Bong Market, Paradise for Hajj Umrah Souvenirs in the City of Surabaya

Jakarta

The atmosphere of Jalan Slamretan is so crowded. Down and down, dozens of porters took turns filling the side of the road. At the corner of the T-junction between Jalan Slompretan and Jalan Kopi, you can see workers coming and going, dominated by textile bearers and others.

Apparently, at the corner of the T-junction there is a market, the name is Pasar Bong. Of course, millennials are quite foreign to hear it. But not for them, the colonials, aka those who are over 50 years old. Pasar Bong certainly made an imprint on their memories.

Bong Market is located on Jalan Slompretan. The place is right at the fork in the road between Jalan Slompretan and Jalan Kopi. At the entrance to Pasar Bong, there is a strong gate that reads Balai RW I Kembang Jempun combined with an artificial gate from a sponsor that reads Pasar Bong.

Entering, feels like passing through a 40-meter long hallway. Inside, there are dozens of stalls that present their merchandise.

In this Bong Market, it is a paradise for prospective pilgrims to buy knick-knacks to souvenirs for Hajj. The question is, why buy souvenirs at Bong Market? Why not in Mecca? It turns out, in this Bong Market, they sell and store a variety of hajj souvenirs.

Bong Market in Surabaya Photo: Faiq Azmi

Several sellers at Pasar Bong said that the congregation should be more solemn when worshiping in Mecca without thinking about gifts for relatives and neighbors. Because, all of the souvenirs can be obtained at the Bong Market, maybe the only exceptions are zam-zam water souvenirs.

However, for matters of Muslim clothing, sarongs, various kinds of cloth, prayer beads, the holy book of the Qur’an, veils, dates are all complete at Bong Market. Just match the buyer’s taste.

“Want to find Umrah equipment, Hajj equipment, or souvenirs, all complete here,” said Umi Sakinah, who has been selling at Bong Market since 1985, Thursday (24/3/2022).

Umi Sakinah then showed her various items for sale. It turned out to be true, all the equipment for Umrah, Hajj, and souvenirs were complete.

“It’s okay if you shop here, it’s cheap, you can compare the price,” said Umi as she persuaded me to buy her wares.

Umi then represented the complaints of traders at Bong Market during the pandemic. Their turnover, dropped drastically. The reason is one, the departure of Umrah and Hajj which has been stopped by the Indonesian government for the past two years.

“How can turnover not be destroyed, two years of a pandemic, Umrah is not allowed, Hajj is not allowed. In the end, the merchant has relied on the Eid season all this time, but during the holidays, he can’t even go home, he can’t make friends,” he explained.

With a tired-looking face, Umi hopes that with the condition of Surabaya PPKM Level 1, Pasar Bong’s pulse will return to rhythm.

“Yes, of course, hopefully it will return to normal, this Ramadan, you don’t have to be banned. We’ve been losing for the past two years,” he hoped.

bong market, slompretan street, surabayabong market, slompretan street, surabaya, bong market in Surabaya Photo: Faiq Azmi

After hearing his complaints, detikJatim went deeper into the Bong Market. It’s true, the nuances of the traditional market here are so strong. The path that we are going through shows how long this market has existed.

Even more surprising, it turns out that before becoming the Bong Market, the land in this market was previously a former Chinese tomb. However, the atmosphere is certainly not scary. If you enter the Bong Market, you will be happy because you see the tempting knick-knacks of the Hajj in your eyes.

Bong Market itself is open every day starting in the morning around 08.00 WIB until the afternoon around 16.00 WIB. Stop by Bong Market, because apart from washing your eyes, you can create peace of mind with typical Islamic knick-knacks.

This article has been published in detikJatim.

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