Majapahit replica ship visits to promote maritime culture
THE Spirit of Majapahit traditional ship, a replica of a 13th century vessel that belonged to the Majapahit kingdom in East Java, yesterday made a stopover at Serasa to promote Indonesia’s maritime culture.
Carrying six experienced Indonesian seafarers, two university students from Indonesia and a Japanese seaman, the traditional wooden ship left Jakarta earlier this month and sailed through Pontianak in West Kalimantan before reaching Brunei.
The ship will lay over in the sultanate for two days and continue its journey to Philippines and Taiwan before reaching its final destination in Tokyo, Japan.
Indonesian Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Nurul Qomar, who welcomed the crew upon their arrival at Serasa Beach, said the original Majapahit vessel had sailed to Japan centuries ago.
She said the ship’s duplicate was built in 2009 as part of Indonesia’s efforts to promote maritime culture and strengthen friendships with other countries, including Brunei.
Costing about two billion rupiah or $200,000 to build, the vessel is made of teak wood and is 20 metres long and 4.5 metres wide.
Following its completion, the ship embarked on two expeditions in 2010 and 2011.
However, the ship was not able to reach its final destination due to a typhoon in the Philippines and tsunami in Japan.
The envoy hoped that this year’s expedition will succeed and the ship will be displayed in a Tokyo museum once it reaches its final destination.
Speaking on board the Spirit of Majapahit ship, Muhammad Amin, the captain of the ship, said the sea in Brunei was calm compared to sailing through Indonesian waters from Jakarta to West Kalimantan.
“Another difference is the weather here is hotter than Indonesia,” said the 70-year-old captain who has been working as a seafarer for about 40 years.
An official from Indonesia’s Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Elvi Wijayanti, said the ship’s second stop in Brunei is important as it can be used as an avenue to exchange maritime cultures between Indonesia and Brunei.
“We hope that this expedition can help broaden the existing cooperation between both countries, not only on trade and economic areas but also in the field of maritime culture,” said the visiting Indonesian official.
She said the vessel will depart Brunei on Tuesday and hoped the entire voyage would be completed in less than 50 days.
The Brunei Times