Facts About Surabaya

28 Interesting, Fun Facts About Surabaya, Indonesia

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(Last Updated On: January 8, 2024)

Beyond its contemporary vibrancy, Surabaya boasts a rich historical tapestry that has left an indelible mark on Indonesia’s narrative. The city’s streets whisper tales of resistance and resilience, particularly during the Battle of Surabaya in 1945, interesting, fun facts about Surabaya, Indonesia, a pivotal moment in the nation’s struggle for independence. Monuments and landmarks stand stoically, narrating stories of a bygone era, ensuring that Surabaya remains not only a thriving city but a custodian of Indonesia’s collective memory.

Interesting, Fun Facts About Surabaya, Indonesia

Surabaya transcends its status as a mere metropolis; it is a pulsating cultural nexus, a historical canvas, and a maritime hub that weaves together the threads of Indonesia’s diverse identity. Each corner of Surabaya unveils a new chapter, inviting exploration into the intricate layers of its past, the dynamic mosaic of its present, and the promising tapestry of its future.

1. Dynamic Demography: The Mosaic of Surabaya’s Inhabitants

Within the heart of Surabaya beats a diverse pulse, encapsulating a mosaic of inhabitants from various ethnic backgrounds and walks of life. The city, like a kaleidoscope, brings together Javanese, Chinese, Arab, and other communities, creating a harmonious blend of traditions, languages, and customs. This multicultural symphony manifests in eclectic architecture, aromatic culinary offerings, and the kaleidoscopic tapestry of daily life. Surabaya thrives as a living testament to Indonesia’s commitment to unity in diversity.

2. Gateway to the East: Surabaya’s Strategic Maritime Position

Surabaya, with its strategic location on the eastern fringes of Java, emerges as a vital harbor—a dynamic gateway connecting the archipelago to the world. The city’s maritime importance transcends mere geographical significance; it is a nexus for travel and trade, fostering economic growth and cultural exchange. The bustling port, teeming with ships from diverse corners of the globe, symbolizes Surabaya’s role as a pivotal player in the intricate dance of international commerce.

3. Historical Roots and Kingdom Dynamics

Nestled in the annals of time, the city of Surabaya traces its origins back to the 10th century when the Kingdom of Janggala, a pivotal Javanese realm, was forged in 1045. This transformative epoch unfolded as Airlangga relinquished his royal mantle, bequeathing the throne to his two progeny. As the sands of time ebbed through the late 15th and 16th centuries, Surabaya evolved into a duchy, an entity of paramount political and naval significance. It burgeoned into a formidable port on the eastern fringes of Java, conceivably under the aegis of the illustrious Majapahit empire.

4. Linguistic Tapestry: Surabaya’s Etymological Mosaic

The nomenclature “Surabaya” is an intricate tapestry woven from the Javanese phrase “sura ing baya,” a linguistic symphony encapsulating the essence of courage in confronting peril. A linguistic alchemy transpires with the amalgamation of Sanskrit components, where “Surya,” the sun, dances in tandem with “bhaya,” fear. This etymological ballet alludes to a prophetic vision from the antiquarian corridors of Jayabaya, a 12th-century seer-king of the Kediri Kingdom. Envisaging a cosmic clash between a colossal white shark and an immense white crocodile, this prophecy unfolds in the very heart of Surabaya.

5. Kota Pahlawan: The Crucible of Heroism

Embedded in the city’s epithet, Surabaya is christened “Kota Pahlawan” or the city of heroes. This venerable title finds its roots in the crucible of the Battle of Surabaya, an epochal clash that reverberated with profound repercussions. It became the linchpin that galvanized fervent support, both domestically and internationally, for the cause of Indonesian independence during the tumultuous days of the Indonesian National Revolution. The resonance of heroism lingers in the very air of Surabaya, a living testament to the valor and sacrifices that shaped the city’s destiny.

6. Heroes’ Day Celebration in Surabaya

On the illustrious date of November 10, Indonesians unite in joyous commemoration on Heroes’ Day, a solemn occasion dedicated to honoring the valiant soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the Battle of Surabaya. This historic engagement unfolded following the retreat of Japanese forces in the aftermath of World War II. The Battle of Surabaya stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of Indonesian troops who valiantly repelled foreign invaders. Consequently, Surabaya earned its esteemed moniker, the City of Heroes, forever etching its place in the annals of valor and resilience.

7. Origins of the Battle of Surabaya

The roots of the Battle of Surabaya trace back to the aftermath of World War II when Indonesian soldiers found themselves locked in a fierce struggle against foreign intruders following the Japanese withdrawal. The consequential clash marked a pivotal moment in the nation’s history, shaping Surabaya’s identity as a city with a heroic past. The city’s streets and landmarks bear witness to the echoes of that tumultuous era, serving as a constant reminder of the sacrifice and courage displayed by its inhabitants during those testing times.

8. Cultural and Religious Fabric of Surabaya

Diversity graces the cultural landscape of Surabaya, where approximately 80% of its residents adhere to Sunni Islam. This religious tapestry intricately weaves into the city’s social fabric, influencing traditions, customs, and daily life. Mosques with elegant minarets punctuate the skyline, contributing to the city’s architectural allure. The harmonious coexistence of various cultural elements underscores the rich and multifaceted character of Surabaya, adding depth to its vibrant tapestry.

9. The Maritime Relic: Russian Submarine in Surabaya Port

Amidst the bustling port of Surabaya stands a silent sentinel of the Cold War era – a decommissioned Russian warfare submarine. This remarkable artifact, bestowed as a gift by the Soviet government, played a pivotal role in the ’60s operation to wrest control of West Papua from Dutch hands. Beyond its historical significance, the submarine is not a mere relic for display; for a nominal fee, visitors can step into its hallowed interior, exploring the labyrinthine and claustrophobic hallways that once housed brave submariners during clandestine missions.

10. Historical Intricacies of the Soviet Gift

The decommissioned Russian submarine, now a prominent fixture in Surabaya’s port, serves as a tangible reminder of the intricate geopolitical maneuvers of the past. A gift from the Soviet government, it symbolizes an era when global powers strategically aligned to influence regional dynamics. The submarine’s involvement in the operation to seize West Papua adds another layer of historical complexity, showcasing how artifacts can transcend their physical form to narrate compelling tales of political intrigue and power play on the world stage.

11. The Persebia Game and the Roar of ‘Bonek’

The Persebia football team stands as a colossus in the realm of Indonesian Premier League soccer, commanding not only skill and finesse on the field but also a legion of passionate fans known as ‘Bonek.’ This devoted fan club, with its undying allegiance, paints the stadium in vibrant hues of green, symbolizing the unwavering support for their beloved team.

Should you find yourself amidst the spectacle of a high-stakes match, set against the backdrop of a sunrise, the fashion cue is clear – drape yourself in the resplendence of a green dress, blending seamlessly with the fervor of the Bonek. However, be forewarned, for if you dare to tread into the realm of Persebia’s opponents, Bonek stands ready to unleash the full force of their spirited and, at times, offensive passion.

12. Surabaya: A Trading Hub Steeped in History

Embark on a journey through time, and you’ll find Surabaya, a city that has etched its presence on the canvas of commerce since the early 1900s. Nestled on the shores, it has burgeoned into one of Asia’s vital and bustling trading ports. Within its harbor, an orchestrated symphony of trade unfolds, with sugar, tobacco, and coffee taking center stage as the principal exports that traverse the seas. The ceaseless hustle and bustle of trade have become the heartbeat of Surabaya, echoing its significance on the global economic stage.

13. Surabaya: Kota Pahlawan – City of Indonesian Heroes

In the hearts of Indonesians, Surabaya is not merely a city; it is a reverent tribute to heroism – a ‘kota pahlawan.’ This title, translating to the city of heroes, is not bestowed lightly but is earned through the annals of Surabaya’s storied past. A rich tapestry of history, woven with threads of valor, tells the tale of Surabaya’s pivotal role in the struggle for Indonesia’s independence. The city becomes a living testament to the indomitable spirit that fueled the fight against invaders, proudly displaying the scars of a hard-fought battle for freedom.

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14. Arek-Arek Surabaya: Guardians of a Turbulent Past

Delve deeper into Surabaya’s history, and you encounter a turbulent chapter where the people of Surabaya, famously known as ‘arek-arek Surabaya,’ took center stage in a fierce battle. This clash of titans resulted in the sacrifice of many, birthing heroes whose names echo through the corridors of time. Their valor, etched into the city’s foundations, has elevated Surabaya to the status of the ‘city of heroes.’ In every street, every monument and every story told, the echoes of that struggle persist, reminding the world that Surabaya is not merely a city but a sanctuary of courage and resilience.

15. Surabaya Zoo: A Historical Marvel in Southeast Asia

Situated in the heart of Surabaya, Indonesia, the Surabaya Zoo stands tall as the largest zoo in Southeast Asia, boasting a rich history that dates back to its establishment on 31 August 1916. Originally known as Soerabaiasche Planten-en Dierentuin, translating to Botanical Gardens and Animals Surabaya, this monumental zoo is the brainchild of the passionate journalist, H.F.K. Kommer, whose fervor for collecting animals shaped the zoo’s inception. In its early days, the zoo garnered royal admiration, becoming the pride of Queen Wilhelmina. Over the years, it has evolved into an iconic landmark, symbolizing the cultural richness of Surabaya.

16. The Diverse Tapestry of Surabaya: Chinatown and Kampung Arab

The cityscape of Surabaya is a vibrant tapestry woven with distinct neighborhoods, each exuding its unique charm. Chinatown, affectionately known as Kya Kya, stands as a bustling enclave predominantly inhabited by the Chinese community. Along the lively streets of Kya Kya, numerous stalls entice passersby with a diverse array of Chinese delicacies, Surabaya’s local specialties, and an array of international cuisines. The term “kya-kya” originates from a Chinese dialect, signifying a stroll through this gastronomic haven.

In stark contrast, a short distance away lies the enchanting Kampung Arab, where the ambiance takes a delightful Middle Eastern twist. This locale has transformed into a sought-after tourist destination, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan, drawing visitors who seek to immerse themselves in the rich cultural experience it offers. Despite their proximity, these two neighborhoods coexist harmoniously, a testament to Surabaya’s commitment to embracing and celebrating cultural diversity.

17. The Harmonious Coexistence: A Testimony to Cultural Diversity

While Chinatown and Kampung Arab stand in stark contrast, Surabaya prides itself on fostering an environment where these diverse elements seamlessly coalesce. The city’s commitment to upholding cultural diversity allows both these neighborhoods to flourish side by side. It’s a testament to Surabaya’s ethos—creating a harmonious blend where traditions, cuisines, and lifestyles from different corners of the world converge and coexist, contributing to the city’s unique and multifaceted identity. In a world marked by differences, Surabaya stands as a shining example of unity in diversity.

18. Enchanting Greenery: Surabaya’s Lush Parks

Nestled in the heart of Indonesia, Surabaya stands out as the cleanest city in the country, adorned with an abundance of meticulously maintained parks that weave a lush tapestry throughout the urban landscape. These green sanctuaries offer a respite from the hustle and bustle, creating a serene atmosphere for both locals and visitors alike. The meticulous landscaping and diverse array of flora showcase the city’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty, making Surabaya a haven for nature enthusiasts.

19. Bratang Flower Market: A Visual Extravaganza

For a visual feast that transcends the ordinary, the Surabaya Bratang flower market emerges as a true spectacle for the eyes. Positioned amidst the rich tapestry of Indonesia’s diverse plant life, this market stands as a testament to the nation’s botanical splendor. The sheer variety of blooms on display invites visitors to embark on a sensory journey, capturing the vibrant colors and delicate fragrances that define Indonesia’s floral diversity. A camera becomes an indispensable companion as one navigates through this kaleidoscope of blossoms, immortalizing the captivating beauty that unfolds in every corner of the Bratang flower market.

20. Vigilance Amidst Splendor: Navigating Surabaya Safely

While Surabaya enchants with its natural wonders, a cautious undertone must accompany your exploration. The city reveals a dichotomy – its beauty juxtaposed against a high crime rate. Travelers are urged to exercise heightened vigilance, especially during nighttime strolls. Navigating the cityscape demands a delicate balance between soaking in the enchanting ambiance and safeguarding personal belongings. A prudent traveler remains attuned to their surroundings, allowing them to revel in Surabaya’s allure while mitigating potential risks.

21. Suramadu Bridge: A Nighttime Marvel Unveiled

A crowning jewel in Surabaya’s architectural repertoire, the Suramadu Bridge stretches majestically, connecting the islands of Java and Madura. As daylight fades, the bridge transforms into an illuminated masterpiece, casting a mesmerizing glow that reflects upon the surrounding waters. The panoramic view from the Suramadu Bridge at night is nothing short of breathtaking, with lights dancing across the landscape, creating a captivating interplay between man-made marvel and natural beauty. This colossal structure not only symbolizes connectivity but also serves as a beacon of Surabaya’s progress and grandeur.

22. Kota Pahlawan: Surabaya, Indonesia’s City of Heroes

Nestled in the heart of Indonesia, Surabaya holds the illustrious title of Kota Pahlawan, translated as the City of Heroes. This moniker isn’t just a whimsical label; it carries the weight of history. The city earned this epithet due to its pivotal role in the Surabaya War, a crucial conflict during the Indonesian National Revolution. This war garnered international support, becoming a beacon of resistance for those fighting for Indonesia’s independence. Each year, on November 10, Surabaya proudly observes Heroes Day, commemorating the sacrifices made during those tumultuous times. This day has transcended into a national holiday, a testament to the indomitable spirit of Surabaya. Fitness – Meditation – Diet – Weight Loss – Healthy Living – Yoga

23. Culinary Delights: Ruzak Singur, the Beef Nose Salad

Delve into Surabaya’s culinary landscape, and you’ll encounter an unexpected delicacy – Ruzak Singur, the renowned beef nose salad. The name might pique your curiosity, but locals swear by its unique flavors. This dish is a gastronomic adventure, featuring a generous serving of sauce combined with succulent pork, accompanied by expertly cooked and sliced beef nose. The interplay of textures and flavors in this local favorite showcases Surabaya’s culinary prowess, inviting visitors to explore the diverse and delightful world of Indonesian cuisine.

24. Dolly: The Enigmatic Tale of Surabaya’s Red-Light District

In the annals of Surabaya’s history, one cannot overlook the enigmatic district known as Dolly. Once a bustling Red-Light District spanning over five and a half meters, Dolly was a labyrinthine lane that transformed its daytime demeanor as the sun dipped below the horizon. This notorious district, with its stories of nocturnal activities, stood as a symbol of the city’s complex identity. However, in 2014, the curtains fell on Dolly, as authorities decided to close its doors, leaving behind echoes of a bygone era that continue to linger in Surabaya’s collective memory. Health books, guides, exercises, habits, Diets, and more

25. Battling Urban Challenges: Surabaya’s Struggle Against Air Pollution

The bustling metropolis of Surabaya grapples with the pervasive issue of air pollution, exacerbated, especially during peak traffic hours. Navigating the city’s vibrant streets during rush hour necessitates more than just an adventurous spirit; it mandates a practical accessory—a face mask. As the city breathes and pulsates with life, its large population contributes to a dense urban environment, creating challenges for air quality. Surabaya’s residents, resilient in their daily lives, adapt to this urban conundrum, making the face mask an essential companion for those traversing the cityscape. Business – Money Making – Marketing – Ecommerce

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