Jalan Wahid Hasyim 1971

Jalan Wahid Hasyim 1971

This road between Jalan Thamrin and Pasar Tanah Abang in Jakarta is officially part of the subdistrict Tanah Abang and has had many names over the years. Around 1800 it was called “Weg van Weltevreede naar Tanna Abang” (road from Weltevreden to Tanah Abang). It basically was the road that Justinus Vinck had built in 1735 to connect the newly constructed pasars of Tanah Abang and Senen. During the second half of the 19th century the name “Kampoeng Lima” started to appear on maps, a name that has existed until the construction of New Gondangdia during the 1910s. As soon as the Nieuwe Tamarindelaan (now Jalan Dr Sam Ratulangi, or Jalan Asam Baru) was opened, the Kampoeng Lima road was renamed into Oude Tamarindelaan (Old Tamarind road).

Jalan Asam Lama

Even after independence it was still known as Jalan Asam Lama (the Indonesian translation of Old Tamarind) until the second half of the 1950s when it was renamed into Djalan KH Wahid Hasjim (in 1972 after the spelling change it became Jalan KH Wahid Hasyim), named after the minister of religious affairs in a couple of Soekarno’s cabinets. He died tragically in a car accident in 1953, only 38 years old. His son Abdurrahman Wahid (or Gus Dur) became the later President of Indonesia. The street name Jalan KH Hasyim Ashari (formerly Gang Chaulan) is named after the father of KH Wahid Hasyim.

Queen Juliana state visit

It was Dutch photographer Joost Evers (of ANEFO) who -in Jakarta during the state visit of Queen Juliana in August 1971- left his hotel during a break, walked from Jalan Thamrin to Pasar Tanah Abang and took dozens of beautiful and razorsharp colour photos. These lovely pictures show peaceful scenes of a street that apparently looks like it could have been in a small town in Central Java. A striking contrast with the four lane noisy Jalan KH Wahid Hasyim of today. When staying in Hotel Kosenda on this street last year I got told by an old Jakarta man that this street is still known by its nickname Jalan Asam Lama.

source: National Archives, The Netherlands