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The Trace of Chinese Civilization in Palembang

 

Kampung Kapitan lies in Kelurahan 7 Ulu, Kecamatan Seberan Ulu 1, Palembang, and is located upstream of the Musi River. From below the Ampera Bridge, you can hop on local public transport that heads to Kertapati and stops at the Simpang Pasar Klinik. From here, walk to Simpang 3 where you will find the Kampung Kapitan signage on your left. However, if you’re confused, feel free to ask the locals for directions.

The Trace of Chinese Civilization in Palembang

Kampung Kapitan is a collection of 15 stage houses of Chinese, Dutch and Palembang influenced architecture. Palembang use to be a port of call for the Chinese, and til this day, there are still many remnants of their occupancy here. Unfortunately, these traces and remnants are beginning to slowly fade away.

After the collapse of the Sriwijaya Kingdom, a Chinese officer of the Ming dynasty known as Captain Tjoa Ham Hin, arrived in Palembang. According to the Palembang Tourism site, Tjoa Ham Hin, was trusted by the Dutch to oversee tax matters approximately 400 years ago.

The Trace of Chinese Civilization in Palembang
 

In the golden days of Tjoa Ham Hin, this region changed its name to Kampung Kapitan which is derived from his nick name Kapiten or Kapitan. Kapitan is the epithet for someone in charge of leading the land and is appointed to the person who has the highest financial standing within the community. Due to his exclusive status, Kapitan resides in a different dwelling.

The Trace of Chinese Civilization in Palembang
 

His residence has a dominant Chinese style but still retains Palembang nuances. The dwelling still stands sturdy in the region now known as Kampung Kapitan. The roofing style adopts the signature Palembang house pyramid structure, while the interior and middle part of the housing complex exhibit a Chinese style.

Written by Ivone Suryani