Sam Poo Kong temple in Indonesia
Added On April 19, 2017
Sam Poo Kong is an ancient historical Chinese temple complex, in Semarang, Indonesia.
The temple dates back to the 15th century. It is said to be built above a cave where legendary explorer Zheng He treated his friend.
Let's take a look.
The Sam Poo Kong temple was originally built on top of a cave where Zheng He, a famous Chinese sea explorer of Ming dynasty, disembarked to treat his seriously-ill counterpart, Wang Jing Hong.
Today it is one of Semarang top landmarks, with thousands of people flocking to the site to learn about its fabulous history.
Mulyadi, the Chairman of Sam Poo Kong Foundation describes the success.
SOUNDBITE1 (ENGLISH): MULYADI, Chairman of Sam Poo Kong Foundation
"I think Indonesian people these days are very acceptive about history. We have 22,000 to 30,000 people Indonesian and local people, most of them are Muslim come to visit here to know more about the history of Zheng He. In our point of view, there are no other temple in Indonesia being visited by 20,000 people of Indonesia in every month. Only us, because they are interested to know more about history. Because Zheng He is kind, he is coming but not invade, and he is not make the people just like their slaves. That's why they come to know more about the history."
Inside the temple, visitors can learn about Admiral Zheng He's voyage through the informative walls.
Described in three languages --English, Mandarin, and Bahasa Indonesian--, visitors can trace Zheng He's voyage across the Silk Road sea routes, in his mission to connect Chinese civilization to the world.
Another unique fact of the temple can be seen through presence of an old ancient tree. The shape of its roots and branches looks just similar to a ship's chain.
Today, the Sam Poo Kong temple serves as a place to preserve tradition and customs first brought to Semarang by Admiral Zheng He 600 years ago.
The temple also served as a place for Chinese descendants in Indonesia to worship their ancestors.
SOUNDBITE2(ENGLISH): MULYADI, Chairman of Sam Poo Kong Foundation
"(The history here is about how we pray, how we present money to our ancestors. This is the culture being hundreds of hundred years, the Chinese community still doing it until today), we still pray to our ancestors, we prepare food, we prepare money, even my grandfather still doing it before. We believe that this what Zheng He brings here, and we still believe it until today although its already 600 years ago."
Once a year, the temple becomes the centre of the community, when locals hold parade to Sam Poo Kong.
Held on the 30th day of the sixth month in the lunar calandar, it marks the anniversary of Zheng He's arrival in Semarang.