Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bapak Taufiq Sireh Dere, A Betawi Master of Ales Badan.


My "merantau" to Indonesia was mainly for the reason for the research paper presentation at ICMIE'14. But I thought it would not polite to go as far as Bali without spending a little bit time to visit my brothers and my Masters in Indonesia. The Pencak Silat is the Malay traditional martial art. When we say "Melayu" (Malay), it covers from Thailand, southern of Cambodia, southern of Vietnam, to the Philippine archipelagos, where those people who speak Melayu for centuries. We called these "ethnic-language-geo-border" as Nusantara.


Pencak Silat has been developing differently in different regions in Nusantara. In Indonesia, especially in the Javanese islands, the technique and method is different as what I've learned in Malaysia, especially in Silat Seni Gayong. Cimande, Cikalong, Serak, Shahbanda, Silek Tuo, Pamacan, Seterlak, Maenpo, are those "Aliran" which are developping into the "Perguruan" like PST, SH, Tapak Suci, Panglipur, Perisai Diri etc.

Having a look inside the Jakarta Museum. (Muzium Gajah Putih)

The biggest Mosque in the south-east asia: Masjid Istiqlal

With Bayu, Ade and Zaza

After surviving the traffic jam in the center of Jakarta, I finally arrived at Mas Bayu's house. Mas Bayu and his wife Ade Lestari are like a brother and sister to me. We met in France couple of year ago and got very close since then. And this is the first time I met their prince Zaza after years of having the lovely news of his birth. Bayu is also known as Ibod, a talented artist of his first two books: "Kitab Komik Sufi" and "Kitab Komik Sufi 2". It hasn't come yet to Malaysia but I am absolutely sure insyaAllah the books are arriving to our country in really soon! The stories are told in cartoons, but the messages are from the real experiences of the Sufi people in the old book. We share the same interest: Pencak Silat, Sufism, Traditional Art, Ethnic Culture, History and of course Comics! ;)

Bayu's art 

In Jakarta, I had a precious chance of encountering a Betawi Master. Humble, funny and religious. He is the Master to my brother, Bayu. Bapak Taufiq is the President of the Sireh Dere Association. The association is the main responsible to the propagation and reservation of the Betawi culture and tradition. Betawi is the local people of Java island, came from the word Batavia, given in the Dutch language. In Betawi folklore the most popular is Bang Pitung, a legendary warrior who fought against Dutch to help the needy and helpless people. Raised as a Tareqat and Silat disciple, Bang Pitung had caused the Dutch a lot of trouble and finally had been killed. The Dutch had been helped by the local people who were greedy for the money.

Due to Pak Taufiq, Silat Betawi was initially known as "Maen Pukulan". And there are many Aliran (family), of Betawi style Cengkerik, Beksi, Gerak Rasa, Sabeni etc. The Aliran of Pak Taufiq is known is "Ales Badan", with the meaning of "Displacing Body". Getting some tips in the technique of Ales Badan, we were invited to try the powerful home-made "Bir Peletok" with the deep-fried jackfruit (Cempedak). What a superb combination : Pukulan-Bir Peletok-Cempedak!

The Aliran Betawi has a lot of Pukulan technique, and for the locking technique, the grappling is accepted also. The main weapon that are used is the Sarong and the Golok. Betawi also has their own dialect, Eventhough sometime I didn't understand all of the Betawi dialect, I still manage to guest the meaning of the conversation. Pak Taufiq, I had condumed your Bir Pelatok. And most of my students LOVE it! InsyaAllah I think we should think to commercialize your Bir Peletok here in Malaysia. Next trip, I'll be your official dealer in Malaysia! ;)

Thank you Bapak Taufiq, and also to my brother Mas Bayu and wife Ade for your hospitality! ;) To Zaza, your brother Aaisy eagerly to come again to Jakarta after got the special tumbler! ;)

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