Jambi, The Fascinating Province
Jambi province with total area of about 5,343,700 hectars consists of 9 regencies and one municipality. The Topography of Jambi Province generally varies from low land areas in the east and Kerinci regency. The natural resources with wealthy biodiversity are represented in four national parks such as Kerinci Seblat National Park, Berbak National Park, Bukit Dua Belas National Park, Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park. Each of the national park has its own characteristic and typical biodiversity.
There are 6 daily flights departing and arriving Jambi. It will take 60 minutes flight from Jakarta, 15 minutes from Palembang and 60 minutes from Batam Island, as well as from Singapore. Travelling by boat or ferry is also easy, accessing Jambi from Batam only 5 hours and 7 hours from Malaysia. To see and experience land traveling, it’s 6 hours from Palembang, 8 hours from Padang, 10 hours from Bengkulu.
It was once the center of Melayu ancient kingdom. It gained its influence some time in 7th century but rather overshadowed by the large neighbor kingdom that time, namely Sriwijaya. I Tsing once spent some time in Melayu and from his record it can be deduced that this area was called Chan Pi by the Chinese then. Melayu then became a subject of Sriwijaya and then Sriwijaya fell, Majapahit took over this kingdom. Then Minangkabau people of West Sumatra claimed this area after the fall of Majapahit.
In 17th century, the Dutch East India Company created an alliance with Sultan Muhammed Nakhruddin. The Dutch then monopolized pepper trade in this area. Later on 1901, Dutch East India Company moved its place to Palembang in South Sumatra and Jambi was free of its influences then.
Jambi has similar cuisine like in South Sumatra. It is also the right place to enjoy some traditional delicacies such as fried pineapple (nanas goreng), roasted corn (jagung bakar) and the like. And of course, Western Sumatra cuisine –nasi padang– can easily be found anywhere. Most of the food are spicy so be sure to ask around for less spicy ones if you prefer so.
PEOPLE AND CULTURE
Dominated by Malay race, this place also houses a tribe that prefers to dwell in the forest. Sometimes called Kubu, Anak Dalam (Children of the Forest) or more appealingly Orang Rimba (People of the Forest), some still maintain their age old belief–animism and maintain no contact with the outsiders.
Some Orang Rimba have decided to merge with locals and leave their old customs. Forcing Orang Rimba to leave their way of life and mingle with modern society is not always the good solution, for it will only remove a tribe of its wealth of knowledge and age-old ways. Some educational institutions assign teachers to join the nomads so they’ll be able to teach the young generation how to read, write and count.
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