the war effort experienced torture, sex slavery, arbitrary arrest and execution, and other war crimes. Many thousands of people were taken away from Indonesia as forced labourers (romusha) for Japanese military projects, including the Burma-Siam and Saketi-Bayah railways, and suffered or died as a result of ill-treatment and starvation. Between four and 10 million romusha in Java were forced to work by the Japanese military. About 270,000 of these Javanese labourers were sent to other Japanese-held areas in South East Asia, Only 52,000 were repatriated to Java, meaning that there was a death rate of 80%. A later UN report stated that four million people died in Indonesia as a result of the Japanese occupation.[14] About 2.4 million people died in Java from famine during 1944–45.[15]

Aerial view of the city of Semarang. Semarang has been the capital of Central Java since the Dutch colonial era

On August 1945, Japan surrendered unconditionally to allies after the atomic bomb was dropped (by the United States) on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The incident occurred on 6 and 9 August 1945. Filling up the vacancy, Indonesia then proclaimed its independence on 17 August 1945. The final stages of warfare were initiated in October 1945 when, in accordance with the terms of their surrender, the Japanese tried to re-establish the authority they relinquished to Indonesians in the towns and cities. Japanese military police killed Republican pemuda in Pekalongan on 3 October, and military skirmish between the Indonesian pemuda and Japanese forces also happened throughout the region, but the fiercest fighting involving the Japanese was in Semarang. On 14 October, British forces began to occupy the city. Retreating Republican forces retaliated by killing between 130 and 300 Japanese prisoners they were holding. Five hundred Japanese and 2000 Indonesians had been killed and the Japanese had almost captured the city six days later when British forces arrived.[16]

Then after the Indonesian independence the province of Central Java was formalized on August 15, 1950, excluding Yogyakarta but including Surakarta.[17] Since then there have been no (major) changes in the administrative division of Central Java.

After the 30 September Movement's abortive coup of 1965, an anti-communist purge took place in Central Java, in which Communists and leftists (both actual and alleged) were killed by the army and community vigilante groups. Others were interned in concentration camps, the most infamous of which was on the isle of Buru in the Moluccas (first used as a place of political exile by the Dutch). Some were executed years later but most were released in 1979[18]

In 1998, preluding the downfall of president Suharto, anti Chinese violence broke out in Surakarta (Solo) and surrounding areas. Much Chinese property and other buildings were burnt down. In 1999, public buildings in Surakarta were burnt again by supporters of Megawati Sukarnoputri after the Indonesia parliament chose Abdurrahman Wahid instead of Megawati to be President of Indonesia. They carried out 'sweeping actions' against Western foreigners who reside in this city after the September 11, 2001 attacks.[19]

The 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake in the south and Yogyakarta devastated many buildings and caused thousands of deaths and more than 37,000 injuries.

Geography[edit]

Landscape of the Serayu River Valley, with Mount Slamet in the background.

According to the slope level of land in Central Java, 38% of land has a slope of 0-2%, 31% of land has a slope of 2-15%, 19% of land has a slope of 15-40%, and the remaining 12% of land has a slope of more than 40%.

The northern coast region of Central Java has a narrow lowland. In the Brebes area it is 40 km wide from the coast, and in Semarang it is only 4 km wide. This plain continues with the depression of Semarang-Rembang in the east. Mount Muria at the end of the Ice Age (around 10,000 years BC) was a separate island from Java, which eventually fused because of alluvial deposits from flowing rivers.[20] The city of Demak during the era of the Demak Sultanate was on the edge of the sea and became a thriving port. This sedimentation process is still ongoing on the coast of Semarang.[21]

In the south of the area are the Northern Cretaceous Mountains and the Kendeng Mountains, which are limestone mountains stretching from the east of Semarang from the Southwest end of Pati then east to the Lamongan and Bojonegoro in East Java.

The main range of mountains in Central Java is the North Serayu Mountains and South Serayu Mountains. The series of North Serayu Mountains forms a mountain chain that connects the Bogor range in West Java with the Kendeng Mountains in the east. The width of this mountain range is around 30-50 km; on the western end there is Mount Slamet, which is the highest mountain in Central Java as well as the second-highest mountain in Java, and the eastern part is the Dieng Plateau with peaks of Mount Prahu and Mount Ungaran. Between the series of North Serayu Mountains and South Serayu Mountains are separated by the Serayu Depression which stretches from Majenang in the Cilacap Regency, Purwokerto, to Wonosobo. East of this depression is the Sindoro and Sumbing volcano, and the east again (Magelang and Temanggung areas) is a continuation of depression which limits Mount Merapi and Mount Merbabu.

The Southern Serayu Mountains are part of the South Central Java Basin located in the southern part of the province of Central Java. This mandala is a geoantiklin that extends from west to east along 100 kilometers and is divided into two parts separated by the Jatilawang valley, namely the western and eastern parts. The western part is formed by Mount Kabanaran (360 m) and can be described as having the same elevation as the Bandung Depression Zone in West Java or as a new structural element in Central Java. This section is separated from the Bogor Zone by the Majenang Depression.

The eastern part was built by the Ajibarang anticline (narrow anticline) which was cut by the Serayu River stream. In the east of Banyumas, the anticline developed into an anticlinorium with a width reaching 30 km in the Lukulo area (south of Banjarnegara-Midangan) or often called the Kebumen Tinggi. At the very eastern end of Mandala the South Serayu Mountains are formed by the dome of the Kulonprogo Mountains (1022 m), which is located between Purworejo and the Progo River.

The area of the south coast of Central Java also has a narrow lowland, with a width of 10-25 km. In addition there are South Gombong Karst Areas. Sloping hills stretch parallel to the coast, from Yogyakarta to Cilacap. East of Yogyakarta is a limestone mountain area that stretches to the southern coast of East Java.

Hydrology[edit]

The rivers that empty into the Java Sea include the Bengawan Solo River, Kali Pemali, Kali Comal, and Kali Bodri. While the rivers that empties into the Indian Ocean include Serayu River, Bogowonto River, Luk Ulo River and Progo River. Bengawan Solo is the longest river on the island of Java (572 km); has a spring in the Sewu Mountains (Wonogiri Regency), this river flows to the north, crosses the City of Surakarta, and finally goes to East Java and empties into the Gresik area (near Surabaya).

Among the main reservoirs (lakes) in Central Java are Gunung Rowo Lake (Pati Regency), Gajahmungkur Reservoir (Wonogiri Regency), Kedungombo Reservoir (Boyolali and Sragen Regency), Rawa Pening Lake (Semarang Regency), Cacaban Reservoir (Tegal Regency), Malahayu Reservoir (Brebes Regency), Wadaslintang Reservoir (border of Kebumen Regency and Wonosobo Regency), Gembong Reservoir (Pati Regency), Sempor Reservoir (Kebumen Regency) and Mrica Reservoir (Banjarnegara Regency).

Climate[edit]

The average temperature in Central Java is between 18–28 degrees Celsius and the relative humidity varies between 73–94 percent.[17] While a high level of humidity exists in most low-lying parts of the province, it drops significantly in the upper mountains.[17] The highest average annual rainfall of 3,990 mm with 195 rainy days was recorded in Salatiga.[17]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Cities of Central Java
Semarang is the capital and economic center of the province, as well as its largest city
The city of Surakarta is known as the cultural capital of the Javanese people.
Located south of Semarang, Salatiga is known for its cool climate and its hill station.
Magelang is known for the academy of the Indonesian National Armed Forces and the gateway to the Borobudur temple.

On the eve of the World War II in 1942, Central Java was subdivided into 7 residencies (Dutch residentie or plural residenties, Javanese karésiḍènan or karésidhènan) which corresponded more or less with the main regions of this area. These residencies were Banjoemas, Kedoe, Pekalongan, Semarang, and Djapara-Rembang plus the so-called Gouvernement Soerakarta and Gouvernement Jogjakarta. However, after the local elections in 1957 the role of these residencies were reduced until they finally disappeared.[22]

Nowadays Central Java (excluding Yogyakarta Special Region) is divided into 29 regencies (kabupaten) and 6 cities (kota, previously kotamadya and kota pradja), the latter being independent of any regency. The Southern (Kedu) area used to be the Surakarta Sunanate, until the monarchy was un-recognized by Indonesian government. These contemporary regencies and cities can further be subdivided into 565 districts (kecamatan). These districts are further subdivided into 7,804 rural communes or "villages" (desa) and 764 urban communes (kelurahan).[17]

Name Capital Area (km²) Population
2000 Census
Population
2005 estimate
Population
2010 Census
Population
2014 estimate
Banjarnegara Regency Banjarnegara 1,023.73 838,962 854,785 868,913 879,570
Banyumas Regency Purwokerto 1,335.30 1,460,324 1,980,575 1,554,527 1,573,593
Cilacap Regency Cilacap 2,124.47 1,613,964 1,716,922 1,642,107 1,662,248
Purbalingga Regency Purbalingga 677.55 788,675 810,108 848,952 859,364
Southwestern region[citation needed] 5,161.05 4,919,660 4,974,775
Magelang City Magelang 16.06 116,800 124,374 118,227 119,677
Kebumen Regency Kebumen 1,211.74 1,166,604 1,196,304 1,159,926 1,174,153
Magelang Regency Mungkid 1,102.93 1,102,359 1,137,938 1,181,723 1,196,219
Purworejo Regency Purworejo 1,091.49 704,063 712,851 695,427 703,956
Temanggung Regency Temanggung 837.71 665,470 687,901 708,546 717,236
Wonosobo Regency Wonosobo 981.41 739,648 647,984 754,883 764,142
Southern (Kedu) region 5,241.34 4,618,732 4,675,383
Surakarta (or Solo) City Surakarta 46.01 489,900 506,397 499,337 505,461
Boyolali Regency Boyolali 1,008.45 897,207 923,207 930,531 941,944
Karanganyar Regency Karanganyar 775.44 761,988 793,417 813,196 823,170
Klaten Regency Klaten 658.22 1,109,486 1,023,484 1,130,047 1,143,907
Sragen Regency Sragen 941.54 845,320 854,751 856,266 868,793
Sukoharjo Regency Sukoharjo 489.12 780,949 598,574 824,238 834,347
Wonogiri Regency Wonogiri 1,793.67 967,178 977,471 928,904 940,297
Southeastern (Solo) region 5,712.45 5,982,519 6,057,919
Pekalongan City Pekalongan 45.25 263,190 269,177 281,434 284,886
Tegal City Tegal 39.68 236,900 238,676 239,599 242,539
Batang Regency Batang 788.65 665,426 673,406 706,764 715,432
Brebes Regency Brebes 1,902.37 1,711,364 1,701,460 1,733,869 1,755,136
Pekalongan Regency Kajen 837.00 807,051 830,632 838,621 848,907
Pemalang Regency Pemalang 1,118.03 1,271,404 1,329,990 1,261,353 1,276,823
Tegal Regency Slawi 876.10 1,391,184 1,400,588 1,394,839 1,411,947
Northwestern region[citation needed] 5,607.08 6,456,479 6,535,670
Salatiga City Salatiga 57.36 155,244 165,394 170,332 172,421
Semarang City Semarang 373.78 1,353,047 1,438,733 1,555,984 1,575,068
Demak Regency Demak 900.12 984,741 1,008,822 1,055,579 1,068,524
Grobogan Regency Grobogan 2,013.86 1,271,500 1,309,346 1,308,696 1,324,747
Kendal Regency Kendal 1,118.13 851,504 907,771 900,313 911,355
Semarang Regency Ungaran 950.21 834,314 878,278 930,727 942,142
Northern region[citation needed] 5,413.46 5,921,631 5,994,257
Blora Regency Blora 1,804.59 813,675 827,587 829,728 839,905
Jepara Regency Jepara 1,059.25 980,443 1,041,360 1,097,280 1,110,738
Kudus Regency Kudus 425.15 709,905 754,183 777,437 786,972
Pati Regency Pati 1,489.19 1,154,506 1,160,546 1,190,993 1,205,601
Rembang Regency Rembang 887.13 559,523 563,122 591,359 598,612
Northeastern region[citation needed] 5,665.31 4,486,797 4,541,828
Totals 32,800.69 31,223,258 31,896,114 32,382,657 32,779,832

Demographics[edit]

As of the 2010 census, Central Java's population stood at some 32,380,687. As of the 1990 census, the population was 28,516,786.[23] So the population has increased approximately 13.5% in 20 years.

Islam 95.7%, Protestant 1.7%, Catholic 3.2%, Hindu 0.08%, Buddhist 0.64%, dan Kejawen 0.33%[3]

The three biggest regencies in terms of population are: Brebes, Banyumas and Cilacap. Together these regencies make up approximately 16% of the Central Javanese population. Major urban population centres are Greater Semarang, Greater Surakarta and the Brebes-Tegal-Slawi area in the north-west of the province.

Religion[edit]

Religion in Central Java (2010 census)[24]
Religion Percent
Islam
96.74%
Christianity
2.75%
other, not stated or not asked
0.28%
Buddhism
0.16%
Hinduism
0.05%
Confucianism
0.01%

Although the overwhelming majority of Javanese are Muslims, many of them also profess indigenous Javanese beliefs. Clifford Geertz, in his book about the religion of Java made a distinction between the so-called santri Javanese and abangan Javanese.[25] He considered santri Javanese as orthodox Muslims while abangan Javanese are nominal Muslims that devote more energy to indigenous traditions.

Dutch Protestants were active in missionary activities and were rather successful. The Dutch Catholic Jesuit missionary man, F.G.C. van Lith also achieved some success, especially in areas around the central-southern parts of Central Java and Yogyakarta in the beginning of the 20th century,[26] and he is buried at the Jesuit necropolis at Muntilan.

After the Overthrow of Sukarno in 1965, religious identification of citizens became compulsory. Therefore, there has been a renaissance of Buddhism and Hinduism since then. As one has to choose a religion out of the five official religions in Indonesia; i.e. Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, the latter two became alternatives for people who didn't want to be Muslims or Christians.

Confucianism is also common amongst Chinese Indonesians. Since 2006 it is a recognised official religion.

Ethnicity[edit]

Ethnic groups in Central Java (2010)
Source: Demographic census 2010[27]
Ethnic Percent
Javanese
97.86%
Sundanese
1.40%
Chinese
0.43%
Arabs
0.04%
Others
0.27%

The majority of the population of Central Java is Javanese, they constitute approximately 98% of the whole population.[28] Central Java is known as the center of Javanese culture, where in the cities of Surakarta and Yogyakarta there is a center of the Javanese royal palace which still stands today.

Significant minority ethnic groups are Chinese, especially in urban areas, although in rural areas it is also found. In general they are engaged in trade and services. The Chinese community has mingled with the Javanese, and many of them use Javanese with a thick accent everyday. We can feel the strong influence while in the city of Semarang and the town of Lasem in Rembang Regency, which is on the northeastern tip of Central Java, even Lasem is nicknamed Le petit chinois or the Small Chinese City. The Chinese can also be found in rural areas. The urban areas that are densely populated by Chinese Indonesian, are called pecinan, which means "China Town".

In addition, in several major cities in Central Java, the Arab-Indonesian community was also found. Similar to the Chinese community, they are usually engaged in trade and services.

In the border area with West Java there are also Sundanese who are full of Sundanese culture, especially in the Cilacap, Brebes, and Banyumas regions. Sundanese toponyms are common in these regions such as Dayeuhluhur in Cilacap, Ciputih and Citimbang in Brebes and even Cilongok as far away in Banyumas.[29] In the interior of Blora (which borders East Java) there is an isolated Samin community, the case of which is almost the same as the Baduy people in Banten.

Language[edit]

Languages of Java

Although Indonesian is the official language, most people mostly use Javanese as their daily language. The Solo-Jogja Dialect or the Mataram dialect is considered as the standard Javanese Language.

In addition, there are a number of Javanese dialects; but in general it consists of two, namely kulonan and timuran. Kulonan is spoken in the western part of Central Java, consisting of the Banyumasan Dialects and Tegal Dialects (also called Basa Ngapak); This dialect has a pronunciation that is quite different from Standard Javanese. While the timuran dialect is spoken in the eastern part of Central Java, including the Mataram Dialect (Solo-Jogja), Semarang Dialect, and the Pati Dialect. Between the borders of the two dialects, Javanese is spoken with a mixture of both dialects; these areas are Pekalongan and the Kedu Plain, which composes Magelang and Temanggung.

In Sundanese populated areas, namely in the southern Brebes Regency, and the Cilacap Regency around Dayeuhluhur sub-district, Sundanese are still used in their daily lives.[30],

Culture[edit]

Central Java is considered to be the heart of the Javanese culture. Home of the Javanese courts, Central Javanese culture formed what non-Javanese see as the "Javanese Culture" along with it stereotypes. The ideal conducts and morals of the courts (such as politeness, nobility and grace) influence the people tremendously. The people of Central Java are known as soft-spoken, very polite, extremely class-conscious, apathetic, down-to-earth, et cetera. These stereotypes formed what most non-Javanese see as "Javanese Culture", when in fact not all of the Javanese people behave that way. Moreover, most Javanese are far from the court culture.[31]

Mapping the Javanese cultures[edit]

The Javanese cultural area can be divided into three distinct main regions: Western Javanese, Central Javanese and Eastern Javanese culture or in their Javanese names as Ngapak, Kejawèn and Arèk.

The boundaries of these cultural regions coincide with the isoglosses of the Javanese dialects. Cultural areas west of Dieng Plateau and Pekalongan Regency are considered Ngapak whereas the boundary of the eastern cultural areas or Arèk lies in East Java. Consequently, culturally, Central Java consists of two cultures, while the Central Javanese Culture proper is not entirely confined to Central Java.[31]

Creative arts[edit]

Architecture[edit]

The architecture of Central Java is characterised by the juxtaposition of the old and the new and a wide variety of architectural styles, the legacy of many successive influences by the Indians, the Persians and the Arabs, the Chinese, and the Europeans. In particular, northern coastal cities such as Semarang, Tegal and Pekalongan can boast fine colonial European architecture. The European and Chinese influence can be seen in Semarang's temple of Sam Poo Kong dedicated to Zheng He and the Domed Church built in 1753. The latter is the second oldest church in Java and the oldest in Central Java. Inland Surakarta, as a former capital, also has some fine European architecture.

Famous for its religious heritage, Central Java has some notable religious buildings. The Borobudur and the Prambanan temple complexes are among the largest Buddhist and Hindu structures in the world. In general, a characteristic Javanese mosque doesn't have a dome as its roof but a Meru-like roof instead, which is reminiscent of a Hindu or Buddhist temple. The tower of the famous Mosque of Kudus resembles a Hindu-Javanese or Balinese temple more than a traditional Middle-Eastern mosque.

Batik Lasem, incorporating both Javanese and Chinese influence

Batik[edit]

Central Java is famous and well known for its exquisite batik, a generic wax-resist dyeing technique used on textiles. There are different styles of batik motifs. A centre of batik production is Pekalongan. Other centres are Surakarta and Yogyakarta. Batik in Pekalongan style which represent gaya pesisir (or coastal style) is different from the one in Surakarta and Yogyakarta, which represent batik from the heartland of Java (gaya kejawèn).[32]

Javanese dancers performing the Ramayana epic

Dance[edit]

You can even see the court influences in the art forms. The dances of the courts of Java are usually slow and graceful, with no excessive gestures. The people followed this approach, and as a result, slow-paced and graceful movements can even be found in folk dances throughout Central Java (with some exceptions). You can enjoy the beauty of Central Javanese dances in "Kamajaya-Kamaratih" or "Karonsih", usually performed in a traditional Javanese wedding.

Theater[edit]

There are several kinds of Central Javanese theater and performing arts. The most well known is of course the Javanese wayang theater. There are several kinds of Central Javanese wayang, amongst others: wayang kulit, wayang klitik, wayang bèbèr, wayang golèk, and wayang wong. Wayang kulit are shadow puppets theater with leather puppets. The stories are loosely based on Mahabharata and Ramayana cycles. Wayang klitik are puppets theater with flat wooden puppets. The stories are based on Panji (king) stories. Panji was a native Javanese princes who set of in a 'journeys of desire'.[33] Wayang bèbèr is scroll theater, and it involves "performing" scenes of a story elaborately drawn and painted on rolled sheets. Wayang golèk consists of three-dimensional wooden puppets. The narrative can be based on anything, but usually the stories are drawn from Islamic heroic narratives. Finally wayang wong is wayang theater involving live figures; actors who are performing a play. The narrative however must be based on Mahabharata or Ramayana.

In addition to wayang, there is another form of theater which is called ketoprak. Ketoprak is a staged play by actors accompanied with Javanese gamelan. The narrative is free but cannot be based on Mahabharata or Ramayana. Otherwise it will be some kind of wayang wong.

Javanese gamelan ensemble performance during traditional Javanese style wedding ceremony

Music[edit]

Central Javanese music is almost synonymous with gamelan. This is a musical ensemble typically featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, drums, and gongs; bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked strings, and vocalists may also be included. The term refers more to the set of instruments than the players of those instruments. A gamelan as a set of instruments is a distinct entity, built and tuned to stay together — instruments from different gamelan are not interchangeable. However, gamelan is not typically Central Javanese as it is also known somewhere else.

Contemporary Javanese pop music is called campursari. It is a fusion between gamelan and Western instruments, much like kroncong. Usually the lyrics are in Javanese, but not always. One notable singer is Didi Kempot, born in Sragen, north of Surakarta. Didi Kempot mostly sings in Javanese.

Literature[edit]

It can be argued that Javanese literature started in Central Java. The oldest known literary work in the Javanese language is the Inscription of Sivagrha from Kedu Plain. This inscription which is from 856 AD, is written as a kakawin or Javanese poetry with Indian metres.[34] Then the oldest of narrative poems, Kakawin Ramayana, which tells the well-known story of Ramayana is believed to have come from Central Java. It can be safely assumed that this kakawin must have been written in Central Java in the 9th century.[35]

After the shift of Javanese power to East Java, it had been quiet from Central Java for several centuries, concerning Javanese literature until the 16th century. At this time the centre of power was shifted back to Central Java. The oldest work written in Modern Javanese language concerning Islam is the so-called "Book of Bonang" or also "The Admonitions of Seh Bari". This work is extant in just one manuscript, now kept in the University Library in Leiden, The Netherlands as codex Orientalis 1928. It is assumed that this manuscript originates from Tuban, in East Java and was taken to the Netherlands after 1598.[36] However this work is attributed to Sunan Bonang, one of the nine Javanese saints who spread Islam in Java (Wali Songo) and Sunan Bonang came from Bonang, a place in Demak Regency, Central Java. So it can be argued that this work also mark the beginning of Islamic literature in Central Java.

However the pinnacle of Central Javanese literature was created at the courts of the kings of Mataram in Kartasura and later in Surakarta and Yogyakarta, mostly attributed to the Yasadipura family. The most famous member of this family is Rangga Warsita who lived in the 19th century. He is the best known of all Javanese writers and also one of the most prolific. He is also known as bujangga panutup or "the last court poet".

After the Indonesian independence, the Javanese language as a medium was pushed to the background. Still one of the greatest contemporary Indonesian author, Pramoedya Ananta Toer was born in 1925 in Blora, Central Java. He was an Indonesian author of novels, short stories, essays, polemics, and histories of his homeland and its people. A well-regarded writer in the West, Pramoedya's outspoken and often politically charged writings faced censorship in his native land during the pre-reformation era. For opposing the policies of both founding president Sukarno, as well as those of its successor, the New Order regime of Soeharto, he faced extrajudicial punishment. During the many years in which he suffered imprisonment and house arrest, he became a cause célèbre for advocates of freedom of expression and human rights. In his works he writes much about life and social problems in Java.

Cuisine[edit]

Rice is the staple food of Central Java. In addition to rice, dried cassava known locally as gaplèk also serve as staple food. Javanese food tends to taste sweet. Cooked and stewed vegetables, usually in coconut milk (santen in Javanese) are popular. Raw vegetable which is popular in West Java is less popular in Central Java.

Saltwater fish, both fresh and dried is common, especially among coastal populations. Freshwater fish is not popular in Central Java, unlike in West Java, except perhaps for catfish known locally as lélé. Catfish is usually fried and served with chilli condiment (sambal) and raw vegetables.

Chicken, mutton and beef are common meat. Dog meat, known by its euphemism daging jamu (literally "traditional medicine meat") is also occasionally eaten by certain parts of the population.

Tofu and tempe serve as common fish and meat replacement. Famous Central Javanese dishes include gudeg (sweet stew of jackfruit) and sayur lodeh (vegetables cooked in coconut milk).

Besides the aforementioned tofu, there is strong Chinese influence in many dishes. Some examples of Sino-Javanese food are noodles, bakso (meatballs), lumpia, soto (some kind of soup made with chicken or beef) et cetera. The widespread use of sweet soybeans sauce (kecap manis) in the Javanese cuisine can also be attributed to Chinese influence.

Transportation[edit]

Central Java is connected to the Trans-Java Toll Road which currently runs from Merak in Banten to Probolinggo (planned: Banyuwangi), East-Java. Within the province the toll road starts at Brebes, continuing via Semarang and Surakarta until east of Sragen. Along the north coast east of Semarang, the North Coast Road (Jalur Pantai Utara or Jalur Pantura) is the main road. Losari, the Central Javanese gate at the western border on the northern coast, could be reached from Jakarta in 4 hours drive. On the southern coast, there is also a national way which run from Kroya at the Sundanese-Javanese border, through Yogyakarta to Surakarta and then to Surabaya via Kertosono in East Java. There is furthermore a direct connection from Tegal to Purwokerto and from Semarang to Yogyakarta and Surakarta.

Central Java was the province that first introduced a railway line in Indonesia. The very first line began in 1873 between Semarang and Yogyakarta by a private company,[37] but this route is now no longer used. Today there are five lines in Central Java: the northern line which runs from Jakarta via Semarang to Surabaya. Then there is the southern line from Kroya through Yogyakarta and Surakarta to Surabaya. There is also a train service between Semarang and Surakarta and a service between Kroya and Cirebon. At last there is a route between Surakarta and Wonogiri. The line between Kutoarjo and Surakarta, the line from Cirebon to Kroya up to Purwokerto and the entire north coast line (since 2014) are double-track[38], while second tracks from Surakarta to Kertosono (towards Surabaya) and Purwokerto-Kroya-Kutoarjo are under construction of which the latter will be finished in 2019 [39]. Other lines are single-track.

On the northern coast Central Java is served by 8 harbours. The main port is Tanjung Mas in Semarang, other harbours are located in Brebes, Tegal, Pekalongan, Batang, Jepara, Juwana and Rembang. The southern coast is mainly served by the port Tanjung Intan in Cilacap.[40]

Finally on mainland Central Java there are three commercial airports. There is one additional commercial airport on the Karimunjawa isles. The airports on the mainland are: Adisumarmo International Airport in Surakarta, Achmad Yani Airport in Semarang and Tunggul Wulung Airport in Cilacap. Karimunjawa is served by Dewadaru Airport.

Tea plantation in Kaligua, Brebes

Economy[edit]

Rice fields in Kejoran, Magelang Regency. Farming is one of the most important sector in Central Java.

GDP in the province of Central Java was estimated to be around $US 98 billion in 2010, with a per capita income of around $US 3,300. Economic growth in the province is quite rapid and GDP is forecast to reach $US 180 billion by 2015. The poverty rate of its people is 13 percent and will be decreased below 6 percent.[41]

Agriculture[edit]

Much of Central Java is a fertile agricultural region. The primary food crop is wet rice. An elaborate irrigation network of canals, dams, aqueducts, and reservoirs has greatly contributed to Central Java's the rice-growing capacity over the centuries. In 2001, productivity of rice was 5,022 kilograms/ha, mostly provided from irrigated paddy field (± 98%). Klaten Regency had the highest productivity with 5525 kilograms/ha.[42]

Other crops, also mostly grown in lowland areas on small peasant landholdings, are corn (maize), cassava, peanuts (groundnuts), soybeans, and sweet potatoes. Terraced hillslopes and irrigated paddy fields are familiar features of the landscape. Kapok, sesame, vegetables, bananas, mangoes, durian fruits, citrus fruits, and vegetable oils are produced for local consumption. Tea, coffee, tobacco, rubber, sugarcane and kapok; and coconuts are exported. Several of these cash crops at a time are usually grown on large family estates. Livestock, especially water buffalo, is raised primarily for use as draft animals. Salted and dried fish are imported.[42][43]

Education[edit]

Central Java is home to such notable state universities, as Diponegoro University, Semarang State University, and Walisongo Islamic University (Universitas Islam Negeri Walisongo) in Semarang; Sebelas Maret University in Surakarta; and Jenderal Soedirman University in Purwokerto.

The Military Academy (Akademi Militer) is located in Magelang Regency while the Police Academy (Akademi Kepolisian) is located in Semarang. Furthermore, in Surakarta the Surakarta Institute of Indonesian Arts (ISI Surakarta) is located. In addition to these, Central Java has hundreds of other private higher educations, including religious institutions.

For foreign students requiring language training Salatiga has been a location for generations of students attending courses.

Tourism[edit]

Borobudur Temple, located in Central Java, Indonesia.

There are several tourism sites Central Java. Semarang itself has many old buildings: Puri Maerokoco and the Indonesian Record Museum are located in this city.

Borobudur, which is one of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites of Indonesia, is also located in this province, in the Magelang Regency. Candi Mendut and Candi Pawon can also be found near the Borobudur temple complex.

Candi Prambanan, on the border of Klaten regency and Yogyakarta is the biggest complex of Hindu temples. It is also a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. There are several temples in the region around the Dieng Plateau. These date from before the era of the ancient Mataram.

The Palace of the Sunan (Keraton Kasunanan) and Pura Mangkunegaran, are located in Surakarta, while the Grojogan Sewu waterfall is located in Karanganyar Regency. Several Majapahit temples and Sangiran museum are also located in Central Java.

Coat of arms and symbols[edit]

The motto of Central Java is Prasetya Ulah Sakti Bhakti Praja. This is a Javanese phrase meaning "A vow of devotion with all might to the country". The coat of arms of Central Java depicts a legendary flask, Kundi Amerta or Cupu Manik, formed in a pentagon representing Pancasila. In the center of the emblem stands a sharp bamboo spike (representing the fight for independence, and it has 8 sections which represent Indonesia's month of Independence) with a golden five-pointed star (representing faith in God), superimposed on the black profile of a candi (temple) with seven stupas, while the middle stupa is the biggest. This candi is reminiscent of the Borobudur. Under the candi wavy outlines of waters are visible. Behind the candi two golden mountain tops are visible.

These twin mountains represents the unity between the people and their government. The emblem shows a green sky above the candi. Above, the shield is adorned with a red and white ribbon, the colours of the Indonesian flag. Lining the left and right sides of the shield are respectively stalk of rice (17 of them, representing Indonesia's day of Independence) and cotton flowers (5 of them, each one is 4-petaled, representing Indonesia's year of Independence). At the bottom, the shield is adorned with a golden red ribbon. On the ribbon the name "Central Java" (Jawa Tengah) is inscribed in black. The floral symbol of the province is the Michelia alba, while the provincial fauna is Oriolus chinensis.

Further reading[edit]

  • Tourist (printed information)
  • Backshall, S. et all (1999) Indonesia, The rough guide London ISBN 1-85828-429-5. Central Java – pp. 153–231
  • Cribb, Robert (2000) Historical Atlas of Indonesia London: Curzon Press
  • Dalton. B. (1980's) Indonesia Handbook various editions – Central Java.
  • Geertz, C. (1960) The Religion of Java University Of Chicago Press 1976 paperback: ISBN 0-226-28510-3
  • Hatley, Ron et al. (1984) Other Javas: away from the kraton Clayton: Monash University
  • Vaisutis. Justine et al. (2007) Indonesia Eighth edition. Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd, Footscray, Victoria ISBN 978-1-74104-435-5

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]