Have you visited the island of Java but never experienced the real Javanese culture? That is not surprising at all, as traditions like tumpengan (Javanese term of thanksgiving party) are practised among family members and friends only. Unless you have a good friend of the Javanese ethnic and are invited to a party, you will not be able to witness their tradition. However, you can now learn about many of the Javanese traditions in East Java Park 1. Located in Batu, East Java, Indonesia, this amusement park comprises an ethnic gallery with a theme park and science center.
Experience ancient Java in the area of Jawa Timur Park 1
Experience living in the ancient world of Java at East Java Park 1 (also known as Jawa Timur Park 1)! Here, you will see animations of some Javanese traditions. Although they are ancient practices, in real life they are still widely practised in special occasions like festivals and weddings.
You can enjoy an animation of “Javanese style thanksgiving party” called tumpengan, which is usually held during Javanese weddings, birthdays, graduation parties and other special occasions (the Javanese like to have tumpengan after a safe delivery of a baby, before entering a new house, etc). This ritual aims to express gratitude to the God(s) while seeking blessings. During the ritual, a mountain of rice with various kinds of lauk pauk (food assortments other than rice) will be used.
Discover Javanese traditions through an animation of Ruwatan
Besides the tumpengan animation, you will also see a Javanese tradition animation of Ruwatan where the tradition is aimed to cast bad fortunes away from an area or someone and prevent bad luck from returning. This is done by sacrificing a buffalo and burying its head somewhere in the house or in a place where misfortunes (sickness, woman’s infertility, natural disaster, plague, etc.) have happened.
Also, you can witness the rare replicas of topeng (mask) dancers with dancing masks on their faces. In ancient times, the topeng dance is held to call the spirits of the deceased for blessings to the family. It is believed that leading the spirits into the dancers’ bodies for a dance ritual shall bring blessings to their families. In present times, topeng dances show up only in very formal occasions like weddings, graduations, welcome parties (for a president, governor or other very important people), etc.
A Hindu temple lies within the vicinity of the park
Other than the two traditions mentioned above, you can also see a Hindu temple (known locally as Candi), traditional Javanese houses and many other sites that are related to Javanese culture.
The park is the only place where you can see the ancient Javanese cultures replicated through pictures and animations. As many of the sites here are photo worthy, you should take as many pictures as possible and show your friends and family back home that you have visited ancient Java!
Science center and a theme park for you and your kids
The park is also a place for families to visit! Besides the ethnic gallery, the park also has a “biology and science center” where your children will learn science in a hands-on manner (e.g. kids will learn how a human heart functions by examining the heart replica).
Other than the gallery and the science center, you and your children will also enjoy the theme park (3D movie theater, roller coaster, swimming pool, bumper car, etc.). It’s crowded with children on weekends, but it will not be on weekdays, as children go to school. (If you are not travelling with children, it is best to go on weekdays.)
East Java Park 1: Easily accessible and affordable fun
The entrance fee is 70,000 IDR (5.50 USD) on weekdays and 100,000 IDR (7.70 USD) on weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). There are many other attractions in Batu and if you plan to visit most other tourist destinations, there is a way to save your money. You can buy a package where you can use the ticket for the entrance to East Java Park 1 as well as other attractions such as East Java Park 2, Batu Night Spectacular, Transportation Museum and Eco Green Park for 275,000 IDR (21.10 USD). The location is easily accessible from Batu’s nearest city, Malang by car. There are signboards along the way to the park. You can easily rent a car in Malang (including a driver). You can also choose to buy a tour package from a travel agency in Malang or Surabaya.
When you plan to go anywhere in East Java, don’t miss this spot! Besides being relatively close to other attractions in East Java, you and your children will have fun and learn something at East Java Park 1!
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