Love in Bogor Botanical Garden

Love , is always given a special place in human being hearts. It is  weird actually . It is soft but it can conquer the strongest fort in the world. It's invisible but at the same time it appears everywhere. Often people try to deny its existence but at the same time admit that they can not live without it. People may say that it's not a big deal but they will try to search for it everywhere all the time. The history of human being recorded about this in special chapter with an undeniable evidence about how people worship the love in their life. One of the evidence about love can be seen in Bogor Botanical Garden.

The evidence of love (at least this is my opinion/theory) in Bogor Botanical Garden can be found around 50 M from the entry gate of the Garden . It is in the form of a memorial monument established to remember about his first wife, Olivia Mariamme Devenish that later known as Lady Raffles , after she was married to Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles , the Liutenant Governor of Java in 1805. The monument was erected to remember her after she died in 1814 due to Malaria in Jakarta. It was not the tomb of her because she was buried in a European Cemetery in Jakarta.

It was always causing a question until now raising from my mind everytime I saw the monument. The question is why Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles built this monument in Bogor. Why didn't he build it in Jakarta near to her tomb and more people could see it? Jakarta was already the center of everything in Indonesia even in 19th century. Unfortunately there was not enough literature mentioning about his reason , not even in this internet age. I browsed lots of sites related to Botanical Garden and Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles but still could not find anything that explained about his actual reason. 

Finally , I made up my own theory that was logical for me. Perhaps , the reason for this monument was very simple. It was because a love of him for his 1st wife. He might have spent many things together with Lady Raffles here in this city , in the now called Bogor Botanical Garden. Both might have very happy moment during their time here. The precious and unforgettable moments that could not be discarded from his mind after the lost of her. So he decided to let the people know and remember about how deep was his love for her and how painful it was for him to lose her.

Yes , I know Sir Raffles was a powerful and strong man but he was not loveproof. Especially that Olivia Mariamne Devenish was not only his wife but also his partner to end the slavery in Java. The Lady Raffles was also recorded to be involved in the activity to encourage social reforms in Javanese society. To lose his loved one and a partner at the same time must have crucified Sir Raffles.

However it is only my theory about why there is a memorial monument for Lady Raffles in Bogor Botanical Garden. You may have a different theory but I prefer to enjoy my theory. I always imagine that there were Sir and Lady Raffles walking down along the river or sit under the trees , chatting each other, laughing each other. It is the kind of thing that many falling in love couples who visit Bogor Botanical Garden do. 

Perhaps , even if I finally find the reason of why Sir Raffles built the monument here, I may keep it only as my reference. I prefer to keep remembering about the love they both shared each other here , in the Garden.


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About Anton Ardyanto

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