Young people cycling, learning in Gowes to Museum program

Lovers of bicycles and history, mostly young adults, recently met up on a sunny Sunday for some exercise and a visit to a city museum, in an activity called Gowes to Museum (Cycling to the Museum).

On a car-free day, dozens of members of the Indonesian History Community (KHI) as well as some students rode their bicycles away from the center of car-free day on Jl. Sudirman and Jl. Thamrin, heading for the Museum Perumusan Naskah Proklamasi (Proclamation Text Drafting Museum) on Jl. Imam Bonjol.

Asep Kambali, KHI founder, said that his community started the Gowes to Museum program in 2012.

'€œOur purpose is [for participants] to be healthy, to have a strong mind and to have a deep sense of nationalism,'€ said Asep.

Gowes to Museum, one of KHI'€™s regular activities, goes to a different museum every month.

After cycling for about 20 minutes, the group arrived at the Museum 
Perumusan Naskah Proklamasi. They then watched two movies about the contents of the museum and about the moment in Indonesia'€™s history when the proclamation text was drafted, before starting a tour.

The museum is housed in the actual building in which three people '€” namely Sukarno, Mohammad Hatta and Ahmad Soebardjo '€” drafted the proclamation text on Aug. 16, 1945, a day before Indonesia'€™s independence. At that time, the house belonged to a Japanese naval liaison office head, Rear Adm. 
Tadashi Maeda. 

After watching the movie, the group entered the two-story house to see several rooms with similar layout and furniture to 1945.

'€œ[The museum management] searched for people who lived in the house to describe the layout and furniture. They also searched for some possessions that belonged to Maeda and his family,'€ said Sofiyan, a KHI member.

Dani, one of the participants, said that he joined the Gowes to Museum program spontaneously that day. '€œI was riding around the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle, when I saw the sign for the Gowes to Museum program,'€ Dani, 19, said.

Asep said that the community holds the Gowes to Museum trips at least once a month, with different routes and museums, all of which are located close to Jl. Sudirman and Jl. Thamrin.

Museums near the car-free day area include:

Taman Prasasti Museum (Inscription Museum)

The museum is situated in an old Dutch-cemetery located on Jl. Tanah Abang I in Central Jakarta. While many photographers and some singers chose the spot because of its antique tombstones, the cemetery once housed prominent Indonesian figures including Olivia Mariamne Raffles, the wife of British governor general Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. 

It is also home to the tombstone of Indonesian youth activist Soe Hok Gie, whose body was cremated six years after his death. 

Museum Gajah (National Museum)

The flagship museum is located on Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat 12 in Central Jakarta. The museum has a collection of over 100,000 pieces representing Indonesia'€™s national heritage. 

Joang 45 Museum

Joang is the old spelling of juang (fight), while 45 refers to 1945, the year of Indonesian independence. Located on Jl. Menteng Raya No. 31, this museum displays items from prominent figures who fought for Indonesia'€™s independence, including the official cars of the first president and vice president, sculptures of the figures and pictures. (nai)


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