North Sumatra is known as the land of the Batak people.
Before the development of Medan city as the metropolitan city
North Sumatra had clear segment of population. On the highland
which is the larger part of the area was inhabited by the
Batak, the lowland on the east coast and west coast including
the islands were inhabited by the Malay. Some small part of
the Karo land which is now bordering with Aceh province is
inhabited by the Acehnese.
Geographically the Batak is divided into region where they live, so it is known as the Batak of Karo, the Batak of Pakpak, the Batak of Simalungun, the Batak of Toba, the Batak of Angkola, and the Batak of Mandailing. Based on dialect in fact they can be divided into the Karo, the Pakpak, the Simalungun, and the Toba which is the biggest of all in member and width of the area being inhabited because it includes Toba, Angkola and Manhdailing.
Medan city according to the record was built by king of Raja Guru Patimpus in 1590, and a record says that British government official found the village had only 200 person in 1823. Multiple growth of population in Medan started in 1865 when Dutch colonized the area and found their land so promising for big project of plantations estates. First the Dutch developed tobacco, then rubber, palm oil, coffee and cacao. Vast development of estates required big number of labor. The Dutch transported the people from Java, relocated some Bataks of the mountain, imported foreign workers from China, India, and Arab. While the Malay also educated to work at the plantation estates. Soon Medan as the center of administration and control of the area developed into giant city with mixed population, multi ethnic and multi races. After independence of Indonesia Medan was appointed capital city of North Sumatra with the population number already reached number 3 biggest cities in Indonesia after Jakarta and Surabaya. As a metropolitan city the character of Batak is not noticeable in the city, yet they reflects modern Indonesia with Bahasa Indonesia as the communication. But in some occasion Batak typical salutation for " hello " in the sense of familiar and acquaintance can be heard pronounced as " horass "
Just for idea the Batak people can be easily identified from their name, as they use family name, which they put at the last of their name, such as Ginting, Sembiring, Perangin-angin, Tarigan, Situmorang, Sinaga, Pandiangan, Nainggolan, Simatupang, Aritonang, Siregar, Lubis, Pulungan, Tanjung, Harahap, Sipahutar, Batubara, Purba, Saragih, Damanik, Simbolon, Manurung, Sitepu, Singulingga and others
|NORTH SUMATRA TRAVEL|
Sumatra island offers great choice of sightseeing such as orangutans, lake Toba, traditional Batak village, water fall, and various wild life farming and plantations. Lake Toba is the most beautiful scenery in Indonesia with Samosir island on it, creation of natural disaster 70.000 years ago Lake Toba Samosir