Netizen Journalist

Si Pitung, the Legendary Betawi Hero

Holiday Ayo - The name Si Pitung for the Betawi people is already familiar. His figure is known as a martial arts expert, a master robber, and some even consider him a national hero.

Regardless of how people know him, the history of Si Pitung is quite legendary because his figure had an important influence, especially during the Dutch rule in Batavia. Some say Si Pitung, a child from the outskirts of Batavia, is a gang of bandits. But there is also another story that says Si Pitung is a hero because he always helps the oppressed.

So who exactly is the legendary figure of Si Pitung?

According to the Dutch historian Margreet van Till in In Search of Si Pitung: The History of Indonesian Legend, the story and the figure of Si Pitung are true and not mere myths.

Citing the Historia page, Si Pitung whose real name is Ahmad Nitikusumah is the son of Pinah and Piung from Rawa Belong Village, Jakarta, with a brave character.

Back in the 19th century, Rawa Belong was called ommelanden which means the outskirts of Batavia. At that time, this area was known to be densely populated.

Si Pitung grew up with an educational background in a Hadji Naipin Islamic boarding school so that he is able to recite the Koran and has a good personality. It is said that Si Pitung began to commit robbery in 1892-1893. But it was done with a reason. The trigger was a robbery incident when attacking his family.

At first Si Pitung always helped his father sell goats. Until one day there was a group of Dutch and Chinese bandits who robbed money from selling their father's goats.

Annoyed and hurt by the actions of the bandits, Pitung learns self-defense to fight the bandits until he finally finds him. Due to this incident, Pitung began to know a lot about bandits. However, people's views of him have changed as if Si Pitung is a bandit.

In fact, Si Pitung's intention to master martial arts to become a village hero is not merely a person who wants to be feared. Instead, he wanted to be able to fight the bandits who were also Dutch landlords who often oppressed the poor and weak with arbitrary actions.

In the end, Si Pitung's martial skills were enough to make the landlords anxious. Then around 1892 Si Pitung committed a robbery. Reportedly, the house that was robbed was the residence of Hadji Sapiudin, a landlord from Bugis, South Sulawesi.

The robbery was widespread until it was published in the newspaper Indies Olanda on August 10, 1892. This incident did not happen once or twice. Pitung often robbed other landlords' houses to take their loot and distribute it back to the poor.

Almost all landlords know Si Pitung, even when they experience a robbery, his name is always targeted and hunted by the police. Si Pitung was also considered a rebel so that the Dutch people wanted him to be crushed as if they were not moving freely in oppressing the little people.

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