Jumping from the bridge to the river as shown on the picture was one of my favorite actions during my childhood . Athough we , my friends and I were actually prohibited by our parents to do so , we always did it. We , all felt like a group of heroes on the movies.

The river name is Cipakancilan. "Ci" is the shortened "Cai" , the Sundanese word for "water" or "river". Therefore, the correct title of this post should be "Pakancilan River". However as the original post in Indonesian was already titled with Cipakancilan , I prefer to keep the original title for this English version. The river name could be found in many old manuscripts related to the Pakuan Kingdom , a kingdom that was located in Bogor around 11th Century. It was streaming in the middle of now Bogor City.

It was one of my playground when I was a kid. Besides jumping from the bridge , we used to swim following the stream of the river. Sometimes we swum 2-3 Kilometers from the bridge to another place using inner tubes of car tires . Many times we stopped to pick some of "small bamboos" to be made "bebeletokan" , a toy gun with paper as its bullets. In many other times , we tried to look for either green frogs or fishes that were many in the rice field along the river.

The Pakancilan River now has changed a lot. It looks narrower and also shallower than it was used to be. There were not too many buildings on its sides , only bamboos and many trees but now the bamboos almost totally disappear and are replaced by houses. It seems the rapidly increased numbers of people living in Bogor has been responsible for this.

Cipakancilan is also much dirtier than before . There are many piles of garbage in the middle of the stream. It was already dirty in my time but this time it looks worse. Too bad it seems the growth of my town has taken another victim. I am not saying that the river water was clean as crystal during my childhood , it was already quite dirty . However, the current look of it is astonishing and makes me a bit sad to find my once playground in such condition. It is no wonder that water are often flooding many houses when the heavy rain falls. It is inevitable seeing the narrow and shallow stream will not be enough to receive additional huge volume of water.

The river has been a source of life for many Bogor people in the past and until now even in such condition, it still provides the same. Some "karamba"s still can be seen on the side of the water. Karamba is a cage made from bamboo for fishes. At least a half of its body will be buried into the water and the top of the cage will float on the surface of the stream. People near the river usually grow "Mujair" fishes (Indonesia inland fish) in karambas as it is quite adoptive and can endure the dirty water on the river.

Taking a walk along the river besides bringing me a fond memory of my childhood is also causing me to hope . It is a hope that someday , somehow Bogor people will realize about the importance of this river to all of us. That someday, they will stop throwing anything to the stream, to treat this river as our friend than only thrash bins. Probably if we treat Cipakancilan better , it will stop getting angry with us. I really hope that someday , perhaps it can be again a playground for our kids. I really wish...

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About Anton Ardyanto

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  1. A place full of memories, I see. :)
    You had a fun and memorable childhood. Thanks for sharing that along with this place's story.

  2. Thank u for coming...yes I had lots of fun there...how about u

  3. Thank you for sharing this. I relate with your view, because I believe that so many beautiful places are dealing with more development and not enough efforts to regreen every time. We can! Please let's talk more about this. You may find my blog on the issue interesting:

    EbA – How do restoration efforts and conservation efforts help reduce the impact of climate change?


    Cheers, Maria

  4. Thanks Maria ... the problem with Indonesia, there is no restoration effort by a formal body ie government. Luckily , recently many NGOs and more people have been trying to do something to minimize the damage and to restore.. It seems it will take longer time in my country to develop the awareness .. sigh...