The Charm of Gertak Lama: Penanjung Bridge

Penanjung Bridge shortcuts the Sekadau River, connecting it to the upstream area of Sintang regency and the downstream area of Sanggau regency. Illustration: Tribun Pontianak.

Penanjung Bridge. Truly magnificent. Guarded by hanging towers. Throughout the day, it is crossed by people, one after another. Recalling the cherished memories of the past struggles...

It feels like Penanjung Bridge shortcuts the Sekadau River, connecting it to the upstream area of Sintang regency and the downstream area of Sanggau regency, depending on us to make it famous.

Similar to the Red Bridge, the rhythmic keroncong tunes created by Gesang in 1943. From the poetic and philosophical lyrics, it is known that the Red Bridge tells the story of a fighter who parted with his beloved fighting for Indonesia's independence in Surabaya.

Perhaps not as red as the original, but the Red Bridge remains eternal through the ages. As the 17th approaches, its echoes never fail. Evergreen throughout time. The red bridge is undeniably famous because of its song. Besides the Ancol Bridge, which is also famous due to the soap opera "Si Manis Jembatan Ancol." Surely still fresh in our memories, played by the beautiful and charming actress, Indah Permatasari.

Penanjung Bridge can be as famous and timeless

Penanjung Bridge can be as famous and timeless. As long as it is created from the depth of the deepest heart. Transferring the nuances of the soul and the depth of the hearts of Sekadau residents who may long for the current era's "beloved" which is something aspired. If in the past, it was independence, what is the nation's aspiration now? Disregard the philosophers, song arrangements, and poets are searching for it!

Regardless of the dream of creating the song "Penanjung Bridge," let's explore here. During visits to Sekadau, I always direct my eyes to a small part downstream of the new and modern Penanjung Bridge currently traversed by various types of vehicles. Side by side with the old bridge.

However, the old bridge has its charm. According to the stories of the elderly, the bridge locally known as "gertak" was built before independence. Built by the Dutch East Indies company in 1938.

At the same time, according to the stories of the elderly in Tapang Sambas, the Dutch East Indies company also built the Sekadau-Sintang trans-route. "In the old days, clay and red soil were piled around to fill the road. So there is a 'red soil' location here," the elders said.

The appearance of Gertak Penanjung, the old bridge during the Dutch East Indies era.

Then when the Japanese came, around 1943, Gertak Penanjung was bombed. However, it was later restored. In the old days, it was called "gertak gantung" (suspension bridge) because of its hanging position, not using legs cast with cement and steel frames.

Named "Penanjung Bridge" because this gertak is located in the Penanjung hamlet, Mungguk Village, Sekadau Hilir Subdistrict, Sekadau Regency, West Kalimantan. The bridge is 90 meters long and 2.5 meters wide.

Pedestrians and two-wheeled vehicle users can be seen crossing this bridge. Apparently, four-wheeled vehicles are not allowed to pass because the bridge's condition is no longer able to bear the excessively heavy load due to its aging. But precisely because of that, Penanjung Bridge has its charm.

When dusk envelops the city of Sekadau. And the sun reflects its golden rays from the west, it is truly enjoyable to enjoy the sunset here. We will descend under the bridge, from Penanjung Island, where there are many cafes, restaurants, and inns. Just walk to this bridge.

Sitting by the Sekadau River

Sitting by the Sekadau River, which endlessly flows water from the crevices of rocks and mountains in the upstream, it's like paradise on earth! While enjoying the natural sunset atmosphere. The natural music of the chirping sounds of swallows returning to their nests towering into the sky on the banks of the Sekadau River.

There are many points of natural tourist attractions in Sekadau worth visiting. Whether it's beautiful or not, often depends on the mood and inner peace of our souls. Why? Because beauty is a combination of the real and the abstract. Not only in the senses but also in the soul and the state of the heart.

For example, Penanjung Bridge. It becomes a charm when you come here, the hearts and souls of the wanderers are in a joyful mood. The beauty will be absorbed by a soul sensitive to love.

Human head sacrifices: myth or fact?

Before starting the story, let's follow the usual opening words to begin a tale from the past. "Lost story, emerged tale. If I'm lying, my ancestors are lying too," as commonly spoken by our elders when telling this story.

Widespread is the news, bird talk during the construction of Penanjung Bridge. Stories from the elders about how, during its construction, the bridge demanded sacrifices, namely human and buffalo heads.

Those heads served as an offering, a sacrifice for the bridge. Besides making it strong, it was also to appease the spirits of the upper world.

According to the elders' stories, if not given a sacrifice, Penanjung Bridge would not be able to exist. So during the construction of Penanjung Bridge, there was a strong rumor about "Keruit." That is the headhunters searching for human and buffalo heads as sacrifices for the construction of Penanjung Bridge. This widespread rumor made children and women very afraid to leave their homes. Even going to the fields and rubber tapping was something they dared not do.

The heads from Keruit as the story goes

"The heads from Keruit, as the story goes, were cemented on the left and right ends of the bridge. When I was a child, riding a bike with my father, it was both frightening and exciting to pass Penanjung Bridge. The hair stood on end, so I pedaled the bike faster there," Musa Narang recounted the events of the past.

Whether sacrifices of heads for Penanjung Bridge are true or not, it's up to the reader to believe or not. However, at least that is the tale of our bridge's ordeal in the past during its construction.

Therefore, besides its beauty, history, and the story behind Penanjung Bridge itself are attractions. Besides being mixed with its magical elements.

(Rangkaya Bada)

Next Post Previous Post
No Comment
Add Comment
comment url