KRI Dewaruci, a sail training ship of Indonesian Navy with very Indian mythological motifs, left the port here on Tuesday for Salalah in Oman after a three-day goodwill visit.
The vessel, on its 37th voyage — Kartika Jala Krida 2010— lasting about nine months, will call at over 30 ports in 21 countries, mostly European, where it will partake in tall ship races. Its chief mission, however, is to impart training to Indonesian Naval Academy cadets in navigation, meteorology, keeping watch and survival at sea.
Having set sail for the current voyage with a crew of 81, including 16 officers, besides 68 cadets during the second week of March from its homeport at Surabaya, the ship docked at Sabang in Western Indonesia before calling at Kochi on Saturday. During the visit, Colonel I Putu Arya Angga S, Indonesia’s Defence Attache in India, along with Lieutenant Colonel S.H. Suharto, Commanding Officer of the ship, called on Rear Admiral S.S. Jamwal, Chief of Staff of the Southern Naval Command.
Post-sunset on Monday, at a reception accorded to Indian Navy personnel and a select group of media persons aboard the Dewaruci (seemingly an adaptation of the Sanskrit Devarshi, Guru of the Gods)—named after the God of honesty and bravery — the sailors of the ship showcased a slice of Indonesian culture. The vessel, as the cultural ambassador of Indonesia, has its masts christened after the great Pandavas of the Mahabharata: ‘Yudhistira’, ‘Bima’ and ‘Arjuna’, indicative of the influence Indian legends and myths have had in shaping Java’s philosophy.
Dewaruci was built in 1952 and commissioned the very next year. On Monday, the grand dame’s sailors doubled up as artistes presenting Rantak dance, a traditional martial art-based dance from West Sumatra; War dance, about the story of a warrior from Papua; Badinding dance, which is a show of hospitality; and Rampak Gendang, a traditional percussion ensemble. What stole the show, however, was the most wonderful and bewitching Seni Reog Ponorogo, an East Javanese ethnic dance akin to north-Kerala’s Theyyam. It depicts a mythological, headgear-wearing-beast-in-trance casting off the evil forces in combat.
After the cultural show, Rear Admiral Jamwal congratulated the Indonesian sailors and recalled the historical association India had had with Indonesia.
“During the current voyage, Dewaruci will partake in the historical seas tall ships regatta in Turkey and Greece, the tall ships race 2010 in Aalborg in Denmark, the sail festival Amsterdam in Netherlands, the sail festival Bremenhaven in Germany and the ‘festival internationale Mediterraneo e Velieri in Italy. Besides India, it will visit countries like Oman, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, Tunisia, Nigeria, Spain, France, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Cyprus, and Sri Lanka,” said Lt Col Suharto.
Talking to The Hindu on ‘Ind-Indo Corpat’, Col Angga termed the coordinated patrol carried out by the Indian and Indonesian Navies along the International Maritime Boundary Line a grand success.