Sweet, sweet… In the area of Menoreh in the subdistrict of Borobudur, Magelang, the creation of brown stretching sugar is made from the yielding of sap from their nearby coconut tree plantation.
This is almost forgotten craft is hereditary to a few families in the area, from generation to generation. The creation of the brown stretching sugar, or gula Merah, is sweet in its essence without any mixture of other synthetic sweetness. It used to be sold to the masses in the area.
However, the art of making brown stretching sugar in Borobudur, or Geliat Pengrajin Gula Merah Borobudur, is not popular these days due to modernization. Nevertheless, the people in the area are still looking for sugar during holiday seasons, making the product quite rare in the masses.
However, today you can still learn the craft found in Borobudur as a tourist attraction as a part of the Village and Heritage tour programme in the area. UNESCO had known of this craft and helped villagers promote their craft for tourists in the area to learn more about Javanese culture.
You can travel to the many villages near the Borobudur Temple that collaborated with this programme to learn more about the craft, and maybe you can bring home your own creation of brown sugar.