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Jakarta Post

Yogya to host Gudeg Wijilan Festival

  • A. Kurniawan Ulung

    The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta   /   Tue, December 23, 2014   /  09:27 am
Yogya to host Gudeg Wijilan Festival Food street:: Yogyakarta’s Wijilan street, home of the city’s famous gudeg dish. (JP/A. Kurniawan Ulung)" border="0" height="373" width="510">Food street:  Yogyakarta’s Wijilan street, home of the city’s famous gudeg dish.

The home of gudeg — Yogyakarta — will host the so-called Gudeg Wijilan Festival on Tuesday.

The city is popular for the traditional dish, made from young jackfruit stewed in coconut milk, usually served with steamed rice, opor ayam (chicken in coconut milk) tofu, tempeh and spicy krecek (fried and crispy buffalo skin).

Yogyakartans have labeled Wijilan as the center of gudeg since it has 12 gudeg restaurants standing next to each other along the street.

The names of the restaurants are similar to the nicknames of their founders — such as Yu Djum, Bu Slamet, Bu Lies, Yu Narni, Bu Haryanto, Bu Widodo, Bu Rini, Bu Nur, Bu Is, Yu Narjo, Bu Wiwik and Bu Tarto.

On Jl. Wijilan, Bu Slamet was reportedly the first person to open a gudeg restaurant back in 1942, three years before then president Sukarno declared the country’s independence.

Soon after, other sellers followed her steps, opening similar restaurants, such as Yu Narni (Narni Suwardi) in 1945, Yu Djum (Djuwariyah) in 1950 and Bu Lies (Elies Dyah Dharmawati) in 1992.

The festival’s organizer, Chandra Setiawan Kusuma, who is one of Bu Lies’ sons, said the event aimed to attract more domestic and foreign tourists to visit Yogyakarta as one of the country’s major tourism
destinations.

He said gudeg was chosen because the cuisine had become a trademark of Yogyakarta, which is also known as the City of Gudeg.

“Although gudeg is a classic Javanese food, its lovers are multi-ethnic and multi-cultural from Sabang [Aceh] to Merauke [Papua]. They visit Yogyakarta to taste gudeg. Many foreigners also love it. That’s another reason that motivated us to hold this festival,” he said.

He said the festival also aimed to prevent other countries from claiming gudeg as their dish.

Chandra said during the festival, visitors could eat gudeg for free. They could choose two types of sweet gudeg — either juicy or dry gudeg. The juicy gudeg had more coconut milk and sauce than the dry one.

During the festival, prominent gudeg makers such as Yu Djum, Bu Slamet, Bu Lies and Yu Narni, will help serve the visitors.

“People, for example, are familiar with Gudeg Yu Djum. However, many of them never directly see Yu Djum at her restaurants. She, along with other gudeg legends, will pop up during the Gudeg Wijilan Festival,” said Chandra.

“Yu Djum and Bu Slamet are over 80-years-old. They are still healthy,” he added.

Moreover, Yu Djum and Bu Lies would have a gudeg cooking demo, allowing visitors to see and learn how to make gudeg from the two legends.

He said that traditional dance, music and theatrical performances by local artists and university students would enliven the one-day festival, which runs from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

YOGYA: (JP/A. Kurniawan Ulung)

Food street:  Yogyakarta'€™s Wijilan street, home of the city'€™s famous gudeg dish.

The home of gudeg '€” Yogyakarta '€” will host the so-called Gudeg Wijilan Festival on Tuesday.

The city is popular for the traditional dish, made from young jackfruit stewed in coconut milk, usually served with steamed rice, opor ayam (chicken in coconut milk) tofu, tempeh and spicy krecek (fried and crispy buffalo skin).

Yogyakartans have labeled Wijilan as the center of gudeg since it has 12 gudeg restaurants standing next to each other along the street.

The names of the restaurants are similar to the nicknames of their founders '€” such as Yu Djum, Bu Slamet, Bu Lies, Yu Narni, Bu Haryanto, Bu Widodo, Bu Rini, Bu Nur, Bu Is, Yu Narjo, Bu Wiwik and Bu Tarto.

On Jl. Wijilan, Bu Slamet was reportedly the first person to open a gudeg restaurant back in 1942, three years before then president Sukarno declared the country'€™s independence.

Soon after, other sellers followed her steps, opening similar restaurants, such as Yu Narni (Narni Suwardi) in 1945, Yu Djum (Djuwariyah) in 1950 and Bu Lies (Elies Dyah Dharmawati) in 1992.

The festival'€™s organizer, Chandra Setiawan Kusuma, who is one of Bu Lies'€™ sons, said the event aimed to attract more domestic and foreign tourists to visit Yogyakarta as one of the country'€™s major tourism
destinations.

He said gudeg was chosen because the cuisine had become a trademark of Yogyakarta, which is also known as the City of Gudeg.

'€œAlthough gudeg is a classic Javanese food, its lovers are multi-ethnic and multi-cultural from Sabang [Aceh] to Merauke [Papua]. They visit Yogyakarta to taste gudeg. Many foreigners also love it. That'€™s another reason that motivated us to hold this festival,'€ he said.

He said the festival also aimed to prevent other countries from claiming gudeg as their dish.

Chandra said during the festival, visitors could eat gudeg for free. They could choose two types of sweet gudeg '€” either juicy or dry gudeg. The juicy gudeg had more coconut milk and sauce than the dry one.

During the festival, prominent gudeg makers such as Yu Djum, Bu Slamet, Bu Lies and Yu Narni, will help serve the visitors.

'€œPeople, for example, are familiar with Gudeg Yu Djum. However, many of them never directly see Yu Djum at her restaurants. She, along with other gudeg legends, will pop up during the Gudeg Wijilan Festival,'€ said Chandra.

'€œYu Djum and Bu Slamet are over 80-years-old. They are still healthy,'€ he added.

Moreover, Yu Djum and Bu Lies would have a gudeg cooking demo, allowing visitors to see and learn how to make gudeg from the two legends.

He said that traditional dance, music and theatrical performances by local artists and university students would enliven the one-day festival, which runs from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

YOGYA: (JP/A. Kurniawan Ulung)(JP/A. Kurniawan Ulung)

Yogyakarta'€™s pop band Letto, which became popular in 2004, will also entertain visitors from 9:15 p.m. to 11 p.m. Noe, the band'€™s vocalist and the son of cultural observer Emha Ainun Najib, will sing his famous hits, such as '€œSebelum Cahaya'€ (Before the Light) and '€œLubang di Hati'€ (A Hole in the Heart).

Yogyakarta Mayor Haryadi Suyuti is scheduled to deliver a speech at the festival, which is expected to be attended by Yogyakarta Governor Hamengkubuwono and his wife, Regional Representatives Council (DPD) deputy speaker Gusti Kanjeng Ratu Hemas.

Chandra said the festival will also see the launch of the Gudeg Wijilan Association (Paguyuban Gudeg Wijilan), which aims to strengthen partnerships among gudeg sellers in Yogyakarta and to help them work together to ensure gudeg'€™s survival amid the mushrooming of new restaurants.

'€œOur good partnership is the key to why we can live in harmony even though we run similar businesses and our restaurants stand next to each other,'€ he said.

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