In the fight for Indonesia's Independence, Soekarno – Proclamator of Indonesia's Independence and first President of the Republic of Indonesia - was at one time exiled by the Dutch colonial government to Ende on the island of Flores. For four years, - event before Indonesia's Independence in 1945 - Soekarno was exiled here from 1934 to 1938, on account of his political activities that were deemed a threat to the Dutch East Indies Government.
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Upon his arrival in the then remote small town, Soekarno at first had nowhere to stay. He finally found a rented house facing east. It had a Dutch architectural style and was owned by Haji Abdulah Ambuwaru. In 1954, when Soekarno was the first President of Indonesia, he officially inaugurated the house as a museum.
The House of Soekarno's Exile
Today, this simple but historically significant abode in Ende is known as "Rumah Pengasingan Soekarno", or The House of Exile of Soekarno, and is open to the public.
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The museum still houses furniture and goods owned and used by Sukarno during his stay in Ende. Visitors to the museum have been inspired by their visit here, reminiscing on Sukarno's struggles and vision pertaining to the basic principles on which to build the prospective Republic of Indonesia, which in this house can be viewed through old photographs, paper clippings, oration quotes and vintage exhibits.
Sukarno made use of his four years in exile meditating on his vision of a democratic and independent Indonesia,that would stretch from Sabang on Sumatra to Merauke in Papua. He invited locals to take part in discussions. And to easier communicate with people in their social surroundings, Sukarno wrote a dozen theatre plays and founded the Toneel Club Kelimutu which involved locals in the production that were performed at the Immaculata Building.
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About 700 meters from Soekarno's house, was a Breadfruit Tree that directly faced Ende Beach. It is known that Soekarno often sat here to contemplate under the tree whilst envisioning a united country that would be called Indonesia. Indonesia's First President claimed that it was on that very spot that the concept of Pancasila to be the philosophical foundation of the Republic of Indonesia was conceived. Pancasila is since recognized and accepted as the 5 Principles on which the Indonesian State and Nation are founded.
Today, the Birth of Pancasila is commemorated every year on 1st of June, which is also a national holiday.
What is Pancasila?
Comprising of two ancient Javanese words originally derived from Sanskrit: "pañca" ("five") and "sīla" ("principles"), Pancasila is composed of five principles that are inter-related and inseparable from one another, these are:1. Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa (Belief in the One Supreme God)
Indonesia is a multicultural nation, a very diverse country comprised of over 17,000 islands, hundreds of ethnic groups with their different languages, cultures, religions and ways of life. Indonesia's Founding fathers decided that the State Ideology should encompass and shelter the whole spectrum of Indonesian society, in which consensus for common good must be striven for, and justice is served and met. These principles are enshired in the Pancasila. And also based on these principles, Indonesia's National Motto became "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika", meaning: We are Many but we are One.
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Today, a statue of Soekarno sitting under the breadfruit tree and contemplating whilst gazing at the beautiful Ende Beach can be seen at the same spot. Although the original breadfruit tree was taken down in 1960, yet another tree was planted in 1980 which once again shelters not only the statue but also the significant historical value of the place.
The area is known today as the Taman Renungan Bung Karno or Soekarno's Contemplation Park, where everyone can also sit and contemplate as once did Indonesia's first president.
How to Get Here:The H. Hasan Aroeboesman Airport in Ende is served by Garuda Indonesia, Kalstar Aviation, Wings Air, Susi Air, and TransNusa Air. There are flights that connect Ende with Denpasar in Bali, Kupang (the capital city of East Nusa Tenggara Province), and Labuan Bajo.
Land transportation to western and eastern cities in Flores are operating as well. Ende has two inter-city bus stations, namely Wolowona for buses to eastern cities such as Moni, Maumere and Larantuka; and Ndao for buses to western cities such as Bajawa, Ruteng and Labuan Bajo.
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