Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Joglo Biru (the Blue House) in Yogyakarta

A year ago I was in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. I was welcomed by Pak Ganis in his ancestral home, The Joglo Biru (the Blue House). Joglo Biru is tagged as a museum on Google Maps, it is situated up in the mountain and is about 30 minutes away from the city area. There was a cool breeze when we arrived and I was welcomed by everyone in the household and artists from SK Sanggar Seni Karawitan Gempo. 

Pak Ganis gave me a background about the beautiful home and the collection of musical instruments that was bestowed to Joglo Biru by the Sultan of Yogyakarta. Pak Ganis explained that the area of Joglo Biru is surrounded by farmland and after work the farmers would come to Joglo Biru to practice their music. The artists from SK Sanggar Seni Karawitan Gempo were at Joglo Biru that evening to welcome us. They also taught us how to play the gamelan

The gamelan is a the traditional ensemble music of the Javanese, Sundanese, and Balinese peoples of Indonesia, made up mostly of percussive instruments. It is similar to the kulintang instrument we have in the Philippines. The instrument they taught me how to play reminded me of a xylophone. Instead of musical notes you follow a list of numbers. The different instruments played together sounded like heaven. It brought peace. If ever you get to visit Joglo Biru I hope you get to try the gamelan

Joglo Biru is a beautiful traditional Javanese house. People would probably say it's "instagrammable". The house is divided into several sections: (1) The living area where you will find the portrait of the Sultan, this is also where the instruments can be found; (2) A library area where you can find the collection of books of my friend's father and traditional items; (3) Sleeping quarters; (4) A huge kitchen where they cook the traditional way (there's a dirty kitchen too); and the outside is a beautiful garden. It would be nice to spend a few days there and just be at peace. 

It's a hidden gem high up in the mountain and I super loved the cool breeze. I was sad I had to go back to my hotel, but because of the clean air and soothing energy of Joglo Biru I had a good night's sleep. I loved Joglo Biru because it reminded me a lot about my Dad's hometown, Lucban, Quezon. I'd love to explore more of Yogyakarta someday. 

Here's me playing the Gamelan (bravely) -

Read also: Playing the Gamelan in Yogyakarta

Thank you Pak Ganis, Pak Arya and Pak Suryo for the photos and video :)

CB//182 #StuckAtHomeDay/212 #WFH124 #StayHome #BeKind

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