Sunday afternoon, August 10th, we had the pleasure of taking a neighbor to the maternity ward of the Bhayangkara Hospital (Police Hospital) to be with them during the birth of their grandson.

We were told that the hospital is owned by the police, and all on the police department get free medical care. We were also told that because it is free, the expertise and quality of care and the facilities are not as good as they would like for it to be.

It was a nice experience, having had the opportunity to share in the birth of this child!

Police Hospital in Jambi Rumah Sakit Bhayangkara
Police Hospital in Jambi
Rumah Sakit Bhayangkara
The Newborn
The Newborn
Police Hospital in Jambi Rumah Sakit Bhayangkara
Police Hospital in Jambi
Rumah Sakit Bhayangkara

Prasasti Karang Berahi

(Engraved Stone in the Village of Karang Berahi)

Phyllis, standing beside the fence around the engraved Karang Berahi stone.

Phyllis, standing beside the fence around the engraved Karang Berahi stone.

In the Village of Karang Berahi is an engraved stone, though not dated, is claimed by some to have been carved out between 608 and 686 AD1. The language used is the ancient Melayu language, and it being during the time of the Hindu Sriwijaya Kingdom, in many respects resembles ancient Sanskrit.

The writing on the stone is an appeal to the Hindu gods for protection and blessing on the Sriwijaya Kingdom, as well as curses on those who are not loyal to the Kingdom (16 total). The writing on this stone is said to be similar to the writing on similar stones in other locations, like:

How to Find Prasasti Karang Berahi’s Location

The stone is located in Dusun Batu Bersurat, Village Karang Berahi, Pamenang Region of the Merangin Regency of the Jambi Province of Indonesia.

The bridge you get to walk across to see the Karang Berahi stone.

The bridge you get to walk across to see the Karang Berahi stone.

To get there, first drive to the 51 kilometer “mile marker” between the Cities of Sarolangun and Bangko. After arriving at this location, turn north off the main road and travel 1.4 kilometers. The road will dead end. You will need to leave your vehicle and walk to the east about 30 meters (100 feet). From there you will descend a concrete path to a swinging bridge. Yes,… you get to cross the narrow foot/motorcycle bridge to get to the Village of Karang Berahi on the other side of the Merangin River. From there turn left, and ask people in the village the stone’s location. It is only another 61 meters (200 feet).

This stone has had a history of being moved about between its current location in the Village of Karang Berahi and the City of Bangko.

The Karang Berahi stone is maintained in a well-kept park with a roof over it, but tragically exposed to the elements.

The Karang Berahi stone is maintained in a well-kept park with a roof over it, but tragically exposed to the elements.

  1. Moved to the yard in front of the Dutch authority in Bangko.
  2. When the Japanese came, they granted permission for it to be moved back next the the mosque in Dusun Batu Bersurat.
  3. It is said that several children had a dream in which a person named Ulya came and commanded the stone to be moved from its position close to the mosque. In the dream, it was said that Ulya said a great catastrophe will take place in Dusun Batu Bersurat if the stone isn’t move away from the mosque. It was then moved to its current location.
    • The stone’s writing, being a reflection of their ancestor’s Hindu religion, could have prompted the moving of the stone away from the mosque.

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1Junaidi T. Noor, the author of Mencari Jejak Sangkala (pg. 28) says the engraving on the stone can be dated between 608 and 686 AD.

The Jami Al-Ikhsaniyah Mosque went through some major renovations during the last couple of years, and the renovation included the grave of Pangeran (prince) Wiro Kusumo.

On November 2, 2011 we wrote an article about that grave. We also made a video about it, and it includes the Jami Al-Ikhsaniyah Mosque which is located to the side of the grave. You can read that article and watch the video with this link.

Below are a few pictures showing the grave and mosque after the renovation.

Grave of Pangeran (prince) Wiro Kusumo is on the far right. Picture taken on June 21, 2014
Grave of Pangeran (prince) Wiro Kusumo is on the far right. Picture taken on June 21, 2014

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This is our translation of a legend from the Jambi Province.

Duako

(name of the main character in the legend)

This legend shows a theme that is common in other legends, and that theme is arranged / forced marriages. In legends like these there is frequently a competition conducted to see which young man would be the best candidate to marry the King’s daughter.

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60 of Jambi’s Legends

Alphabetically Arranged According to their Titles

We invested a tremendous amount of time in translating all of the below legends. We also took the time to compile them in the below list so they could easily be found…and read in the English language!

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Indonesian an Easy Language?

People will tell you that Bahasa Indonesia is an easy language to learn, and it might be, if it wasn’t always overlapping and intertwined with many other languages that are commonly used in Indonesia.

One of the challenges of living in Indonesia is that, with over 700 living languages, there is a continual struggle to maintain clear communications. As the language of one village overlaps that of another, there’s inevitably going to be a mixing of languages, as well as many spelling variations. There are also 300 ethnic groups, which have many different accents. And, with Islam being the predominate religion, there is always the Arabic language that you will continually come into contact with. Indonesians have accepted this variety as a way of life. For the foreigner that has come to work, and must first learn the national language, it’s a real struggle.

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This is our translation of a legend from the Jambi Province.

The Little Boy and the Apple Tree

(Kisah Pohon Apel)

This story is often told to Indonesian children. It reflects the parent’s willingness to give all they have for their children’s success in life.

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