Home Central Java Grobogan
Purwodadi Grobogan is a town located in the south east of Semarang, the capital of Central Java, Indonesia. It is the capital of kabupaten/district of Grobogan. Purwodadi is famous for its frog leg food known as Swikee. It is also well known for delicate soya bean source.
Created on 4 March 1726, the Grobogan regency has an area of 1.975,86 km▓, (other source mentioned 1.875,85 km▓) the second largest regency in the Central Java Province, and has a population of 1,359,191 (2004). Grobogan is divided into nineteen sub-regencies (Kecamatan Brati, Gabus, Geyer, Godong, Grobogan, Gubug, Karangrayung, Kedungjati, Klambu, Kradenan, Ngaringan, Penawangan, Pulokulon, Purwodadi, Tanggungharjo, Tawangharjo, Tegowanu, Toroh , Wirosari) with a total of 280 villages. The northern border of Grobogan are the Demak, Pati and Kudus regencies, to the east is Blora regency, to the south is Ngawi (East Java Province), Sragen and Boyolali regencies and to the west Semarang regency.
Grobogan is a flat valley lying between two mountains, Pegunungan Kendeng to the south and Pegunungan Kapur Utara to the north. Although the town is known to be very hot during the dry season, Grobogan is one of the main rice producers in Central Java, which mainly supported by several man-made dams, such as Bendungan Klambu, Bendungan Sedadi and Bendungan Kedung Ombo. The construction of Bendungan Kedung Ombo was a source of national debate due to the social cost of this gigantesque project supported be the World Bank. The two main rivers are Kali Lusi (or Pilang) and Kali Serang. During the rainy seasons, the two rivers cause floods which often destroys the harvests.
Similar to other regencies in Java, Islam is the dominant religion, with significant presence of Christianity - both Protestant and Catholic, Hindu, and Buddhism. In some places, one can still find traditional beliefs, Aliran kepercayaan and Kejawen. There are two Catholic Parishes, Paroki Purwodadi and Paroki Gubug, which are administered by Semarang Dioces (Keuskupan Agung Semarang).
Most of the schools are public schools. The private educations mainly are provided by the Madrassah, Muhammadiyah, both are Muslim, as well as by Protestant instution and The Union of Teachers of the Republic of Indonesia (PGRI - Persatuan Guru Republic Indonesia). There is almost no higher learning insitution in Purwodadi. The senior high school participation is still low (21,19 % in 2004) in 58,13 for the junior high school participation.
Agriculture and public sectors are the main providers of labor market. There is no significant industry, while the mining sectors remain insignificant for the economy of the regions. Many male young people work as seasonal workers in bigger cities like Semarang and Jakarta as construction workers, tricycle drivers (tukang becak) and other unskilled occupations. While for their female counter parts, they work in manufacture industries. In the recent years, the numbers of female migrant workers have increase significantly with the main destination in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Gulf Countries. There is a possibility of brain drain in Purwodadi, since those who are highly educated tend to find a better and more promising career outside the region or abroad.
The per capita income in 2004 is Rp 611.968,49 (around 70 US$). Formerly known as the one of the poorest regencies in Central Java, Grobogan now is the 18 in the economic scale, out of 35 regencies. However, 34,05 % of its population in 2004 lived in the poverty line.
Art and Culture
Located between Surakarta (Solo City and Demak), Purwodadi Grobogan has a strong influence of both the more direct Islam Culture from the Sultane of Demak and more subtle culture of Kingdom of Surakarta (Kasunanan Surakarta). This has been reflected in its traditional arts and performances, such as Shadow Puppet (Wayang Kulit), Javanese Theatre (Kethoprak). Although they almost disappear from from the local society, those two forms of permormances can still be easily found in different parts of Central Java.
Other forms of cultural performances are almost wiped out from the live of Groboganese, such as Angguk, Kentrung, Ledhek/Tayup, Barongan and Reyog.
Regarding the food, the regency is famous for its Swikee or Sweekee, a soup of frog legs. In fact, Swikee is a Chinese term for the soup, perhaps introduced by the Chinese community in the region. Normally the soup is well accompanied by dark and sweet Soya sauce (Kecap Manis), which is also the specially of the town. However, the dish is more known by those who live in the city center rather than in villages. The frogs can be found easily during the wet seasons, among the rice fields or in the bank of Lusi river. The poor villagers will tend to sell the frogs in the market. They are rather happy to consume the fresh water crabs (called Yuyu in Javanese which is smaller in size than their cousin from the sea) and fresh water snail (Keong/Besusul). The soup of water crabs (Jangan Yuyu) is normally prepared during the rainy season before the rice harvests. This soup is very rich in taste and has very high protein content. However, this delicacy can not be found in any restaurant but easily found in farmers household. The soup of snail (Jangan Keong) is also another delicacy that can not be found in any restaurant in Indonesia, nevertheless, the similar dish can be found in Lisbon, Portugal. The snails are also prepared as brochette/satay (Sate Keong).
Access and Transportation
There are many possibilities to visit Purwordadi, either by bus or train. By bus, Purwodadi Bus Terminal (Terminal Simpang Lima) has direct lines to Semarang, Jakarta (Pulogadung), Solo (Tirtonadi), Kudus, Demak, Blora, Pati and Surabaya. The train station in the city center was closed in the early eighties, and the main train station now is Gundih, situated around 25 kms from the City center. The closest airports are A Yani Airport in Semarang (+/- 60 kms west of Purwodadi), and Adi Sumarmo International Airport in Solo City (south of Purwodadi).