Indonesia: Cirebon

Cirebon (formerly referred to as Cheribon in English) is a port city on the north coast of the Indonesian island of Java. It is located in the province of West Java near the provincial border with Central Java, approximately 297 km east of Jakarta, at 6°43′S 108°34′E. The administrative area of Cirebon is very small in extent, however, its dense suburbs sprawl into the surrounding regency; the official metropolitan area encompasses this regency as well as the city, and covers an area of 1,021.88 km2, with a 2010 Census population of 2,366,340.

The seat of a former Sultanate, the city's West and Central Java border location have seen its history influenced by both Sundanese and Javanese culture as well as Arab and Chinese.

A 15th century prince from Pajajaran, Prince Walangsungsang, converted to Islam, and was appointed as the Adipati (Duke) of Cirebon with the title Cakrabumi. He established the new kingdom of Cirebon and declared independence from Sunda and Galuh. The establishment of Cirebon Sultanate marked the first Islamic rule in Western Java, that grew from modest fishing village of Muara Jati to a busy port of Java northern coast. Cirebon grew as one of the independent sultanates under the leadership of Sunan Gunungjati, in the early 16th century. After the Sunda Kingdom collapsed, The Sultanates of Banten and Mataram fought control over Cirebon, which declared its allegiance to Sultan Agung of Mataram. But the later his grandson Amangkurat II ceded the city to the Dutch in the 1677. A treaty in 1705 saw the Cirebon area west of Cisanggarung River became a Dutch protectorate jointly administered by three sultans whose courts rivalled those of Central Java. The Dutch authorities later established the Cirebon Residence (Residentie Tjirebon) which composed of present-day Cirebon, Indramayu, and Kuningan.

During the time of the Dutch "Culture System" a flourishing trade in colonial cash crops attracted many Chinese entrepreneurs and the Chinese influence is still evident in the batik for which Cirebon is famous. Cirebon suffered a famine in 1844, apparently triggered by a combination of drought and the shift from subsistence agriculture to cash crops, particularly indigo and sugarcane, enforced by Dutch's Cultivation system.

The Tari Topeng Cirebon, or Cirebon mask dance, is a dance style peculiar to the city. Topeng Cirebon mask dance, inspired by Javanese Panji cycles is one of notable Cirebon traditional dance and quite famous within Indonesian dances.

Cirebon culture is also influenced by Islamic Middle Eastern culture, such as the Burokan tradition where people exhibit the image of buraq — traditionally made from bamboo frame and paper skin, or other materials — in processions around the village accompanied with music. The traditions of the bamboo statues borne in these processions is similar to Sundanese Sisingaan, Betawi Ondel-ondel, or Balinese Ogoh-ogohprocessions, yet differ in their Islamic theme. Burokan are usually held during festive occasions such as circumcision or marriage, and are accompanied by popular Cirebon folk songs, such as tarling.'

Tarling is a musical tradition reminiscent of Bandung's kecapi suling music with except that it features guitar, suling (bamboo flute) and voice. The name derived from gitar (guitar), and suling (flute).

As one tourist destination in West Java, Cirebon City offers many charms ranging from a historical tour of the royal glory of Islam, the story of the trustees, Complex Sunan Gunung Jati in Mount Sembung about 15 miles to the west of the city center, Great Mosque of Cirebon, Taqwa Mosque, temple ancient buildings and relics of Netherlands.

Cirebon is a palace at the same time in the city, namely Keraton Kasepuhan and Kanoman. Everything has architecture a combination of elements culture Islam, China, and Netherlands. Characteristic of the palace buildings are always facing northern and there is a mosque nearby. Each palace has square as a gathering place, market and sculpture tiger in park or page forward as a symbol of King Siliwangi, the central character formation Sultanate of Cirebon. Another feature is the plate porcelain original China are so trimmer wall. Some dishes supposedly derived from Europe when Cirebon so port trade center island Java.

Cirebon city park has some of them Waterpark Sunyaragi and Park of Ade Irma Suryani. Water Parks Sunyaragi have technology flow water advanced in his time, the water flow between the terraces where the princess king preening, page grass green where the knight practice, plus tower and room privileged that door was made of curtain water.

Some of the local political elite in Cirebon and surrounding regencies have campaigned for Cirebon city, together with the regencies of Cirebon, Indramayu, Kuningan and Majalengka to be established as a new province - in the same way as Banten Province was formed by splitting it away from West Java. To be a new province it is required that it should be proposed by at least five regencies. Leaders from four of these administrations have given their consent, but Kuningan and Majalengka Regency has turned down the idea and indicated that it would prefer to stay part of West Java. However, the lack of support from the Kuningan and Majalengka area does not preclude Cirebon city and the other two regencies from continuing to promote the idea.

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