Pasisir (pronounced “passissir”), in Indonesian Pesisir , is the name that the inhabitants of the Indonesian island of Java give to the north coast of their island, traditionally open to the outside world.
Pasisir plays a fundamental role in the history of the island. The flat relief of the northern coast of Java made that very early, ports developed there, supported on a hinterland where fertile plains allowed the development of a prosperous agriculture. It was on the Pasisir that the first urban sites of Java were found. Jakarta , the capital of Indonesia, Surabaya and Semarang , the 2 nd and 5 th largest cities in the country respectively, are located on the Pasisir.
The control of Pasisir is a constant in Javanese history. The prosperity of the kingdoms depended on it. It was on the Pasisir that foreign merchants arrived. It is by the Pasisir that Islam arrives in Java. The Chinese admiral Zheng He , who will make several stops on the island between 1405 and 1433, notes in particular the presence of Chinese communities, in which there are many Muslims, in the ports of Pasisir. One of these ports, Demak , founded at the end of the xv th century by a Chinese Muslim named Cek-ko-po will feel strong enough to conquer the entreprende Pasisir. The loss of the ports of Banten and Kalapa (the future Jakarta) thus caused the end of the Sri Lankan Hindu kingdom of Pajajaran in West Java. Finally in 1609, the capture of Jayakarta by the Dutch East India Company marks the beginning of the Dutch expansion in Java.
The word “Pasisir” is still used today. It is considered that this part of Java has its own identity. In particular, there is a “Pasisir cuisine”, different from the cuisines of the interior of Java, whether Western Sundanese cuisine , that of Solo and Yogyakarta in the center or that of East Java. .