Yogya welcomes new Pakualaman prince
Slamet Susanto and Bambang Muryanto
The Jakarta Post
Thousands of people flocked to Yogyakarta's main thoroughfares on Thursday afternoon to welcome Kanjeng Gusti Pangeran Adipati Arya (KGPAA) Paku Alam X as the newly crowned Prince of Pakualaman.
The coronation ceremony of Paku Alam X, born Kanjeng Gusti Pangeran Haryo (KGPH) Suryodilogo, was held earlier in the day. KGPAA replaced his father Paku Alam IX, who passed away on Nov. 22 last year.
Although the parade to introduce Paku Alam X started at 2:30 p.m., crowds were lining both sides of the 3.6-kilometer parade route from the morning. Some even came from outside Yogyakarta.
'I left home at 6 a.m. and traveled by bus to come here,' 74-year-old Sri Rahayu from Klaten, Central Java, told The Jakarta Post.
The grandmother of six said that she deliberately came for the parade to receive blessings from the new prince.
'He is the chosen one. I have come to seek his blessing,' Sri said.
The parade route started at Pakualaman Palace and passed along Jl. Sultan Agung, Jl. Gajah Mada and Jl. Kusumanegara before returning to the palace.
During the parade, Paku Alam X and his wife Gusti Kanjeng Bendara Raden Ayu Adipati Paku Alam met locals from atop the 200-year-old Kyai Manik Kumala golden carriage which was a gift given to Paku Alam I by the governor general of the Dutch East Indies, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, in 1812.
Also joining the parade were Pakualaman's traditional troops, four elephants and four other carriages, which carry the names Kyai Rejo Pawoko, Nyai Roso Kumenyar, Kyai Brojonolo and Kyai Manik Brojo.
Speaking after the coronation ceremony, Paku Alam X said that he would continue the legacy of his ancestors and act as a caretaker of local culture.
'Preserving culture is not an easy task. There will always be tension between tradition and innovation because the creative process requires innovation, especially during a time of fast changes,' the 53-year-old prince said.
The crowning ceremony itself lasted for about an hour, attended by a number of VIP guests, including Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo, State Secretary Pratikno, Coordinating Human Development and Culture and Ministers Puan Maharani, Yogyakarta Governor Sultan Hamengkubuwono X and former president Megawati Soekarnoputri.
Separately, Tjahjo said that Paku Alam X would soon be installed as deputy Yogyakarta governor, as Law No. 13/2012 on Yogyakarta's special status stipulated that the position must be assumed by the prince of Pakualaman.
Local residents also expressed high hopes for the upcoming installment of Paku Alam X as deputy governor.
Heny Lestari of Yogyakarta, for example, said that she hoped the new prince would stand up for the interests of local people and not just big investors.
'New hotels and apartments have been mushrooming in Yogyakarta for the last few years. I hope that Paku Alam X will be more sensitive and help maintain the growth of investment in the sector at a healthy level,' Heny said.
Pakualaman is a small autonomous principality, whose royal authority is related to that of the Yogyakarta Sultanate. It was founded in 1813 by Paku Alam I, almost 60 years after his father, Hamengkubuwono I, founded the Yogyakarta Sultanate.
After a conflict with his brother, Hamengkubuwono II, Paku Alam I received support from the British authorities to establish Pakualaman, whose territory covers the district of Pakualaman in Yogyakarta and some areas in Kulon Progo.
Soon after Indonesia declared independence in 1945, Yogyakarta's Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX and then Pakualaman leader Paku Alam VIII announced their allegiance to the newly established country. Both agreed to jointly govern Yogyakarta under the newly formed Indonesian government, but with special region status.
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