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Pabean Market : the mix cultures blended in one





Inside of Pabean Fish Market, Photo by Hadi

I knew this spot when my pals took me a stroll in the north area of Surabaya, as you know North Surabaya was the place where the history of Surabaya city started. The Old Town Area.

Surabaya as a hero city, has so many historical places and monuments as a silent witness of its heroic moment at that time. Why Surabaya called as Hero city..? Will write it on another post. Moreover, market is part of history that keeps the story itself. 

Pabean market is one of the biggest traditional markets in Surabaya, even it’s the biggest in south east Asia, people said. No one know the exact year when was this market built, some people said that this market already been there since 1918 and some people said it was built in 1928. But there is an old postcard published by H.V.Ingen noted in 1899, sold in e-bay, as USD 3 that showed the beauty of Pasar Pabean (Pabean Market) at that time.
Fish Trading, Photo By Hadi
You can find this spot by walking down through the Kembang Jepun Street, it was China town area called Kya kya, and then you can turn left to Jalan Panggung, to see the back side of Pabean Market. Here you can find much kind of fresh fishes and dried salted fishes. The fish market start at noon till early morning, and on the east part of this area you can see the main building of Pabean market. They sell spices, seasoning, vegetables and foodstuff.
Actually it is only traditional market, maybe same as yours in your city or country, but let me tell you the unique one of this market. Lay in 9.622 m2 in the center of business center of Surabaya, and has 1500 stand inside the building. The east part of this market open since early morning till noon, and the west part which is selling fresh fish – dried fish start at noon till early morning, Just like shift market right..
Fresh Fish Pabean market, Photo by Hadi
It was the central point of people to interact each other in past era, where the mix cultures blended in one. Pabean market lay beside the Kalimas River, where the trader from outside Surabaya came from this river through the Kalimas Port. In this area, we can see some ethnicity live together, respect each other, live peacefully. They are Javanese tribe, Maduresse tribe, Chinese, India and Arabic people.
In front of Pabean Market known as China Town, called Kya-kya Kembang Jepun, and the backside of this market is Arabic Square, and there is a tomb of Sunan Ampel, one of nine saint who spread Islam in Java Island, inside the Arabic Square. Those ethnicity shows us that they can live together peacefully even came from different cultures. They meet each other in this market everyday, keeping their cultures.
Fish Seller, Photo by Hadi
When you visit this place on Friday, you will see they stop their activities for a while at noon for Friday pray, even you can see the mosque inside the other market, they close some part of the road to perform Friday pray (in Slompretan Market ), people will understand and will not pass the road, waiting until the praying done.
On the other day you can see Chinese ethnic perform their pray on the temple near the market. They burn incense, make the special fragrance of the day, light the candle and that’s a beautiful moment you can enjoy it. Only in Pabean Market .. Only in Surabaya!

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