Bandung, The Sea of Fire

Bandung, The Sea of Fire
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Bandung, the capital city of West Java Province has long been known for its beautiful girls, and great sceneries. Bandung is one of the largest cities in Indonesia, and home to several most interesting shopping outlets and hotels, as well as great food and entertainment. As a city, Bandung is visited by more than 2 million visitors from neighboring cities like Jakarta, Cirebon, Jogja, and one of the most visited city in Asia. In short word, ATTRACTIVE. I myself visited Bandung and its surrounding for more than 20 times, when i was working in Jakarta, and managed to master the Sundanese language, hehe.

But, many people forget or event do not know that 65 years ago, it was a mere ashes and ruins. Bandung was one of the fiercest battle places. Here's the story...

?In 1942, after Japanese soldiers landed in coastal areas of Java, the Dutch retreated from Jakarta to Bandung, but were driven out from there as well and surrendered soon after. After the end of the war, the Dutch, along with winning British army, came back with a vengeance and on March 24, 1946, An ultimatum was given by the British commander in Bandung for the Indonesian combatants in Bandung to leave the city.

In response, the southern part of Bandung was deliberately burned down in an act of defiance as they left ; an event which came to be known as Bandung Lautan Api (or Bandung Sea of Fire). The revolutionary song "Halo-halo Bandung" was sung by hundreds of Indonesian nationalists in Bandung, and it is now a very popular national song.

During the evacuations in March 1946, Mohammad Toha, a member of Indonesian militia, smuggled several sticks of dynamite past Japanese and Dutch troops, and into the Dutch military Headquarters in Dayeuh Kolot. He detonated the dynamite in warehouses of ammunition, killing himself and several Dutch, Japanese troops in the area. The explosion created a small lake ("situ") in Dayeuh Kolot. The main street in the area is called "Mohammad Toha Street".

For many, independence was merely a gift, for Indonesians, it was gained little by little, trough fiecer battles, costing countless lives.

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