Sunday, April 20, 2014


Bull race or Karapan sapi in Indonesia is a special performance wellknown here in Madura island, a small island in the North of Surabaya, east Java province.  A pair of two cows compete by carry a light cart of bamboo painted in red and white, for a jockey to stand and command the cows. The competition some time reach for 20 - 30 participants.

The racing time starting at 9 am and last in a very short time, just 15 minutes for 100 meter lenght. While the racing going on the local music instruments, "Saronen", Madura gamelan was playing to cheer up the situation..
The competition held regularly twice a year, September and Oktober in 3 towns, Bangkalan, Sampang and Sumenep and the winners will be crowned at the closing ceremony sometime in October after final round.

Bull racing was an old local tradition/cultures, since 13th century, introduced by Prince Patandur of Sapudi island, Sumenep district, refered to traditional cow ridden plow by farmers.
At that time only a "whips" using to encourage the cows for running faster. But recently they used other ways, by applying heating balm to the anus and eyes, beating by nails stick to the bodies. These last two had got complaint by local ulemas to to banned this tortures ways. The local authorities didn't respons so far.

The racing performances was a very interesting to see by Madurese, and become Madura Icon, shown by a number of people flocking to such event. Recently few foreigners, tourists came to see, since Madura island now easly accessible by the cars cross the new long bridge between Java island and Madura island.

The new bridge called Suramadu bridge was 5,4 kilometers long, a longest bridge in Indonesia, just opened on June 10, 2009 connecting Surabaya city in east Java and Bangkalan town in Madurta island cross Madura strait. Four wheel cars fares set initially Rp.30.000,- or $ 3.00

Since then, Madura open for outsiders, welcome for locals or foreigners drive over the longest bridge, to see directly Madura island, the isolated island for so long, the island of religious people, the producers of salt and bull race performances.
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