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History and Etimology of Surabaya (The Hero city)


Etymology

Statue of the shark and crocodile in the city's legend
Surabaya is locally believed to derive its name from the words sura or suro (shark) and baya or boyo (crocodile), two creatures which, in a local myth, fought each other in order to gain the title of "the strongest and most powerful animal" in the area according to a Jayabaya prophecy. This prophecy tells of a fight between a giant white shark and a giant white crocodile. Now the two animals are used as the city's logo, the two facing each other while circling, as depicted in a statue appropriately located near the entrance to the city zoo. This folk etymology, though embraced enthusiastically by city leaders, is unverifiable. Alternate derivations proliferate: from the Javanese sura ing baya, meaning "bravely facing danger"; or from the use of surya to refer to the sun. Some people consider this Jayabaya prophecy as a great war between Surabaya native people and invaders in 1945, while another story is about two heroes that fought each other in order to be the king of the city. The two heroes were Sura and Baya.

History

The earliest record of Surabaya was in a 1225 book written by Chau Ju-Kua, in which it was called Jung-ya-lu, the ancient name of Surabaya. Ma Huan documented the early fifteen-century visit of Zheng He's Treasure ship in his 1433 book Ying-yai Sheng-lan: "after travelling south for more than twenty li, the ship reached Sulumayi, whose foreign name is Surabaya. At the estuary, the outflowing water is fresh."
In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Surabaya was a sultanate and a major political and military power in eastern Java. It entered a conflict with, and was later captured by, the more powerful Sultanate of Mataram in 1625 under Sultan Agung. It was one of Mataram's fiercest campaigns, in which they had to conquer Surabaya's allies, Sukadana and Madura and to lay siege to the city before capturing it. With this conquest, Mataram then controlled almost the whole of Java, with the exception of the Sultanate of Banten and the Dutch settlement of Batavia.
Map of Surabaya from an 1897 English travel guide
Handelstraat, Surabaya in 1930s, now Jembatan Merah area.
The expanding East Indies Companies took the city over from a weakened Mataram in November 1743. Surabaya became a major trading center under the Dutch colonial government, and hosted the largest naval base in the colony. In 1917 a revolt occurred amongst the soldiers and sailors of Surabaya, led by the Indies Social Democratic Association. The revolt was firmly crushed and the insurgents given harsh sentences.
Japan occupied the city in 1942 as part of the occupation of Indonesia, and it was bombed by the Allies in 1944. After that it was seized by Indonesian nationalists. However, the young nation was soon put into conflict with the British who were care takers of the Dutch colony after the surrender of the Japanese.
The Battle of Surabaya was one of the most important battles of the Indonesian revolution. It was started after British Brigadier General Mallaby was killed in October 30, 1945 near Jembatan Merah (the "Red Bridge"), allegedly by a stray bullet. The Allies gave an ultimatum to the Indonesian freedom fighters inside the city to surrender, but this was refused. The ensuing battle, which took thousands of lives, took place on 10 November, and is nowadays celebrated as Heroes' Day (Hari Pahlawan). The incident of the red-white flag (the Dutch national red-white-and-blue flag at the top of Yamato Hotel's tower that was torn into the Indonesian red-white flag) by Bung Tomo is also recorded as a heroic feat during the struggle of this city.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surabaya)

1 comments:

lesnor123 said...

Wow! Thanks for the interesting background…I would love to visit this intriguing place and stay at one of the Surabaya hotels…this will be real experience!

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