Destinasi Budaya

Al Manawar Village, an Arabic Village in Palembang

The most populer tourist destination of the people of Palembang is Ampera. However, currently there is a new attraction for tourists. Since February 2017, tourist destinations in Palembang have continued to develop, one of them being the presence of the first religious tour destination, Al-Munawar Village. The people of Palembang are more familiar with the term “Kampung Arab” which is located in the area of ​​13 Ulu, Palembang.

Then, why is it called “Arab Village”, this is based on the origin of the name Kampung Al-Munawar, originating from one of the respected figures, Habib Abdurrahman Al Munawar. He was one of the leaders who spread Islam in the region. All of them have blood ties of brotherhood because of the rules that do not allow them to marry people outside the village. But the rule only applies to the women. Men can still marry women outside the village, but their Arab blood is still thick from the father’s lineage.

Kampung Al Munawar
Kampung Al-Munawar, Palembang, Sumatera Selatan – Image: Tim IndoEpic

If you visit the Arab Village, you feel like you are not in Indonesia but in Arab. Because you will meet Arab faces with sharp noses, handsome and beautiful, and there are also some who wear veils. During the day, this village is very quiet because the men went to the mosque, while the women were inside. The village begins to bustle in the afternoon.

Al-Munawar village is inhabited by 77 families with a population density of 300 people/ha. Kampung Al-Munawar 13 Ulu has an area of ​​17.6 hectares with the condition of land consisting of swamps/continuous flooding, land prone to inundation and dry land. Typical Al-Munawar Village area 13 Ulu consists of a typical riverbank area, typical of the river’s land transition area and typical land area.

Kampung Al-Munawar, Palembang, Sumatera Selatan – Image: Tim IndoEpic
Kampung Al-Munawar, Palembang, Sumatera Selatan – Image: Tim IndoEpic

Houses in the Al Munawar Village Area 13 Ulu form a linear pattern according to the road pattern. Although the roads that separate the houses cannot be traversed directly by cars, these roads become barriers for a house with another house. Houses in the village of Al-Munawar 13 Ulu are predominantly owned by Habib Hasan Abdurachman who was later passed on to his descendants. The average type of the house is a stone house, a glass house, a twin sea house, a tall house, a house for Arab captains, an Indis house, twin land houses and a pyramid house.

The Arab Village area has eight houses that are cultural heritage. Six houses in the front area surround a wide field. Then two more houses are in the back overlooking the Musi River. The uniqueness of each house is due to the age of the old house buildings being more than 250 years. As if being herded into an Arabian atmosphere, this village is indeed very thick with Islamic nuances. This nuances contributed by the role of a former Arab Captain, Ahmad Al-Munawwar, who stopped by, then started a family and the children of the grandchildren up to now are his descendants.

Kampung Al-Munawar, Palembang, Sumatera Selatan – Image: Tim IndoEpic
Kampung Al-Munawar, Palembang, Sumatera Selatan – Image: Tim IndoEpic indoepic.com

From the culinary side, you will be served a dish called “munggahan”, the term munggah is taken from one of the sequences in the traditional Palembang wedding procession. Munggahan menu consists of rice oil as the main menu and several side dishes, namely Curry Goat, Gulai Chicken, Selado, Sambal and Pineapple Pickles. Enjoying the mahanahan accompanied by traditional Arabic art, Gambus. Tambourine was pounded over, accompanied by typical guitar passages, resulting in Middle Eastern music. Then came two men who danced together, following the rhythm of the music which was getting increasingly fast. Several times they looked at each other and laughed. Gambus art is popular and embraces everyone to be able to dance together.

Munggahan – Image: Wira Nurmansyah
Munggahan – Image: Wira Nurmansyah

In addition to watching Gambus art and enjoying “munggahan” dishes, it turns out that in this Arab village of Al-Munawwar there is a hereditary coffee business. The main coffee in this village is robusta arabika of South Sumatra. The taste and aroma of the coffee is very unique so it will be very tempting for coffee lovers.

Anak-anak Kampung Al-Munawar, Palembang – Image: Tim IndoEpic
Children in Kampung Al-Munawar, Palembang – Image: Tim IndoEpic

Writer: Nia Fauzi

Foto Cover: Wira Nurmansyah

“It is not the destination where you end up but the mishaps and memories you create along the way.”

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