Andrew Mobbs (mobbsy) wrote,
Andrew Mobbs
mobbsy

Just done the tourist thing, gone to the old colonial town, round the governor's mansion, now a museum. We (my coworker & I) were accosted by a guide, who was actually very good. There were the usual selection of stone scrapers, bronze axes and lumps of pottery; then it got more into historical times, and the Hindu period. There were some interesting lumps of rock with sanskrit inscriptions, and apparently mystical impressions of a white elephant's feet, though I suspect the influence of a chisel there too.

We were then regaled with the horrors of the Dutch colonial government, which did sound a fairly nasty regime. The governor's mansion has mediæval style cramped, wet dungeons and water-filled pits where people were thrown in with a load of leeches. I don't think there's any real moral high-ground here for the English from a historical perspective, but apparently the English are somewhat respected here because Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles turned up and governed for a bit and was relatively humane.

I did allow myself to be sold some shadow-puppet souvenirs, a pair of King Rama and Princess Sita. They're quite nice, almost certainly overpriced, but never mind.

The history of religion in the islands seems a little varied; originally there were native animist beliefs, then Hinduism and Buddhism took root for around 1000 years, but was supplanted by Islam from merchants, again from the Indian sub-continent. Despite 16th century Portuguese colonialism (before the Dutch), Catholicism doesn't seem to have had much impact. The aboriginal Sundanese in the west of Java apparently still have mostly animist beliefs.
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 0 comments