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Jakarta Post

The lesser-known birthplace of Sukarno

Fri, November 10, 2017   /   02:03 pm
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    A huge banner is visible at the entrance to Jl.Pandean, the birthplace of Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno. On the left side of the road is an inscription signed by then-Surabaya mayor Bambang Dwi Hartono in 2010, confirming the area as the birthplace of Sukarno. JP/Anggara Mahendra

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    An inscription signed by then-Surabaya mayor Bambang Dwi Hartono in 2010 confirms that Jl. Pandean is the birthplace of Sukarno. JP/Anggara Mahendra

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    The atmosphere of the Jl. Pandean neighborhood. JP/Anggara Mahendra

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    Soekarno's birthplace on Jl. Pandean IV no. 40, Surabaya. The house is declared a cultural heritage now. JP/Anggara Mahendra

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    The family of Jamilah -- who has been living in the house since the 1990s -- is doing their daily routines inside the house. JP/Anggara Mahendra

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    An old portrait of Sukarno is hung on the wall. JP/Anggara Mahendra

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    The atmosphere along Kampung Sukarno one afternoon. JP/Anggara Mahendra

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    Residents on Jl. Pandean IV enjoy their afternoon chatting. JP/Anggara Mahendra

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    Farida, the community unit (RW) leader, tells her neighbors that Jamilah's house used to be Sukarno's birthplace. JP/Anggara Mahendra

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    An offering is put in front of a Balinese Hindu family on Kampung Sukarno. JP/Anggara Mahendra

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    A poster of Sukarno is hung on the wall on at Jl. Pandean IV, Surabaya. JP/Anggara Mahendra

A 60-square - meter house located on Jl. Pandean IV no. 40 in Surabaya looks ordinary.

Passersby will not see any difference compared to the other houses if not for a golden plaque above the entrance.

Based on the Surabaya mayor’s decree, the house has been recognized as the childhood home of Bung Karno -- as founding father Sukarno is known -- since 2013.

History books wrote that Sukarno was born in Blitar, East Java, on June 6, 1901.

However, based on Sukarno: An Autobiography as Told to Cindy Adams, the book by the United States female reporter who interviewed Sukarno from 1961 to 1964, wrote that he was born in Surabaya instead. The autobiography reveals how Sukarno loved Indonesia, women and, most importantly, himself.

On June 6, 2015, Sukarno’s son, Guruh Sukarnoputra, explained the conflicting accounts of Sukarno’s birthplace during his father’s 114 th birthday anniversary a tGedung Pola, Central Jakarta. In the 1900s, Sukarno’s father, Raden Soekemi Sosrodiharjo, was stationed in Surabaya as a teacher. He and Sukarno’s mother, Ida Ayu Nyoman Rai, lived on Jl. Pandean where Sukarno -- whose birth name was Koesno Sosrodiharjo -- was born.

Ibu Jamilah and her family currently live in the house. Jamilah said that the house was owned by her relative, Hasana, who has owned the property since the 1990s. She only found out about the history of the house in recent years, especially after Sukarno’s daughter Megawati Sukarnoputri, the former Indonesian president, visited the house in 2014.

After being declared a cultural heritage, the neighborhood was called Kampung Sukarno as a tribute to the first president of the country. Residents who live in the neighborhood are from different ethnic groups including Chinese-Indonesians, Arab-Indonesians and Balinese Hindu. [yan]