Banyuwangi

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History

One Banyuwangi native group is the Osing community which has a Hindu culture although they can be considered as a Javanese sub-ethnic group. They live mainly in the central part of Banyuwangi and they sometimes consider themselves as Majapahit descendants. Other groups are Javanese (living mostly in the south and west), Madurese (mainly in the north and coastal area) and Balinese (scattered but more concentrated in the east). Other smaller groups include Chinese, Buginese, and Arabs.

Once known as Blambangan (or its variation: Balambangan and Balumbungan), it was a vassal of the Majapahit Kingdom and a regional trade centre. After the Majapahit Kingdom ceased to exist, it became an independent kingdom and, as such, the last Hindu kingdom of Java. In order to defend itself from the troops of the Sultanate of Demak, which tried to occupy it, Blambangan asked for help from Balinese kings, which caused it to lose its independence to Balinese kingdoms. During this time Blambangan was deeply influenced by Balinese culture. After around 150 years of Balinese occupation, the Sultanate of Mataram gained control of the territory and renamed it Banyuwangi. Later, it was part of the Mataram territory controlled by the VOC (1770). During the expansion of plantations in the 19th century, many parts of Banyuwangi were planted with coffee and sugar cane, which feature its landscape even now. The Chinese and Arabs came mostly during this period. Banyuwangi people are known for their combination of Islamic and pre-Islamic tradition.

During the Fall of Suharto a witchhunt in Banyuwangi against alleged sorcerers spiraled into widepsread riots and violence. In addition to alleged sorcerers, Islamic clerics were also targeted and killed, Nahdlatul Ulama members were murdered by rioters.

 

After World War II, the city continued to grow in size and population. Planning projects at the time led to more downtown buildings and the destruction of many neighborhoods to build roads. In the same period, the city became a center of cultural movement, contributing to the current outlook.

Recent History

More recently, the city has has experienced a boom in business and population. Despite falling victim to the economic trouble, the city’s economy mostly recovered and neighborhoods continue to survive. Today Banyuwangi is known for its cultural outlook and remains one of the top tourist destinations. Banyuwangi has a tourism as the largest industry.

 

Unique Culture

Banyuwangi has thousands of unique and wonder inside. The culture are combined within Ancient Javanese and Balinese culture. During pre-Islamic age, Osing people are Hindu and Animism, that it made Osing people nowadays do some sacrificing before they will start their works. But after Islamic periods, Islam spreads by Wali Sanga to Blambangan Kingdom. This periods also make a signification influencing to the people’s habits and culture. The sacrificing is from Hindu and animism culture, but with Arabian praying from the Koran and Prophet Muhammad’s Hadith.[:IN]

Early History

Home to years of history, which stretched far and wide. Due to the characteristic weather, the earliest explorers completely bypassed the area. The first settlement in the area was founded 1770 as a mission community. In addition to the mission, a military fort was built.

Upon gaining independence, the area grew quickly. The old system gradually came to an end and private ownership of land became common. The first significant settlement on the outside of the area. As the new settlement gradually grew, a street plan developed and became attractive to settlers. Over the next years, the area officially became part of the surrounding country.

The area began to explode in population with many immigrants seeking fortunes, creating one of the largest imigrant populations. During this time, many large organizations and businesses grew and did very well. With all this success came quick growth and city planning and infrastructure were necessary. This led to better living conditions and many good years.

Later Growth

In the 1890’s, a large campaign began to improve the city, the success of which led to a renaming. In 1901, a natural disaster changed the city and a fire destroyed much of the area. The decision was made to start a rebuilding plan for the city, with new parks and landmarks.

After the Great Depression of the 1930’s, the city was mostly unharmed. It was during this time that government construction projects were conceived and built. It was also this time the government established a prison which would hold some of the most notorious criminals of the time.

After World War II, the city continued to grow in size and population. Planning projects at the time led to more downtown buildings and the destruction of many neighborhoods to build roads. In the same period, the city became a center of cultural movement, contributing to the current outlook.

Recent History

More recently, the city has has experienced a boom in business and population. Despite falling victim to the economic trouble, the city’s economy mostly recovered and neighborhoods continue to survive. Today the city is known for its cultural outlook and remains one of the top tourist destinations. Tourism is the city’s largest industry.[:]