Revealing a Benefactor story at Tjong A Fie Mansion

Sumatra Money Museum and Tjong A Fie’s House are only three blocks away and pass a large intersection which separates Pemuda Street where the museum is located and Jenderal Ahmad Yani Street where the house is located.

Security: “Hey, brother. Why do you capture photos of this building?”, his left hand is on his waist, his right hand hold a T-stick.

Me: “Oh, that’s sir….The building is nice, really classic“, bent down as a sorry.

Security: “Oh yeah, that’s great … I didn’t realize it“. Saying while standing on my right side led to the same building.

Me: “Sure, Sir….You who has worked here for a long time, just realized that” while holding a laugh in my chest.

I thought he will take my camera and erased the picture in it…. Apparently no, hahaha.

—-****—-

That house gate is so small and I had a little bit passed it. I turned and slowly walked toward it.

My bad habit: silence for a long time in the courtyard and even didn’t blink.

Young staffs who on duty at ticket desk were watching me from terrace. They were glad to get a guest. Some time later, I realized that they were waiting me.

Staff: “Sir, you can keep your backpack here. The house is spacious, you will be tired“.

Me: “Thank you honey Ms, I put it here….Is it safe?”.

Staff: “I’ll take care, Sir….You don’t need to worry”.

Me: “Take care of my heart too….Thanks Ms”.

OK….Let’s start to entering Tjong A Fie Mansion.

A multicultural figure from Guangdong.

Do you know about Tjong A Fie?….He is a Chinese descent resident who in his life became a rich trader and became an important figure in Medan because of his generosity in building Medan city in his era. He worked hand in hand with Sultan Makmun Al Rasyid Perkasa Alamsyah to develop city economy. At that time, Deli was famous worldwide with its high-quality tobacco, and even Deli was dubbed as Dollar Landsh (Dollar Land).

The beauty of his 120-year-old house is truly eye-catching. Has four guest rooms with different concepts to receive guests from different communities.

The yellow dominant living room is for receiving guests from Deli Sultanate as Malay community.
Chinese descent guests are welcome here.
This room is to receive guests from Dutch government.

I was fortunate to meet two visitors from Aceh who used a tour guide services. Seeing me when visiting it alone, Mr. Syaiful smiled and waved to me and then invited me to join with them. “Come on, brother, come here!“, he lightly said. How lucky is my fate.

Tjong A Fie was so rich, many of his home furnishings were imported from Europe such as safes, ceramic decorations or ovens in his kitchen.

The dining table was ever used to entertain Deli Sultanate family in Chinese New Year celebration.

Next exploration showed photos of the entire Tjong A Fie family, which consist from 21 family members. The photo was taken during his 60th birthday celebration in early 20th century.

A bed made from classic carving woods with white mosquito nets.

An orange kitchen wall with three wood-burning stoves next to a separate room with two flour stone-grinders and one rolling pin with similar material.

A hall which contains a row of family history photos.

In other side, I found a Tjong A Fie family tree, some photos of important buildings in the city which were built with his funds (such as Gang Bengkok Old Mosque, Sipirok Old Mosque and even Al Mashun Grand Mosque in downtown), as well as a photo of Kesawan Bank Commissioner which was founded by Tjong A Fie.

A high windows with a dominant number make the house so spacious.

Tour guide said that during President Soeharto era, the state acquired Tjong A Fie’s plantation and merged into state’s plantation ownership i.e PT. Perkebunan Nusantara (PTPN).

End of my visitation in Tjong A Fie Mansion. His house gate is seen from 2nd floor.

See the Tjong A Fie Mansion situation here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYmGn_g4FW4

Menguak Kisah Sang Dermawan di Tjong A Fie Mansion

Museum Uang Sumatera dan Rumah Tjong A Fie hanya berjarak tiga blok dan melewati satu perempatan besar yang memisahkan Jalan Pemuda dimana museum terletak dan Jalan Jend. Ahmad Yani dimana rumah itu berada.

Security: “Hei, Bang. Foto-foto apa, Kau?”, tangan kiri parkir di pinggang, tangan kanan mengepal tongkat-T.

Aku: “Oh, itu pak….Gedungnya bagus, klasik banget”, sedikit membungkuk  menanda maaf.

Security: “Oh iya, bagus ya….Ga nyadar saya”. Berucap sambil berdiri disisi kananku mengarah ke bangunan yang sama.

Aku: “Tuh kan, pak….Bapak sudah lama kerja disini aja baru nyadar”, sambil menahan bahak di dada.

Kirain mau merampas gambarku lalu menghapusnya….Ternyata, Hahaha!

—-****—-

Gerbang rumah itu begitu kecil dan sempat sedikit terlewat olehku. Berbalik badan lalu berjalan pelan mendekatinya.

Kebiasaan buruk: terdiam lama sekali di pelataran bahkan sepertinya tak berkedip.

Para staff muda penjaga meja tiket terus memperhatikanku dari teras. Senang mereka mendapatkan tamu kembali. Beberapa waktu kemudian aku sadar sedang dinanti mereka.

Staff: “Bang, tas ranselnya boleh kok dititip di sini. Rumahnya luas loh, nanti Abang capek”.

Aku: “Terimakasih Dinda Non, Saya taruh disini….Aman kan ya?”.

Staff: “Saya yang jaga, Bang….Ga perlu khawatir”.

Aku: “Jaga juga dong hatiku….Thanks ya Non”.

OK….Mari mulai memasuki Tjong A Fie Mansion.

Tokoh multikultural asal Guangdong

Tahu Tjong A Fie?….Beliau adalah warga Medan keturunan Tionghoa yang dalam perjalanan hidupnya menjadi seorang saudagar kaya raya dan menjadi tokoh penting di Medan karena kedermawanannya dalam membangun kota Medan pada masanya. Dia bahu membahu bersama Sultan Makmun Al Rasyid Perkasa Alamsyah membangun perekonomian. Kala itu Deli mendunia dan terkenal akan tembakaunya yang berkualitas tinggi bahkan Deli dijuluki sebagai Dollar Landsh atau Tanah Dolar.

Keelokan kediaman berusia 120 tahun miliknya sungguh memikat mata. Memiliki empat ruang tamu dengan konsep berbeda dan untuk menerima tamu dari kalangan berbeda pula.

Ruang tamu dominan kuning untuk menerima tamu dari Kesultanan Deli yang asli Melayu.
Tamu keturunan Tionghoa diterima disini.
Nah ini untuk menerima tamu dari pemerintah Belanda.

Aku beruntung bertemu dengan dua pengunjung dari Aceh yang menggunakan jasa tour guide. Melihatku berkunjung sendirian, Pak Syaiful tersenyum sembari melambaikan tangan lalu mengajakku untuk bergabung.  “Ayolah dik, ikut sini biar ramai”, ujarnya ringan. Beruntung sekali nasibku ini.

Saking kayanya, banyak perabot rumah tangga miliknya yang diimpor dari Eropa seperti lemari besi, hiasan keramik atau oven yang berada di dapurnya.

Meja makan yang pernah digunakan untuk menjamu keluarga Sultan Deli dalam perayaan tahun baru China (Imlek).

Eksplorasi berikutnya mempertontonkan foto keseluruhan keluarga Tjong A Fie yang terhitung berjumlah 21 anggota keluarga. Foto itu tampak diambil pada saat perayaan ulang tahunnya yang ke-60 di awal abad-20.

Tempat tidur berbahan kayu ukir klasik dengan kelambu putih.

Dinding dapur berwarna oranye dengan tiga lubang tungku berbahan bakar kayu bersebelahan dengan ruang terpisah dengan dua buah penggiling tepung berbahan batu dan satu buah rolling pin dengan bahan yang sama.

Aula berisi deretan foto perjalanan keluarga.

Disisi lain, aku menemukan family tree keluarga Tjong A Fie, beberapa foto bangunan penting kota yang dibangun atas bantuan dana darinya (seperti Masjid lama Gang Bengkok, Masjid lama di Sipirok bahkan Masjid Raya Al Mashun), juga foto komisaris Bank Kesawan yang didirikan oleh Tjong A Fie.

Jendela yang tinggi dengan jumlah dominan menjadikan rumah begitu luas.

Tour guide bertutur bahwa pada masa orde baru, negara mengakuisisi perkebunan Tjong A Fie dan dileburkan ke dalam kepemilikan PT. Perkebunan Nusantara (PTPN).

Akhir petualangan di Tjong A Fie Mansion. Gerbang rumahnya dilihat dari lantai 2.