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“"A Care from The Government and Society is Needed!"”

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Rumah Tuo Kampai Nan Panjang
Reviewed April 12, 2008

I went to this house when I was traveling in Bukittinggi in 2003. Historically this very OLD house is unique. It shows you how the real traditional house in west Sumatra looked like in centuries back. It was built couple hundreds years ago when Dutch still occupied Indonesia. Originally my parents are from west Sumatra but our existing traditional house in our village does not have the same style with this one although characteristically the same. I think it was built a century older than ours when they hadn't known color technique in their architecture yet. It was not painted at all. It's completely made of wood which is getting so rotten by the age & less of care. Also it tells you how tall the ancestors were as seen on how short they built the doors. The number of the doors inside the house tells how many children of the owner of the house had. I guess it's more than 10, that makes the house long. Rumah means house, Tuo means old, and Nan Panjang means Which Is Long, so it is The Long Old House. Kampai means the name of the village if I'm not mistaken. The number of doors that represents the number of children they have applies in west Sumatra old traditional house architecture. Sad thing the house is struggling so hard with the modern brick house era in its own village. People there or the local government seem don't give enough concern to this house even though it is now under the government's cultural protection. It is a genuine treasure of west Sumatra original architecture, but there is no good sense of care either from the local government or the society for maintaining or restructuring it as it can be one of the great touristic sights in Bukittinggi. When we were visiting the house there an old guy (over 70) who looked for the house. He claimed him self as the family's relative. He was a friendly & talkative guy even though he couldn't speak English well. He wouldn't be hesitate to speak in Minang language even though you're not Indonesian. We got sufficient history lesson about the old house its self and west Sumatra in general, nevertheless; he told us his personal history which he had married four ladies! My Dutch friend thought that is the lucky thing being an Indonesian guy... funny! I wonder if he were still there to keep the house stand strong... to grow old together....

3  Thank Sabai-Nan-Aluih
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