Daily Archives: February 14, 2013

The mansion of a philanthropist

the mansion

the mansion

The mansion is located in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Nowadays the building was owned and inhabited by the descendants of the philanthropist. So who was the philanthropist?

Well, his name was Tjong A Fie, a Hakka businessman who was born in 1860 in Sung-kow Village, China. Still as a teenager, Tjong A Fie decided to follow his brother, Tjong Yong Hian, who had been living in Medan for several years. So in 1877, he landed in a place known as Kampoeng Laboean at that time. Nowadays, the place is known as Belawan and become one of the main sea-port of Sumatra.

Tjong A Fie then began to settle his life by building his business in there. Along with his success in business, he also known to have a good social relationship with people of all groups and races. He was very close to the Sultan of Deli as well as to common people lived in the area at that time. He mingled very well with the Malay, Chinese, Arab, India, and also with the Dutch. He even appointed as Liutenant de Chinezen by the Dutch Colonial Government to aid in solving social problems arose in the community, especially the Chinese Community. Later on, his duty made him moved to Medan.

In Medan, Tjong A Fie’s business grew rapidly, and he became a well respected person with a strong sense of leadership and fairness. His outstanding performance made him a higher rank government official. After only a relatively short time as a lieutenant in Medan, he was promoted to captain, and then to major. The title given to Tjong A Fie was not a military title, it was just a social rank given by the Dutch Colonial Government to the leader of a Chinese Community. Similar to military rank, the higher the rank the bigger the responsibility. Tjong A Fie was also appointed as an honorary officer of the Chinese Empire for the Far East due to his good reputation among the Chinese in the area.

tjong a fie

tjong a fie

Tjong A Fie started to build his mansion in 1895 in Kesawan. It needed 5 years to build it. The building blends Chinese architecture with Malay and European Art Deco style. It is a two storeys residential building on a 8,000 square meters land with 35 rooms in it. Nowadays, travelers can explore in most part of the mansion to see many kind of exhibits such as old furniture, photos of Tjong A Fie and his entire family members, ceramics, beautiful crystal lamps, and many others.

Tjong A Fie was one of the Chinese Indonesian tycoon at that time. It is said that he owned more than 75% of the land in Medan. His name was famous as a generous man who built many major buildings in Medan regardless of race, nationality or cultural beliefs, including Chinese temples, Hindhu temples, mosques, and churches.

He died in Medan on 4 February 1921. 4 month before his death, he wrote a will in the presence of a notary, which stated that his wealth should be managed by a foundation and to be used to provide financial help to young talented people who wish to continue their study, to disabled people who are no longer able to work, and also to victims of natural disasters regardless their race, nationality, and beliefs.

 

Ringkasan :

Gedung kuno yang megah ini terletak di kota Medan, Sumatera Utara; dan dikenal sebagai Tjong A Fie Mansion atau Rumah Tjong A Fie. Siapakah Tjong A Fie?

Tjong A Fie adalah seorang pengusaha kaya yang terlahir dari sebuah keluarga sederhana pada tahun 1860 di desa Sung-kow, China. Pada usia remaja, Tjong A Fie nekad meninggalkan kampung halamannya untuk menyusul kakaknya yang bernama Tjong Yong Hian, yang pada saat itu sudah bermukim di Medan. Tjong A Fie mendarat di Kampoeng Laboean, yang kini dikenal dengan nama Belawan, pada tahun 1877.

Usaha yang dirintisnya ternyata berkembang dengan pesat. Selain kesuksesannya dalam bisnis, Tjong A Fie juga dikenal memiliki reputasi yang sangat baik. Pergaulannya pun luas dan tidak memandang suku, bangsa, golongan, maupun agama. Di antara masyarakat keturunan China sendiri, Tjong A Fie juga disegani. Oleh karena itulah Pemerintah Kolonial Belanda mengangkatnya menjadi pemuka masyarakat China dengan pangkat Letnan.

Tugas-tugas dan juga perkembangan bisnisnya menyebabkan Tjong A Fie harus hijrah ke Medan. Ternyata di Medan bisnisnya semakin maju. Namanyapun semakin terkenal. Tjong A Fie dikenal sebagai orang yang adil, murah hati, dan juga memiliki jiwa kepemimpinan. Reputasinya ini menyebabkan pangkatnya meningkat dengan cepat, dan akhirnya dalam waktu yang relatif singkat Tjong A Fie telah menyandang pangkat Mayor China. Kepangkatan di sini bukanlah pangkat militer, melainkan hanya untuk menunjukkan hirarki kepemimpinan dalam masyarakat China di masa itu.

tjong a fie with his family members

tjong a fie with his family members

Pada tahun 1895, Tjong A Fie memilih sebidang tanah di daerah Kesawan seluas 8000 meter persegi, dan mendirikan sebuah rumah di situ. Rumah ini berupa bangunan bertingkat dua dengan 35 ruangan di dalamnya. Sekarang bangunan yang masih ditinggali oleh keturunan Tjong A Fie ini menjadi salah satu tujuan wisata di kota Medan. Pengunjung bisa masuk dan melihat-lihat isi rumah tersebut. Dari ke 35 ruangan yang ada di dalamnya, sebagian besar sudah pula dibuka untuk umum.

Tjong A Fie sangat terkenal di Medan. Banyak yang mengatakan bahwa 75% tanah di Medan adalah miliknya. Tjong A Fie juga dikenal akan kedermawanannya. Banyak bangunan dan fasilitas yang dibangunnya tanpa mempedulikan siapa yang dibantunya itu. Beberapa mesjid, kelenteng, kuil, gereja, bahkan juga Istana Sultan, pembangunannya dibiayai oleh Tjong A Fie.

Tjong A Fie meninggal pada tanggal 4 Februari 1921 di Medan. 4 bulan sebelum meninggal, Tjong A Fie sempat menuliskan wasiat dengan disaksikan oleh notaris, dan isi wasiat tersebut menyatakan bahwa kekayaannya dikelola oleh sebuah Yayasan yang dibentuknya, dan kekayaannya itu dipergunakan antara lain untuk membantu orang-orang berbakat yang butuh biaya untuk melanjutkan pendidikannya, membantu keuangan orang cacat yang tidak bisa lagi bekerja, dan membantu korban bencana alam, tanpa melihat suku, kebangsaan, maupun agamanya.

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